Had lunch with Burke on Monday. Oh, hold on--let me use his full name...John Burke, lead pastor of Gateway Church and author of Soul Revolution. Unlike with other folks on the blog, for whom I use psuedonyms, I'm using John Burke's name because he wants you to know about him and his book. And so do I. Read it. You need to read it. [picture jedi master obiwan kenobi waving his hand over you...] You...must....ree-yad eet...
Anyway, so I had lunch with Burke on Monday. And he tells me that he and his son just finished reading Waymaker together, and that it was a great bonding experience for them, and that his son now thinks Waymaker and Gideon's Dawn are the best books ever written--ever!
Wow. That kid's a genius!
And I was telling Burke how, despite writing these two novels (and working now on a third), I've always struggled to really, honestly, truly give myself permission to be a creative writer. It's always been something I've felt pressured to relegate to the fringes of my life, trying to squeeze it in between other more "presentable" activities--like for example, making money. :)
But recently, I've had an epiphany of sorts recently about my drive to write. It's simply this: It's high time I let my creative soul out of the shadows and gave myself permission to let my writing be a central focus of my life. That means making it a core priority, and giving it more (perhaps much more) of my time.
Burke inadvertently confirmed this direction for me during our lunch. See, I've been in "talks" with Gateway over the last few months about a potential full time job there. A cool job. A job I would in many ways absolutely love. But if I took it, there's no way I would have time or energy to write the third novel, or anything else for that matter. And even though I know Burke would love for me to take on this full-time role at Gateway, the first thing out of his mouth when we sat down to lunch was this: "Your writing is amazing, Michael. You have a real gift. And it would be a shame not to see you pursue that gift as far as it can go."
Good man, Burke. I'll take that on.
By the way, Burke has a blog too. You should check it out--find it here.