Thursday, September 17, 2009

The second anniversary of posted essays

This week is the second anniversary of the blog essays. This essay represents the completion of 104 posted essays. As I said one year ago tomorrow, “For me, it is both a celebration and a surprise. It is wonderful to know that that many essays have been written and posted. The surprise comes because the time went by so quickly. When I first began posting essays, I asked my son (my webmaster) two questions: Will it be possible to write one essay per week? And, if I find the burden too great, can we stop it at any time? The quick response to both questions was, “Yes.’” That was the way I began this essay one year ago tomorrow.

On July 18, 2009, I was sitting in the Amish-built gazebo in our yard having lunch and talking with my son, ANT. He reminded me that this coming September will be the second anniversary of writing our blog — which, if you subscribe, you know has become a five-day contribution, not just a single weekly offering. I encourage all readers to subscribe just for the fun and edification of it all. The responses from those who have subscribed have been outstanding even electrifying.

On the blog we have “Book Review Mondays” which has been expanded to two book reviews every Monday. On Tuesdays there is news about And Then Some as well as a preview of Thursday’s essay. On Wednesdays there is a quotation from the SMOERs book. Each Thursday includes a 1,000-word essay. For much of the summer those essays covered our 14-night “Classical Mediterranean Cruise” aboard Celebrity’s Millennium. Finally, each Friday brings “Weekend Words” which is usually a quote about words or language.

Much has occurred during the past year (since the first anniversary essay), and this essay will allow me to chronicle some of those events. In last year’s essay I mentioned the publication of the ninth edition of the Hybels/Weaver textbook, Communicating Effectively (McGraw-Hill, 2009). One of the biggest events of 2009 thus far occurred on July 7, when McGraw-Hill asked me to write a 10th edition of the book. The book has remained popular for close to 30 years.

What many of you may not realize is that authors have no control over writing a new edition of a textbook — with the exception of saying “No” when asked. It is a “bottom-line decision” made solely by the company; thus, it is a compliment to the author (and his or her book) suggesting it continues to sell well. Although authors of textbooks write them for students, those who adopt them are their peers (faculty); thus, for authors there is a dual concern.

When I told my 96-year-old father-in-law (also a textbook author) that I had been asked by McGraw-Hill to write a tenth edition, he looked at me with surprise and said, “Do you realize how many authors in the world have been asked to write a 10th edition?”

Back to the essays I write, I maintain an ongoing and updated file of essays as I finish them, and over the past year I have written 52 (about 52,000 words). Sounds like that would be normal productivity for the year having posted 52 essays on the blog; however, most of those 52 essays have yet to be posted. On average, I write about an essay per week, but I have found some periods of tremendous productivity just as I have found some periods when I will go weeks without producing a single essay.

I was recently asked how long it takes to write an essay. My response: “It varies.” In some cases the essays come easily, and it may take about a half hour of work. In other cases, where extensive research and investigation is involved, it takes substantially more. (Often, I can flesh out the foundation for an essay during a normal church service. Just as when I jog three times each week, I find such times stimulating when it comes to discovering ideas. That is precisely where this essay was begun. All essays get re-written and polished a number of times.

I’ve mentioned the textbook and active blogging. My book, Public Speaking Rules: All you need for a GREAT speech!, was published by And Then Some Publishing L.L.C. in 2008, as was my book, You Rules — Caution: Contents leads to a better life . My book, SMOERs — Self Motivation, Optimism, Encouragement Rules: Daily reminders for outstanding living, came out early in 2009, and it is composed of 365 daily reminders supported by over 1600 quotations. A second book was published in 2009 as well. My book, Relationship Rules: For long-term happiness, security, and commitment has as its cover, an outstanding original painting by my son ANT.

There is another element about each of the books that And Then Some Publishing L.L.C. has published thus far (There are five total.). If you have an opportunity I hope you will take the time to check out the websites (click on the hyperlinks above) for each of the five books. First, you will quickly discover that they are professionally constructed. Each is a masterful work-of-art put together by my webmaster, ANT, and, second, each one includes essays (and, in some cases, videos) that support the book advertised on the website.

I should mention that a sixth book has already been written, and it is likely to be published toward the end of 2009 or early in 2010. One thing at a time, but it’s important to think ahead.

The point in mentioning this number of books and the amount of writing I have done over the past couple of years (I retired from full-time teaching in 1996) is to answer the question posed in the opening paragraph: “Will it be possible to write one essay per week?” Good heavens yes!

In addition to all of these projects and, in this case, because of the encouragement of my son, ANT, I have begun blogging daily on Facebook, too. You can find me there at: richard weaver. You won’t find me discussing what I do each day. Rather, I make comments on news items, politics, current events, and, occasionally, I even add a touch of humor to my entries.

All of this is part of the “professional writer” package I have become. Yes, my writing has become an outlet for my opinions, ideas, and musings. But, even more than that, it has spurred my creativity, prodded my imagination, inspired my vision, and entertained my spirit. I hope my readers are likewise spurred, prodded, inspired, and entertained.


At the website, DART Center for Journalism and Trauma, “Second Anniversaries are Different,” the quote regarding the second anniversary reads: “Second anniversaries tend to be low-key and harder to focus on. It is too soon to forget, but not long enough to remember in a big way again. Of course, families and survivors must be tapped for measurements on how they’re doing, what has changed, what they plan to do on this notable day, and so forth. Sometimes a story comes from that — from groups they formed or ways they’ve moved on or struggles they still face.”

At the website called “2nd Anniversary Celebration Suggestions,” it says, “By the time a couple celebrates their second anniversary, they are more cozy with one another, making cotton the appropriate anniversary gift. Here are some second wedding anniversary ideas and symbols to help you choose cotton or china gifts associated with your 2nd marriage anniversary.” I certainly cotton to these suggestions.


Copyright September 2009 by And Then Some Publishing L.L.C.

1 comment:

  1. What an adventure! This has been a great two years working with my Dad with this blog and publishing books. Our latest book "Relationship Rules" is about to be released! The proof copy arrived today and it looks fantastic... My Dad and I will let you know soon when it's available!


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