To start off, why don’t you give a brief summary of what the book is about
Ex Materia is a practical book about how faith and Christianity can help people to be more creative. It talks a lot about the intersection between Scripture and the creative process.
What are 2 or 3 key things you want readers to be able to take away from this book?
When people read Ex Materia, I want them to be able to see that Christianity is extremely relevant to the creative process. And not in theoretical or theological way, but a practical way. The book offers specific steps and actions inspired by the Bible that will help during the creative process. So, I think that readers will not only learn things that they can start doing to benefit their work, but I also hope that the book will also inspire them to look for more ways that their faith can impact their creativity.
When did you first decide that this was the subject you wanted to focus on in the book?
At the beginning of 2014, I decided that I wanted to write a book. So, I spent a couple of months brainstorming ideas and tried several, but ultimately I decided to write about faith and creativity because that’s what was happening in my life at the time. I was learning how to be more creative, and I realized that my faith might just have some answers. It turns out it did, so I wrote this book about what I learned.
From the day you started writing Ex Materia to the day you launched the Kickstarter, what has been your creative process?
It’s been different for different things. I do a lot of stuff, so it’s hard to nail down a specic process that I go through each time. Overall it would probably be: 1) consuming other peoples’ work, 2) analyzing and thinking about other peoples’ work, 3) brainstorming ideas, 4) sharing my ideas with people for feedback, 5) acting on the best one 6) creating it 7) refining it 8) sharing it. All 8 of these things played big parts in writing the book.
What has been your favorite part so far of this process?
Brainstorming ideas and sharing them with other people is a lot of fun for me. It’s fascinating to come up with ideas and see which ones work for different people. I take their feedback and determine if it’s worth embracing or not. I really love sharing my work with other people during the process because it allows other people to become part of my creative process. It’s almost like they have a hand in my creativity. That’s one of the reasons why I decided to do a Kickstarter for the book. I wanted to give people a chance to join me in the process.
How have you grown since beginning this project?
Writing and self-publishing a book for the first time is a lot of work. A lot more work than I estimated. It’s caused me to stick with a project for a long period of time and see it through to the end. I’m used to working on projects that might take a few weeks at the max, so spending over a year working on a book was a great learning process. There were at least two or three key moments where I could have quit and almost did, but I chose to continue. I definitely recommend taking on a long-form project; it teaches you a lot about the creative process that you can’t learn any other way.
What have been some highlights of this project so far?
The biggest highlight for me was when I got several early paperback editions printed so that I could test the quality of the printer I chose to work with. After spending a year writing this book digitally, it was so amazing to hold a physical copy of the book in my hands. It made me feel like a real author, which I am, but it sometimes is hard to wrap my head around that.
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