Today I get to share the creative process of authors Justin & Trisha Davis. Justin & Trisha recently stepped down as campus pastor of our Bellevue campus in order to chase their dream of helping to reduce the divorce rate in America. I am always blown away when people step out in faith to chase the dreams God puts in their hearts.
Justin & Trisha’s book, Beyond Ordinary, is about their marriage, but can transcend just marriage to anyone who wants to live a life “Beyond Ordinary.”
1.”Beyond Ordinary” is such a big idea. Artists want to live and create beyond ordinary. How do we do that on a daily bases?
I think all of us want to live and create beyond ordinary, but most of us have more desire than commitment. We want to be different and unique, but often settle for copying others rather than creating. We stood at this cross roads when we started writing the book. We said, “We don’t want to write another marriage book. The Church doesn’t need another marriage book. This has to be different.” But as the pressure of writing set in, it was so tempting to just write a “five happy hops to a great marriage” book because it was easier. Easier is usually ordinary. There is always a price to pay to go beyond ordinary.
2. What did your process look like for writing this book?
It was complicated in a number of ways. First, I (Justin) am a co-author with my wife, so that added some complexity from the beginning. Secondly, I am a pastor at a church, that is my day job. So I didn’t want to cheat the church and my responsibilities at Cross Point for the sake of the book. For the first two months of writing we only wrote on Fridays. Our goal was 4000 words each Friday. After we got through the first three chapters, that wasn’t working. Our focus each Friday became to crank out words rather than to allow God to speak through us. So about two months in, I started getting up at 4:45 and writing from 5AM to 6:30 AM alone. That gave Trish something to write from each day. By the time we got to Friday we were in a rhythm and flow. It worked much better…although getting up that early sucked.
3. When you felt stumped, where did you turn for inspiration?
I had a couple of resources that really helped me in this area. I have a journal that I keep on a pretty inconsistent basis. I don’t journal every day, but I do enough that several significant moments are captured. When I felt stumped I went back 3 or 4 years in my journal just to reconnect with God. My second place of inspiration is Pandora. When I’m stuck I go old school on Pandora…like old school Hillsong, even some Fernado Ortega and 1998 Passion stuff. Better Is One Day was a life saver for me. 🙂
4. How have you dealt with the idea of creating something and then the fear of sharing it with masses of people?
If you asked me this two weeks ago, I had a different answer. But two weeks ago Amazon reviews weren’t open. Now that Amazon reviews are being left, I have found myself struggling in this area. I recognize it and give it to God, but am often tempted to take it back from Him. I pray daily, sometimes hourly, that the Lord would help me not find identity or my value in what people think of our book, but to keep me centered on who I am in Him. It is easier said than done.
5. What is your biggest goal for this book?
My biggest goal for the book is that God would use it to dramatically lower the divorce rate in the Church. That is my hope. That is my dream. The book in and of itself isn’t special enough to do that. But the book coupled with the power of the Holy Spirit to transform lives is that powerful.