Publishing a Cookbook: A Journey of Spiritual Faith

Publishing a Cookbook

I completed my cooking class last Wednesday night at the University of Texas at Arlington!  Amber Royer, the instructor, taught so many things to us during that five week time frame.  I am amazed how much she squeezed into our time together each week!  Amber, you did a great job!  Thank you! 

Amber taught us all the different facets on how to write a cookbook like:  

  1. How to set up a cookbook template
  2. How to organize a good recipe book
  3. The ins and outs of e book publishing
  4. The pitfalls as well as the benefits of self publishing
  5. How to submit a cookbook proposal to a publisher for the best chances of getting published
  6. What to expect when you get published
  7. Best angles and lighting for the best food photography shots  (That’s a tough area for me.  I’m still working on that, but I’m getting better!)  
  8. The best writing voice for a cookbook
Cooking and clicking!

Cooking and clicking in my cooking class at UTA!

As a cookbook class instructor, Amber did not present topics about anyone’s journey of spiritual faith.  The class was about  writing, not about spiritual faith.  Just as Amber was hired to do, Amber taught about writing and publishing cookbooks.

However, the Holy Spirit must have been in that class with me because I sure learned things about writing a cookbook from Him as well.  

Amber taught us:

1.  Writing a cookbook calls for perfection, so I should be willing to work hard to be accurate in my writing.  

Then the Spirit nudged me and whispered:

“And be accurate to God’s Word as well”.    

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the words of truth.  – 2 Timothy 2: 15. 

Amber taught us:

2.  Publishing a book with a well-known book publisher is not a guaranteed end result, but I have every right  to work hard  towards that goal or to find another good publishing and marketing route if I have a good idea worth sharing.  

Then the Spirit nudged me and whispered

“And if I call you to share something, if I call you to write a Christian book…or a cookbook… or a Christian cookbook… or whatever I call you to do, you have every responsibility to work hard towards that goal so that what is inside you is not left there untouched”.       

Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm.  Let nothing move you.  Always give yourself fully to the word of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.  – 1 Corinthians 15: 58

Amber taught us:

3.  Organizing a cookbook requires a balanced approach so that no one category is overdone while others are left with too little. 

Then the Spirit nudged me and whispered

“But let God’s Word be the foundation of it all”.    

That foundation can NEVER be overdone and without it, ALL else is too little.  

He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built.  – Luke 6:  48

Amber also taught us:

4.  We may need to stretch ourselves to learn new things or do things we may not have done before if we write a book that gets published.  

For me, using publishing software to set up grids for book proposals and food photography were both pretty challenging.  I almost wanted to quit the class!  Add to that the idea of press releases and interviews in the future if I write a book and get it published.  My cooking class = Eye opener!  

Then the Spirit nudged me and whispered, 

“You may not like being stretched Chris, but just do it.  Do what I give to you to do, and know that I’ll be there for you through it all… as I always have been and as I always will be”.  

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.  Proverbs 3:  5 – 6.

Publishing a Cookbook

Cookies from my cooking class! (And guess what…. I took this picture!)

All in all, I believe the Holy Spirit impressed upon me, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that my own desires… my own thoughts… my own successes… accomplishments….  feelings or failures should never come before what the Lord wants to do in my life and to do WITH my life.  I must never, ever detract from the message of Christ Jesus.   I must always do my part to let HIS message be heard.

That was quite a spiritual journey for having just taken a “Writing a Cookbook” class at a public university!   

Christians like to quote the old saying “God works in mysterious ways”.  Well, He sure did work in some mysterious ways in my life during these last few weeks!   I took a college course thinking I would get some insight into the field of writing and book publishing. I thought we were going to learn how to write a recipe book.  Writing and publishing?  Yes.  Recipes? Yes.  Cooking?  Yes.  All those things were there.  We even put a recipe book together as a class.  

However, I got schooled in my spiritual well being too, and I do mean schooled, like seriously schooled!  Like Heavenly schooled.  

Now I know not all of you have a call to write a book.  Maybe you do.  I am guessing many of you have other calls in life though, all important in God’s plans.   While I don’t know your call, you perhaps do, or maybe you are waiting for that hoped-for call, or confirmation, or even just a clue!  Maybe you just don’t know at all…. not yet anyway.  I don’t know where you are.

I know this though:  I know the Lord created you for a reason, and I know He is making good on that reason no matter what you are doing, or not.  

I also know that if you reach out to Him and step out in faith, He will be there for you, and He will bless the work you do for Him.  

Be ready though.  As I have just discovered… Those who step out to do His will may just get a little extra schooling along the way as well.  

Are you ready?