As many of my readers already know, I’m putting the finishing touches on a novel.

And for its entire life, that novel has gone by one name: Coffee Bar. 

I wrote Coffee Bar, an absurd play, in 2004. Back then, it was a harmless knock-off of Beckett’s Waiting for Godot. It had a giant heart and a pitifully tiny story.

Since then, I’ve wrestled with my little opus on and off until the summer of 2014, when I decided it was time to get serious and convert the story into book form.

Now it’s almost complete.

Picking a title is a hellish exercise that I’m not alone in hating. But as I’ve continued to refine the story, and after hearing some invaluable feedback from my incredible Beta Reading Team, I’ve known that change was coming, and at some point I’d have to face it.

Change can be a terrifying thing.

Yet it is a tremendously healthy thing.

Change is biologically necessary for us to grow. If we never add weight to our barbells, our muscles will regress. If we never introduce surprises into our relationships, they will stagnate and likely die.

And in considering all the changes that Coffee Bar had undergone in its transformation from an ambitious, immature play, to an ambitious, slightly-less-immature novel, I decided to embrace the new life that my creation had taken.

With that being said, I’m proud to announce that my debut novel, The Bean of Life, will launch on September 27th, 2016.

I couldn’t be more excited to enter this season of anticipation for The Bean of Life’s release. I also want to invite you to be a part of it by sharing what you, as a reader, can look forward to in the approaching months.

Soul Mountain Writer’s Duct Tape

First, as I make my final revisions to the manuscript, I am also completing work on Soul Mountain and Writer’s Duct Tape. 

Both of these works will be available for Coffee Club Members FREE in eBook format soon!

Originally, I’d set some very aggressive publishing goals for these two bodies of work. However, as it often does, life caught up with me.

Currently, I’m a full-time teacher, husband, and father, and I work a weekend job to make sure the bills get paid. After 3 months of a relentless schedule, I was exhausted and ignoring the people that mattered most: My Family.

At that point, I realized that it didn’t matter if I hustled for 2 more months, or 12 more months, or however long it took to reach my goal of living off my writing alone. If I abandoned my wife and daughter and didn’t enjoy each moment with them, then all of my passion and effort would be for nothing.

So I took a 2 month Sabbatical, focused on selflessly supporting my family, and now I’m more refreshed and excited than ever.

Coffee Bar Lives On

SecondI’ll be converting The Bean of Life back into play form. Coffee Bar will still exist, but in its original intended stageplay format.

And this, too, will be available FREE to Coffee Club Members as a PDF eBook download!

I’m excited and hopeful that the novel will inspire Thespians to make the world of the story their own by launching amazing productions of Coffee Bar! As a sign of gratitude, I’ll be offering discounted rights and scripts to readers who purchase The Bean of Life. 

Growing In (the Right) Community

Finally, I’m delighted to share that I’m building a launch plan that will (hopefully) engage a broad range of readers and communities and let them know about The Bean of Life, and why it’s an exciting story.

To do this, I’m becoming a student of podcasts and blogs for readers, and websites frequented by coffee-lovers.

See, right about the time I was getting burned out, I realized I’d been making a mistake in my marketing: I was doing exactly what every other writer seems to be doing – hanging out with other writers.

Have you noticed that there’s a MASSIVE movement in the blogging/tweeting world right now? The focus of these sites/authors is to encourage writers, and there’s a metric ton of them. This is where I’d been focusing my audience-building efforts.

Then I realized something: My target audience isn’t writers.

It’s readers.

Sure, there may be some start-up writers like myself who will pick up The Bean of Life and give it a read, but odds are most of these writers are just like me: Devoted to building their own audience, platform, and career.

And that’s good for them!

So when I realized this, I had to hit the brakes and completely overhaul my launch strategy.

Thankfully, this coincided perfectly with my need for that 2 month Sabbatical.

Thank You – In Advance!

So if you’re still reading this, thank you for kindness and understanding.

And thank you in advance for any consideration you give to making The Bean of Life a part of your reading life.

I’m so excited to share The Bean of Life with you. I’ll explain more soon, and share a whole lot more about the story, too, but trust me. After tending to this story for 12 years, I truly believe it is a book that will leave a powerful footprint on our culture and communities.

For now, please stay tuned and check out my Twitter, @DavidHSafford, where I will be sharing the best of what I’m reading on a wide assortment of blogs and websites. Hey – you might already be reading them, too!

Have a Happy New Year, and Thank You for Reading!

Image: Kathy Drasky, Creative Commons License