I once worked at a company that started serving dinner in the corporate cafeteria. They announced it under the guise of convenience. “Now you can have dinner options you can bring home to your family!” Despite the upbeat email, everyone at the company knew this was a terrible sign. Let’s be honest, what family wants you to bring home a styrofoam container of office cafeteria spaghetti and sadness? Have you ever eaten lunch in a corporate cafeteria (that wasn’t Facebook or Google) and thought, “I wish I could have this for dinner, too! You know who would love eating this? My family!”

Sending a book, a project, a business or anything else you care about into the world is a nervous experience. It's easier to hide the things you care about in a quiet drawer in your house than it is to share them. This is why so many...

This is the first thing I ever tweeted. First tweet If you’re thinking, “Wow, that’s profound,” you’re right. I am deep. The day after I tweeted that I also started my blog Stuff Christians Like. At the time, I had no idea how life changing both of those decisions would be. I didn’t understand Twitter and just wrote a single verb about what I was doing. Stuff Christians Like was a silly site that I thought I would write about for a week and then quit. (I had a track record of doing that for years.) Instead, Twitter became my biggest platform for sharing ideas with the world and Stuff Christians Like turned into a doorway to get a book deal, build two kindergartens in Vietnam and work for Dave Ramsey in Nashville.

The craziest part of the ridiculous photos people put on Instagram is actually the captions they include. It’s in the captions where we tell our biggest lies. It’s where we cover our tracks and try to justify or ignore our real motives for posting a photo. Case in point, my friend Donald Miller had given me and the 1,200 other people at his conference a sample from his new book, Scary Close. His New York Times Bestselling book Blue Like Jazz sold 1 million copies and he’s definitely an author I look up to. I thought for a minute about posting a photo of the pages with the caption, “So proud of my friend Donald Miller. Can’t wait to read his next book!” That’s a noble caption at first glance. Look at me celebrating a friend! Look at me helping drive more book sales! I am such a giver!

Every writer secretly believes in the writer's cabin. In our heads we see a small isolated cabin in a quiet patch of woods. There's a porch with a swing out front. We sit on that when we need a break from all the amazing words we've written inside. There's not much behind that cabin door, just a humble table like Hemingway probably used, a chair our grandfather made by hand and some sort of way to gather our words. For some, it's a stack of fresh, white paper and a favorite pen. Others see a typewriter that makes real clickity clack sounds with each brilliant word you capture. The days pile up as the pages do too and we emerge from this literary sabbatical with a book and a beard. (Unless you're a lady, the beard is not nearly as cool in your story.)

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