The Herd Has Spoken Podcast With Podcast Host, And Author, Barnabas Piper. Episode 10

 

 

Enjoy the conversation between Barnabas and Brad! 

Brad
Hello and welcome to the heard has spoken a podcast brought to you by muskox men's apparel

Hello again this is Brad hoose with the herd has spoken we're happy to have you here today for episode number 10. I think you guys are gonna really enjoy hearing from Barnabas Piper Barnabas is an author. He is a podcast host. He is a father. He is someone who has a lot of great perspectives on the importance of not taking yourself seriously. The the true way you can pursue happiness, the power of the outdoors Barnabas and I had a fantastic conversation. If you're someone who's been waiting to start that piece of content, whether it's a blog, or a YouTube channel or a podcast, I think you're really going to appreciate barnabus perspective on how to go about doing that. And also some of his challenges associated with with writing books, and in the whole process. So really excited to share today's episode with you guys. So no further ado, Barnabas, Piper, Barnabas. So let's just dive right in here. important question. So, obviously, you're part of the happy rant podcast. But I think what everyone really wants to know, is out of you, Ted and Ronnie, who's the best dressed?

Barnabas
Oh, man, um, Ronnie has the most distinctive style, I think. So he he is the one who puts the most attention into his clothing. Now, it's not a style for everybody. Like if I dress like him, I would look like I was wearing a costume. It suits him. But I think I think he would be so he would win the Best Dressed award. Ted is Ted is like a solid jennex middle aged man dresser. Just not not like your chinos, khakis type of guy but just he's just sort of like your rugged casual. And I go for like center cut like flannels, boots, jeans, or like, shorts, baseball cap, that kind of thing. Just like I don't want anybody to notice what I'm wearing. I just want to be comfortable and look appropriate to the context.

Brad
I like it. I like it. Okay, so if you had to use one, if you want to cheat and use two, I think we can we can let that slide. But if you had to use one, maybe two words to describe everyone's style, what would it be?

Barnabas
Let's see.

Ronnie is see if I can do this in one word. I would say Rania Sheikh Ted is recovering grunge.

Brad
That's two words, but we'll go right

Barnabas
back. And, and I am. I'm gonna I think all American counts is one word, because it's hyphenated. So I'm gonna be like, all American kid.

Brad
I love it. I love it. That's great. That's great. Well, what a fun, what a fun group, an eclectic group that you for sure have. So

Barnabas
they're great, guys. It's

Brad
a lot of fun. Absolutely. And I'd love to hear how it all started. Right? Because I think there's so many people out there who have thought about starting a podcast started. Thought about starting a YouTube channel, creating content, maybe it's writing a book, a blog, but whatever. I'd love to hear about the stories about how things started. So how did happy rent come to come to me?

Barnabas
Um, it is it's kind of a classic tale of the internet bringing strangers together. So I think in late 2013, a guy named Steven l truggy. reached out to me so he and I had done some writing on the same website, he ran a website that I wrote for periodically, had some similar sensibilities in terms of sense of humor, and not being overly self serious about things. And when I say that, I mean, like in the Christian world, where people can be very self serious about things. And so he just said, What if we started doing these quick like one off videos where we just sort of riff on like how bad Christian fiction is, or whatever. And so we did half a dozen of those, maybe it's like low quality webcam, YouTube videos, or he's in his house. And I think he lived in Florida at the time, and I lived in, I think I'd moved to Tennessee by that time. And so different states, just these conversations. And after a little while, people started responding and saying, you know, this would be great as a podcast because I want to listen to it in my car, not sit down and watch you guys not doing anything. You're just talking. So. So we started a podcast, and Steven real quickly was like, I think it'd be better if we had a third person. And I said, Yeah, I probably would, because it just adds a cool dynamic. And he said, Well, do you know this guy? Ted cluck. And I said I don't. But I know of Ted because Ted had written a couple books at that point. And I'm mostly new Ted, because I like to sports writing his theological Christian writing was, was fine. I just wasn't that interested. But you know, his, his writing, I think he'd written for like ESPN page two was he read about the Vikings or the twins, or, ya know, I'm just I'm kind of a sports junkie across the board. But he just he always had these kind of humorous takes on things. And he just had a really clever way of writing. And so I enjoyed what I'd read by him. And so I said, Sure, bring him in. So I at that point, I hadn't met Ted and I actually didn't meet Ted in person for probably three years of doing the podcast, because we always lived in different places. And it was always just online. Then after a couple years, Steven stepped off the podcast and Ronnie Martin came on Ronnie had filled in a couple times, like when Ted wasn't able to be on or Steven wasn't able to be on. So we had reporters a little strong, but at least a level of familiarity. And I hadn't met Ronnie at that point. So it was probably three or four years before I met Ted. It was probably about four years or so from the beginning of the podcast before I met Ronnie in person, the first time I met him was when we did a live podcast event. So we've been doing the podcast together for like, two years, since he came on it. Ted Knight been doing it together for about four years at that point. And it just but it worked. Because we all had a real clear sense of what it was and what it wasn't. We all have pretty distinct personalities. All of us are writers and thinkers, but not least we try not to be sort of the pretentious ones who get caught up in our own heads. And all of us tend to kind of give side eye to the Christian internet establishment of, of outrage. And so that's kind of where it came out. I was like, man, everybody's yelling about stuff all the time. Why don't we do something fun instead? So we'll talk about some of the same things, but just maybe point out how ridiculous some of it is.

Brad
Yeah, one of the things I love to say is, I take my work very seriously, but I don't take myself seriously at all. It sounds like there's some elements of that. The pharmacy said something in there that I think was really interesting in that we all knew what the podcast was, and we knew what it wasn't, we had a shared sense of purpose. And I'd love to hear how that came about. Because I think that can be really hard to get people on the same page. And, you know, having been involved in multiple startups, I know the importance of having that shared purpose, whatever it is, sometimes it's hard to be able to articulate Is this something that you guys just had that connection and vibe and happen naturally? Did you have to talk about it? Were there hard conversations to get aligned around purpose? I mean, how did you get to a point where you where you can say, okay, we all we all know what this is and what it's not.

Barnabas
When Steven started, uh, he was a little bit more of the, like, organized, like, let's try this, let's do this kind of a little bit more of a producer feel to it, which didn't have that didn't affect the the aim of the show, but he was more intentional about we're not going to do this, we are going to do this. When Steven left. Ted and Ronnie and I 10 Ronnie had a previous friendship. By that time, Ted and I had a friendship. So Ronnie was kind of, you know, he was all of us knew at least one other person in the group. And so there was a trust level there to say, okay, you vouch for this person? He must be cool. Turns out, he was cool. And fine. Um, but it really was it. It stems more from almost a comradeship or a friendship. You know, when you get in, you get in a circle with the right guys, the people, you know, well, or you have a common, you know, kind of had that commonality with you just don't you don't feel on edge. You know, like, ooh, if I say that, right, right, I'm gonna set someone off or, you know, their personalities, you know, that, you know, kind of a no fly zones. You know, the, the part of the conversation that you're like, man, nobody cares about that stuff. Like, we're not gonna get into that. And we had we do episode sometimes where it gets like that we did one a few weeks ago, that was that delved into politics, and not sorting out policies and stuff, because really, none of us care that much. But even just like talking about talking about the atmosphere of politics, and all this came away from it going well, let's not do that again. That was That sucked. It was terrible, just in terms of the vibe of it. And so yeah, there's just a feel for it. And so that I think that's kind of how we get it is there are times we get to something and we're like, Well, that didn't work. Didn't work personally, personally, I it or one of us is like guys, I can't really go there because of a relationship in my life or my church or my place of employment. There's a thing that we got to be careful about. And we just respect and we go Okay, cool. Like we're never like, Oh, come on, man. You're ruining the podcast because you won't let us talk about, you know, the Southern Baptist Convention or something. Right, like Well, okay, there's a lot of other stuff to talk about. We'll just go somewhere else.

Brad
So how is your podcast different today than Wasn't the beginning because I know that, you know, always trying to improve, get things better the personnel or the out of the third person. So there's some real obvious things. But when you when you look back now, I would guess, and I'd love to hear your reaction on this, I would guess that you're saying, oh, man, that was a little bit of a dumpster fire at the beginning. And we really changed it made it a lot better. Now, I'm kind of like, we would never put out that content today. But But I don't know if that's the case. I'd love to hear really, how do you think it's different today? And where is it better?

Barnabas
Yeah, I think so that there's, there's one major shift. And that was when Ronnie came on. And Steven left, the nature of the show changed a little bit. Because Steven, like I said, had more of like a show preparation mindset, he would send out like, hey, let's, let's do a top 10 of this or that kind of thing. And that's it made for a really good podcast, we had a good time, but it was a different vibe. Whereas what we do now is very much shoot from the hip. And that's part of the reason it works. Because all three of us are fully invested in other parts of life. We're all married. We all have families, we all have, you know, full time jobs, we all right. And so, to do show prep would turn the show into something not fun. Whereas throwing something out there and seeing what somebody's reaction is, among friends, is both trustworthy and fun. And I think that's how it continues to get better, or stay fresh, is because it can't get stale, when you don't know what you're going to do every week. Right? You know what I mean? it and there's, there's a strong sense, I think, among the listeners as well, that we are three friends talking through things in a way that we find funny, you know, we find interesting, those guys genuinely make me laugh. This is not a, you know, we there's there's real enjoyment in it. And we just get to invite other people into that. So, you know, our listeners are, are part of like, they're at the table too, that, you know, they could shout back at their ear earbuds or whatever. But like they, they kind of feel like they're in the room with friends. And that doesn't get old, you know. And it's also why we can, you know, we don't need to chase controversy or news topics to make it work because we can go 15 minutes on on Ronnie's new jackets or something like that, just like you would poking fun at a friend. Like if you have a friend who's just a little bit more particular about his style. Some days, you just go in on that guy a little bit. And, you know, he's like, Hey, nice shoes, and you just don't let up for good 10 minutes. And, and it's fun. And he you know, and if it's if it's in the context of friendship, he doesn't get his feelings hurt.

Brad
Yeah, no doubt. It's amazing how when you're with friends, and you're able to laugh and have fun, it makes for a good experience. And, man, that's it. That's such an obvious concept. But it really matters. And I feel like we lose that, that we lose that in the workplace a lot as well, where people get so focused on doing a job and corporate culture and trying to do things the right way. Or it's like no, let's not try to be perfect here. Let's let's try to make sure we're having a good time and we're laughing. And if we're doing that a whole lot of other things are going to take care of themselves. So obviously it's played out for you guys. And I love to see that and I love sort of the spirit of fun there so I'd love to try something out here new with you Barnabas got speaking of having fun, and just trying to dive into an overrated or underrated section here so I'm going to share a phrase a concept and and I just want to get your perspective on if it's overrated or underrated. So really simply, and then we can get into the whys but but what I'm gonna I'm gonna be militant on this first got to hear if it's overrated or underrated. So first topic, and I know this is something that's been top of mind for you recently. And that is masculinity overrated or underrated

Barnabas
or overrated with a qualification but overrated in the way that it is presented. But so I, I think the the version when you hear masculinity, I think you usually think sort of ruggedness, and a lot of things that are sort of stereotypical but not necessarily foundational to what it means to be a man. I would say if you'd said manhood, I would say underrated masculinity, I think has become co opted in some ways to be a bit of a shell of what genuine manhood is.

Brad
No, I think that's great. I mean, when you see truck commercials in like 300 pound boulders bouncing off the back of a pickup truck, right like that's, that's somehow associated with what masculinity should be known as it's like, no, that's that's really totally separate thing.

Barnabas
Right? I think And so yeah, exactly. All of those stereotypes and those are not things that I'm opposed to like, I enjoy collision sports. I you know, I like war movies. I you know, that those kinds of things. But that doesn't make me More of a man than someone else if that makes me more masculine. And that means in some ways masculinity is separated from what it means to be a man.

Brad
Yeah, I love it. No, that's one of the things that we try to embrace it mascots, right? Because we're, we're kind of a manly brand, so to speak. We've actually been described by customers before you might appreciate this is the Lulu lemon for manly men. And that's not I've not done any one at less, except, closer. So great.

Brad
I know. It's funny. I was gonna say that's definitely not something that we go to market with. But it's sometimes really fascinating to hear how customers describe you. And, and it's kind of like, Yeah, well, you might choose as a man to wear a flannel, you might choose to wear a T shirt. You know, you might choose to wear workout clothes, a dress, shirt, suit, whatever, it doesn't matter. Like, that doesn't necessarily define how well you're doing as a man. Right? Like, there are two totally separate concepts. Okay, so along those lines, this one's this one. I think guys, natural segue. So dressing well, overrated or underrated?

Barnabas
overrated. If If you mean dressing for it an image when I hear dressing Well, I think of sort of a like a dress for success type of thing. As opposed to dressing in a manner that like if dressing well means dressing in a way that's both comfortable and appropriate to the context getting Yes, great. underrated. If it means fitting expectations, aesthetically, I have no interest in it. I just I think Yeah. That's that would be my take on it. If dressing well means buying high quality clothes so that they last a while and then they're really comfortable. I'd say that's good. You should do that.

Brad
Okay, this This next one is one you're qualified to answer living in Nashville, living near the mountains.

Barnabas
Oh, underrated. And immediate, just. Yeah, I don't even know that there's a I don't even know if there's a way to sort of measure the awesomeness of being an hour away from all of the things that the mountains offer in terms of peace of mind, adventure, beauty, solitude, cooler climates, all of it, it's so great.

Brad
How has that made you a better person, like being able to get outside and seek out that fresh air, that solitude that that morning walk.

Barnabas
So I grew up in Minnesota, where it's a lot more of an outdoorsy state, lots of lakes, lots of forests grew up, you know, going to the Boundary Waters up in the Canadian border in the summers fairly often and things like that. And then I moved to the Chicago suburbs, which is a very indoorsy place. You know, it is very Lulu lemony if you will athleisure, like marathon runners and things like that, but that not a lot of like rugged anything right on and then moved to Nashville in 2013, and kind of rediscovered that being out in the woods. And I'm not talking about like, you know, me and an axe for a week, but even just like going to a state park for an afternoon or a morning is it's about as mentally and emotionally and spiritually therapeutic as just about anything in my life. You know, so to get up early on a Saturday and go to a state park and then get up on Sunday and go to church is, um it's it's sort of a, it's like, it's like the two bookends on it on kind of a healthy spiritual weekend. Having gone through some really tough times in life, there's very, you know, I got divorced a few years ago and have just some some real difficult transitions since moving here. The outdoors are where a lot of peace of mind and soul is, you know, that's what God has allowed me to think to pray. You know, if you need to cry, doing it in the woods is really great, because nobody's around, and you don't have to worry about, you know, being seen or bothering the neighbors. And there's a real sense of I want to say closeness to God, which sounds funny because he's, he's, he's with us everywhere. But there's, there's a real sense of, of presence, I think, in nature, and, and a lack of distractions, if you can keep your phone in your pocket.

Brad
That's the last one is a really great point. Because,

Barnabas
yeah, or if you don't have reception, go somewhere where you're far enough away where you get no reception and when when all you can do is take pictures.

Brad
I love it. Yes, it's it's so it's so true. I mean, I've definitely found that when I think back at my life, and some key moments that I've had, a lot of them are just being able to get perspective, and to tune out the noise by being outdoors. And it's amazing how, like the sound of waves crashing. It doesn't have to be an extreme adventure. At times it might be sitting at a bench might be sitting on a river, it might be a canoe trip. Yeah, these are not exotic moments, but they are really meaningful moments that that I know I've had and so as someone who lives in Detroit, there's really not a lot of mountains nearby. So

Barnabas
Yeah, but but Michigan My wife is from the other side of Michigan from you to Grand Rapids side that's where I grew up you know like yeah so the north of there and along the lake there is just stunning and yeah so i mean it's it's it's it's not there's no mountains but there's beautiful outdoors.

Brad
Yeah it is absolutely beautiful now Michigan Michigan's a great state for for adventure for sure. Okay, so I want to I want to go back to our our fun little game here. So this is a really important one, you know, for a relationship in the household, soaking the dishes before you wash them overrated or underrated.

Barnabas
Oh, man.

Like I'm about to put my foot in it. My gut instinct is overrated. I just prefer to do a quick rinse and load things in the dishwasher.

Brad
Okay, let me let me ask another question on this. What about let's say you've got a blender, and it's been sitting out for an hour and so you go to the sink. So it's not just a standard dish, but it's a dish that you know, objectively has a lot of stuff caked on, right? Yeah. So are you a soaker? Or do you just go and get it cleaned up at that point.

Barnabas
It's like it. I will soak for the minimum amount of time I want the dishes done. I hate dishes in my sink. They you know, the soak overnight thing like you get done with dishes you leave them in the sink overnight and you do them the next day is disgusting. You wake up the next day, it makes me angry to wake up in the morning and find nasty dishes in my sink. The only time that happens at our house is like if we have a bunch of people over and we're tired when they leave so like they leave we fall into bed dishes might be waiting the next morning but yeah, no. So I will soak for the absolute minimum amount of time to get it clean.

Brad
Yeah, I love it. So this is this is definitely a point of contention in my household and it's it's it's really fun to see so in general I clean up dishes right and i don't like stuff in the sink either my wife's probably rolling her eyes somewhere saying I don't know about that. But But when there's something that feels like a lot of effort, I convinced myself that it's more efficient to soak it and then come back to it but you don't have that clean slate in your head from doing it so that it's a real trade off you know these are the issues that people want to know about you know yeah the The one exception to what I'm what I'm saying is like anything that's covered in melted cheese, like there's a certain amount of soaking it needs to happen because they just don't know how else to get it off. Nothing cheese is like Gods it's like God's Krazy Glue it just sticks to everything and it's impossible to get off it's funny I remember there used to be fights in my household growing up around the burnt cheese when he had grilled cheese for dinner so the bird you know cheese would coat on there but there's like the first chunk that you can get off and the rest of the sticks on that's impossible to get off like you said the whole superglue analogy but but now I see that they actually you can just buy burnt cheese so so somehow someway there's a I think I saw it on on Shark Tank I could basically I just the just baked cheese that's a little overdone like overbaked Yeah, but not it's not charred black but yeah, overdone it's man. Capitalism is amazing. The what what people can turn a profit with man I just stuck some cheese in a frying pan for about 90 seconds too long. And now I know I make 10s of thousands of dollars off.

Brad
It is a crazy world that we live in. I got to two last ones here for you. So Broadway street in Nashville, overrated. Um, so for those listeners who don't know Broadway is sort of like the Vegas Strip. in Nashville. So it's a six or seven block stretch. It's where all the like live music honky tonks are there's live music all over net Well, not currently. It's COVID. But normally there's live music all over Nashville. But these are the ones that are like three levels high different band on each level country covers. See, it used to be fun. I'm gonna sound like an old timer now back in my day, but it used to be fun to go down there. Like when people came to town. It was kind of high energy wasn't crazy. Now. It's basically like bros and bootcut jeans and bachelorette parties in Daisy Dukes and tank tops everywhere. And it's just a madhouse. So yeah, way overrated.

Brad
Okay, that's great. I'm writing a book.

Barnabas
underrated. I think finishing is underrated. There's very few feelings better than hitting send on the submitted manuscript except maybe hitting On the edited manuscript, because the editing part is really the worst part. Um, yeah, it's a that's a tough one. Because I think some people would expect more fulfillment out of writing a book than it actually offers, it doesn't really change your life in any profound way, unless you're an accidental bestseller which almost nobody is. But it's a real sense of accomplishment, at the very least. And if you put yourself into it with the right amount of purpose, and vigor and intentionality, and you really believe what you wrote, like you have something in your hand, that will probably Outlast you. You know, and that's, that's pretty significant, like writing a book is, in some sense, leaving seeds of a legacy, somebody might stumble across a copy of this at a used bookstore in 50 years. And, you know, they're not gonna stumble across me to use bookstore in 50 years. So that's, that's pretty great.

Brad
Yeah, it's, it's a powerful thing, right? Anything that's going to outlast you. And I've seen so many people nowadays, they're clamoring to find something to be a part of. That's, that's greater than themselves. And this is maybe a bit of a tangent. But going back to the politics discussion you mentioned earlier, I feel like there's a lot of people who don't necessarily have something to sink their teeth into that they feel connected to that's greater than themselves, that they find themselves connecting, they find, they find some way, some purpose of connection to a political party, at this time of the four year cycle. And I feel like a lot of people, like have really strong opinions, but in a lot, and this is generalizing, because I do think there's a lot of people out there who really care about the policies and who are into it and, and Godspeed for those people. But I also think there's a lot of people who maybe just don't have the right connections in life. And so somehow, they found this as a low hanging fruit of a way to be connected to something bigger than themselves. And I made a pretty big pivot there. Yeah, that's something I've seen lately. And I don't know if I'd love to hear your perspective on that. Yeah, the the things that you hear the phrase identity politics thrown out there periodically, but I think there's some and I don't, I don't know what that means. Exactly. What I understand it to mean is people who find their identity in a political party. So rather than discussing issues, if I was to insult one primary political party or another, it's like, I'm insulting their family, or their mother, you know, it's like I just called their mother and name. Whereas what I might mean by it is, I think this particular political party, mishandled the situation, their their policies on this are poor or incomplete or whatever. Um, so i think i think that idea of identity or you use the term connecting, I might, I would add the word anchoring. You know, because life comes, life is coming at us fast right? Now, there's a lot It is, it's battering us, it's throwing us around, it's kind of hard to figure out which ways up. And so if you can attach yourself anchor yourself to something, it gives a sense of peace, possibly a false sense of peace, I think anchoring yourself to a political party is a wonderful way to have a false sense of peace, because it's going to let you down, they both primary political parties are letting their constituents down in pretty notable ways. And at the very least, I mean, it as it as a Christian, anything we put our ultimate hope in outside of Christ is going to let us down. So I think that's an that's significant. But um, yeah, there's a strong sense of this is a thing that I can turn to as I'm part of this, I'm connected to this, I'm anchored to this. It's not that dissimilar from you know, moving to the south, it was a shock to me, the way that people identify with college football teams, you know, fall in the south, is when people kind of come out of their shells the most in terms of what they identify as identify as a crimson tide fan. I'm a evolves fan, I'm a dogs fan, you know, whatever. Nobody's a Commodores fan, because Vandy has terrible balls. And and there's a touch of that with politics and it's not reasonable. It's ownership identifies this I own it and I will defend it to the death even if you point out all of the flaws in it. Like I don't care about any of those things. Don't insult my Don't insult my family. Um, yeah, so I think I think the connection thing is real I think identity which which is sad, because it's going to be hollow. And I think hope anchoring security, which is also kind of sad because it'll, it'll be a disappointment.

Brad
Yeah, so you recently we talked we talked a lot about before I went on the tangent there. We talked a lot about books in the the importance of writing, and the joy of being able to hit Submit on the manuscript and edited manuscript. That's a process you recently went through. I understand. Tell us a little bit about the book that you just wrote.

Barnabas
Yes, I just had a book come out early October called hoping for happiness, which, leading up to release, I wasn't sure if this was the worst year ever to release a book for that, or the best year. It's one of the it's one or the other. Because 2020 has been a challenging year for us all. Um, I think it landed at the right time, because I think a lot of people are looking around going, what does it look like to find meaningful happiness? And that's really the point of the book is what is a? What is a realistic, grounded, meaning for happiness? What does happiness look like in this life? When we look around and go, everything's a mess, but also God is good. So how do we be how do we hold these things? intention? Yeah, the the process itself was writing a book, or getting a book published, is a lot longer than you would think from the outside, it was probably, there's probably a two year process from talking to so I have a literary agent, which sounds super kind of snobby, and boozy, it does just means, right? It's not, um, it means that there is somebody who is very much better at connecting with publishers, and negotiating contracts than I am, I don't know, I can do that stuff. Because I worked in publishing, and it sucks the life out of me, and I hate it. He's very good at it. And he does it for a lot of authors. And he's very reliable person. So I went to him and said, hey, I've got this an idea we just kind of chewed through it. Took me a few months came back to him with kind of a full fledged proposal. So that's a writing sample. That's what is this about? Who is it for? How can I position it in a marketplace of like, what do I bring to the table as an author? But the writing samples a big piece, kind of what's the tone? What's the gist? What do you envision for this? He then took it around to a handful of publishers, the first four or five said, for whatever reason, they didn't think it was the right publication for them, which is always the case. I've never heard a story of an author saying, Yeah, I brought it to one publisher. And they said, Yes, sorry.

Barnabas
No, that's all right. That was actually my first publishing experience. So the first publishing experience I ever had was, was a single conversation. But I cheated. Because I knew the guy there. And so we had kind of been talking about the subject matter for a good while, and it kind of went back and forth. And then it kind of ended up as what have you, you know, I might make a good book someday. And then I went back to him a few months later and said, You're right, I think it might. So I wrote a book about it, or I'm going to, and he said, cool. Um, but I didn't get rejected on that one.

Brad
So you're still unicorn to me from the fact that you want a publisher, let that stand on its own.

Barnabas
Um, yeah, I'm in publishing, I have a I have a few an oddity and a couple senses. Because I worked in publishing for about 14 years. I work at a church now. But I worked in publishing for about 14 years. And those relationships changed the, the dynamics because I knew what not to do in some cases. And I knew exactly who to take things to, in a couple cases where it's just like, this is we could we could have conversations before I even propose anything so that the wheels were greased, if you will. But yeah, so after that, he you once once it landed with a publisher, and they said, Yes, we'd like to do this, then it then it gets into the weed, you know, you sign the contract, you have the due date, etc, then it's just the writing process, this publisher, on had a had a more intentional editing process throughout the writing of the book. In most cases, you turn in demand that you write the manuscript over the course of several months, you turn it in, they hold on to it for a while, and send back all the edits. And so it sort of like radio, silence, lots of work, radio, silence, lots of work. This was submitting it bit by bit, which I did not enjoy, but was very beneficial for the book. I didn't enjoy it, because I like to work on my own pace. And when the editors regular, like, Can you get me a chapter by this date? Can you give me a chapter by this date, it feels like being nagged. But I didn't turn in things late, too much. And it helped me build every chapter because the one before it had been kind of clarified, the editor had tightened it up already, right, so that the next one could could attach, I could attach it properly. And then once Yeah, once it's all turned in, then it's just several months of final edits. Then it's like the proofreading and the printing process. And somewhere in there, you're you're haggling with him over what the cover design looks like. And I was really pleased with this one day, you know, they had a handful of different comps and we went back and forth until we landed on one that I my main thing there is does it fit the tone of the book? Is it going to look good in five years? And am I going to be embarrassed to hand this to somebody I don't know very well. More importantly, am I going to be embarrassed that there's the hand of somebody I do know very well because they're the ones who are going to make fun of me. Like when you hand a book to your best friend, you know, they're gonna be honest and say, that looks ridiculous. Yeah, I needed to have one that they would look at and go, Oh, like I wanted that reaction.

Brad
Yeah, I love friends who will do that, right? If you have spinach in your teeth, a true friend is someone who will tell you that. In fact, just just yesterday, I sent out an email for muskox. And it was something along the lines of I just tried to sell a flannel to Tom Selleck. And I'd written the email, but I didn't read write the write the subject. And I had two friends who were like, Huh, I don't I don't get this. And I was like, Yeah, I don't know that I get it either. I think it's trying to draw attention. But I really, really appreciate you sharing that because that flags, something we can get better at. And I love it when people tell you that those friends make fun of you for your book cover. God bless them. Because I think that's that's important. Part of the problem is, it'll be like two years before I have a chance to fix it, because I'm not, I'm not working on another book just yet. So that's like, thanks. I'll file that one away for 2023 or something.

Brad
So who should read hoping for happiness? Who's people that are listening? Like, what? What should? What would that person look like? Who should read that book?

Barnabas
So there's kind of two groups who I looked at and said, I think this could be helpful to you. One is people who come out of a religious background where happiness is often seen as something to be suspicious of. You know, too much happiness means that we're not serious enough about the right things. And there's sort of a guilt about happiness. And so trying to pull those people into looking at life and saying, Look at these good gifts that God has given us, he would not have given us we talked about the outdoors earlier, talk about music, food, relationships is so many wonderful things, he wouldn't have given us these if he didn't intend us to enjoy them. So what does it look like to enjoy them? Well, the other side, so this is the second group are people who are constantly chasing, you know, jumping from job to job every two years trying to find that dream job, moving from relationship to relationship, trying to find that dream, somebody moving geographically trying to find that like the next adventure, but always feeling that emptiness after the thing. Well, there's a place for them to say, I think you're asking the wrong things of happiness that your life has so much to offer. But I think you're asking the wrong things. So what does it look like to find sort of a satisfying happiness in this life? Because again, all the things I just mentioned are good things relationships are is great work is great. All of these are gifts that God's given us. How do we use them in that way, so kind of pulling from both of those extremes that people who are suspicious of happiness, and the people who are just at a dead run after it constantly.

Brad
So if you've ever caught yourself saying no matter where I go, there I am. This this would be a good book for you can see you found that Jason that next location or place their state or city to try to make you happy, isn't working, hoping for happiness would be for you? Well, very good. I've got I've got two quick follow up questions for you before we let you go here. Bonus. Number one is what is your biggest pet peeve?

Barnabas
Currently, it's Nashville drivers. There's for a variety of reasons. Nashville is the worst driving city I've ever been in. And I've traveled a fair amount. I mean, even in the United States, I'm not going to compare it to it's the internet, the interstate system is a mess. There's a lot of people who grew up in small towns who live here now so they're terrified of the freeway. There's people from all over the country who live here so you get like your aggressive style from one state with you're putting stuff from another state. I find Nashville drivers to be like, it's just it's a regular source of me needing to like take seven deep breaths and apologize to somebody.

Brad
And and final question for you here is, what's the greatest piece of advice that you've received in your life? on man,

Barnabas
greatest piece of advice. I don't know that there's a particular phrase but categorically, it has been the importance of humility. As a Christian, that that means humility before the Lord. And so that looks like acknowledging my own sins and asking for forgiveness. It means humility towards other people acknowledging how I may have failed them my need to put others concerns before my own. In work, it means not you know, trying to climb over other people on the ladder but again, being being serving others, considering others before myself considering the gifts that God has given other people and rather than Just thinking of my own talents, and suddenly the humility has tendrils into every part of life, as you know, in in marriage and parenting in work in, in writing creative work. So I think I would put that up there and just say the importance of humility is probably the kind of that category is the best piece of advice.


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