It took seven years for me to write, "No Mercy." I stopped and started, stopped and started. There are lots of reasons why, but the primary culprit for stopping was… Fear!
Fear of the critics. Fear my heart’s work would languish. Fear of disappointment. Fear of public opinion, especially church leadership. Fear I would sabotage my reputation. Fear of indifference. Fear of failure.
Publishers didn’t like my manuscript—at all! They didn’t like my subsequent efforts—any of them. They wanted a formula, something safe, and predictable, and routine, and inside the box of normalcy. I couldn’t do it—wouldn’t do it. Ultimately, they gave up on my book and me.
I originally wrote "No Mercy" using a pseudonym—for protection. I feared what people would think. I feared the repercussions.
"No Mercy" is a revolutionary work. I blew up the standard (apart from printing on paper) because I didn’t want to “write another book.” Each time I stopped, I began again. I persisted. The book was in my heart and needed to be written.
Fear is not bad unless you let it paralyze you. When I’m in the Texas woods, I stop and study before I step over a log. I fear the Copperhead (i.e., a poisonous snake) that might be underneath. But I still go to the woods—and I get over the log.
As I wrote recently, fear is the belief that you can find yourself someplace where God is not. Stopping my writing of "No Mercy" inevitably drove me to the streets of my neighborhood to discuss the book project with my Father in heaven. I walked and we talked. Father was not absent—is not absent.
And "No Mercy" is written and delivered. No pen name!
In the book, Hank Henderson confronts his fears. His story shows us how to persist.