When Roy Goble started his blog, Junkyard Wisdom, in 2009, he wasn’t thinking about writing a book. In fact, he wasn’t even thinking about writing a blog. Junkyard Wisdom was more of a depository, a chronicle, a convenient container for anecdotes from his life. “It really began with my kids and wife saying that I needed to write my stories down as a family history,” says Goble.

Four years later, what began as a family history metamorphosed into a volume of stories that all speak to the theme of wealth and how we perceive it in our rich first-world culture. So how did that happen? Read Roy Goble’s interview below to find out.

Roy GobleHumble Beginnings

From the very start, Goble has let his own interests dictate content. “My first few blog posts weren’t very good,” laughs Goble. After recording some family stories, he forayed into another topic that interests him: wine. “I did a few wine reviews, but those weren’t good either. So, instead, I tried out wine stories, and those were better.” After an experimental start, Goble found that his audience liked the specific stories. Tales about finding a great wine, or mishaps and escapades along the way, were much more entertaining than simple reviews.

Eventually, Goble expanded even further to another interest of his: books. “I read over 100 books per year, so I started doing reviews on the ones I like.” If you think a blog about family stories, wine, and books sounds like a broad spectrum, you’re not alone.

“People will look at my blog and say, ‘You’re all over the map!’” says Roy. “I just tell them, ‘well, that’s my life!’” In addition to running two businesses (a wine operation and an olive oil operation), Goble also serves on four boards and has to travel extensively for his work. “I call it a ‘Liberal Arts Lifestyle,’” he quips.

But when Goble first began considering the possibility of moving his material from a blog to a book, he realized that his stories were not so disparate as they might seem on the surface. “Three or four years into it, I realized that a lot of my writing had to do with the integration of wealth and faith, especially in the context of our first-world society,” says Goble. “Finding that theme was a surprising discovery.” And an important one. Although friends had suggested that Goble write a book before, now he could see a way to make it cohesive.

Junkyard Wisdom: From Blog to Book

Roy GobleAs any writer will tell you, different mediums come with different demands. Roy’s transition from blog to book was no exception. “I used a lot of stories from the blog (which have been removed since publication—readers will have to get the book to find them!), but I also realized that, while I told stories on the blog, I hadn’t fully developed the theology or underlying ideas,” says Goble. So, while some of the actual life events were recycled, the book was written from scratch, deepening and exploring the ideas he had raised.

Goble noticed the difference in approach right away. “Blogging is great exercise for writers because you’re not worrying, necessarily, about grammar or anything. You’re just writing,” he explains. “It’s like popcorn for the brain.”

To Goble, writing a book requires a slower, more detailed approach—and lots of patience for revision. With his stockpile of stories to pull from and a well-unified theme, Goble never struggled with writer’s block. “It was more ‘writer’s boredom,’” he says. “I’d write a chapter, then reread it and think it was boring. And I thought that if I thought it was boring, my audience certainly would. So I’d go back and rewrite it again and again until it wasn’t boring anymore.”

Eventually, he finished. Junkyard Wisdom, the blog turned book, was a reality at last and ready for publication.

The Benefits

Since publishing Junkyard Wisdom, Goble has had time to reflect on the benefits of having his stories in a book. “Part of the book that I didn’t anticipate is that it benefitted the nonprofits I work with,” he explains.

Goble also looked back with gratitude at the publication process, and the freedom he had to create. “I really appreciate that Deep River Books gave me the freedom to be a little edgy—like in chapter 5, for instance,” says Roy. “Most Christian publishers wouldn’t do that, but I wanted to be able to include whatever worked best to communicate my story to the readers.”

Although Roy’s blog continues to be fairly well-trafficked, he says he doesn’t really worry about it. In fact, his mentality for both the book and blog’s popularity are similar. “It’s not going to be a best-seller. It’s not a ‘get rich quick’ book,” he explains. “But there’s probably about a thousand, maybe two thousand people out there that it’s meant for. Same with my blog. It’s for a specific group. I’m not going to compete with the CEO of a Fortune 500 on financial advice, or even John Ortberg, but I can find my own voice. It won’t attract the same audience, or even the same size of audience, but it will speak to someone.”

And to Roy Goble, that’s what really matters.

If you’re interested in keeping up with Roy Goble, visit junkyardwisdom.com.