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Andrea Lucado

Should You Pre-order English Lessons? Probably. Here’s Why.

So the process of releasing a book is in full swing. This time last year I was hardly able to tell you what the book was about. Now, I can tell you everything! It’s so great. I don’t know if you’re into pre-ordering books or not. I am, but only for special books. For example, as soon as I heard Arundhati Roy was releasing her second novel, 20 years after releasing her first, I pre-ordered it online immediately. Pre-ordering ensures you will get a copy in case stock gets low. It ensures you will…

English Lessons Launch Team: How You Could Be On It

I tell a story in the book about this time in Oxford when somebody stole a battery from me. I rode a bike everywhere in Oxford. I didn’t have a car, so I depended on that bike to get me from here to there, rain or shine. It was illegal to ride a bike in Oxford without a headlight and taillight. Or, as we liked to call them, “front lights” and “back lights.” One night I went to a pub and locked up my bike outside. When I came back out, ready to go home, my front light didn…

“At the Well”

It’s Friday night. I’ve been working and what I really want to do is lie down and binge watch West Wing. But instead I am here, typing. I just listened straight through Bethany Barnard’s new album three times in a row. The fifth song is called “At the Well.” It has a sort of haunting sound to it (in a good way), so haunting that it compelled me to forgo my binge watching for the evening and write this instead. Have you ever been continuously drawn to a certain passage in scripture but you weren’t sure…

English Lessons: The Book Cover and How Writing Makes You Crazy

Around this exact moment on this day last year, I hit SEND on my manuscript. I had spent the previous nine days in a bit of a frenzied state. I did not speak to other people. I holed up in a garage apartment in the country for a couple of days. My physical appearance got scary. All I did was write, and read out loud and go on runs. For nine days. In that time I rethought my entire book. I questioned everything I had been writing for the last two and a half years. I decided to change my…

2017.

2017. I know three things about it so far: It will be the year my first book releases. It will be the year I move home. And, I hope, it will be the year that I rest. I think above all else, 2016 made me aware of how tired I feel. I’m not sure I’m supposed to confess that sort of the thing in a New Year’s blog post, but that’s the truth. I am tired. In September this year, my dad and I attended the Harvester Island Wilderness Workshop, led by writer Leslie Leyland Fields…

The Name Jesus. The Word Love.

Perhaps what has brought me hope these last few weeks is seeing people come together. An election that has made many groups feel as if they’ve been voted against as someone else was voted for, we have linked arms in a necessary kind of way, vowing to stand up for each other and remember that none of this is normal. With our skills, vocations and talents—as artists or lawyers or teachers or pastors or leaders—we will fight for human rights. We will show them that love trumps hate. This weekend at church we sang a song with…

What Empathy Is and What It Is Not

I went hiking with a friend a few weeks ago and learned a lot about empathy. I learned a lot about it from myself, who was not being very empathetic. My friend was sharing a really hard thing with me and I kept chiming in with examples from my own life. Something deep down inside of me was saying, “Stop doing that. You’re not helping.” But I couldn’t. I just kept sharing my own stories, diminishing and quieting hers. I really was trying to be a good friend. I was trying to be an empathetic friend, but what…

The Opposite of Fear Is Not Courage

A few months ago I had a week full of fear related to my work. I felt overwhelmed, andthe thoughts running through my head looked something like this: “I don’t know what I’m doing.” “This is too much.” “I need to just find another job.” “I’m not going to be able to fulfill everyone’s expectations.” You may recognize this pattern of negative self-talk. Rapid-fire statements rooted in a place of fear. Each one you listen to and believe hits you a little harder and if you’re not careful, you will one day find…

Between the Wish and the Thing

There’s this quote from All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy that has been totally haunting me this year: “Between the wish and the thing the world lies waiting.” Have truer words ever been written? That sentence is a bit glum on first reading. A lot of the things McCarthy writes are glum, but as I’ve turned this sentence over and over in my head, I see some hope in it. He says “the world lies waiting.” We’re all in this waiting thing together. So, so much of life is waiting for something we want to…

A Few Thoughts on Quitting Your Job and Going Freelance

A little over a year ago I quit my job at a publishing house and went freelance full time. Freelance writing, that is. Which has also meant some freelance PR and some speaking and some other ways that I found out I can be “freelance.” My overall thought on being a freelance writer is that 1. I really love it and 2. it’s really hard. It’s not for everybody, I don’t think, and there were many times this year that I thought it wasn’t for me. Like the time in January when I had been working…