Here’s a real practical question: Who authors what? Between Chris and Wendy Jeub (and occasionally one of our children), how can you tell who is who?
We’ve given this a lot of thought, and this post lets you into it. Outside our closest friends and family, there are three channels of communication we keep open to the public. They are (1) our books, (2) our blog, and (3) our social media. Let’s break each of these down.
1. Jeub Family Books
We go way deep in our books. I (Chris) am a publisher and an editor. When TLC did a show on us in 2007, Wendy and I decided to respond by writing Love in the House. We had a lot of fun writing it, and it actually led to the reconciliation with our then-estranged daughter, whom I had proof-read our book before its printing. The book has helped thousands with their struggle with prodigal children, as well as shake up legalistic parenting models that (ironically) can lead to prodigals.
Wendy and I wrote that book ourselves. Literally. She started with a rough draft, with the help of a friend. I went through it, Wendy went through my changes, I went through her changes of my changes, and so on. I suppose it isn’t much different than working with a professional editor, we just sleep in the same bed. Wendy wrote a book herself, Love in a Diet. Same with the cookbooks, though they are co-authored with our eldest-at-home and cooking expert, Cynthia.
The #1 reason for writing the books is to provide answers for the most popular questions we receive. We actually browse our Google Analytics to see what people are most interested in. This is why we refer people to our books when they ask simple questions like, “What do you prepare for dinner?” Here is a list:
- “What did you think of being filmed on TLC?” Read Love in the House (2007)
- “How do you afford buying groceries?” Read Love in the Kitchen Vol. 1 (2008)
- “What kinds of meals do you prepare for your family?” Read Love in the Kitchen Vol. 2 (2009)
- “How do you, Wendy, look so good after 16 children?” Read Love in a Diet (2010)
- “Why do you continue to have children?” Read Love Another Child (2011)
2. Jeub Family Blog
I (Chris) am in charge of the blog. Blogging is a lot of fun, much like being the chief editor of a magazine (which I have done in years past). All of us have writing privileges, particularly taken advantage of by Wendy, Cynthia and me. Lydia, now and then, will post something. Our routine is posting a new blog post every morning at 5:00 am, queued up the night before. We’ve made about 80% of those days in the past year. Not too shabby!
If a post is written by either of us with the aid of the other, it is co-authored by the both of us. This article is co-authored: initiated by me, finished off by Wendy. There are many articles that we take the helm and write ourselves. Wendy typically likes to blog about her exercising and encouragements to other moms, I tend to get political and analytical. When we do that, we make sure our bylines are our own.
What has been particularly fun has been the comment section. I cannot tell you how much Wendy and I enjoy reading your perspectives. Even the snarky ones. We open up our comment section, only blocked if there is vulgarity or obvious spam (we have some fail-proofs in place). We’re not afraid of someone posting something we disagree with. Actually, we like it when someone does pipe up and take the time to express their disagreement. It leads to a healthy conversation, and believe it or not, we have learned a lot from you.
A blog is easier to maintain for a full-time worker like myself. I’m self-employed, largely at my computer all day and evening, able to catch comments here and there as the day rolls on. What I despise is Facebook (I’m more of a Twitter kind of guy…post it and keep on running). If my business didn’t require my visiting Facebook everyday, I’d gladly refrain. As for communicating with you, I’m sooooo glad Wendy is in charge of that realm. Next, her 2 cents. (Really people love fb maybe pick a different word then despise and require)
3. Jeub Family Social Media
I (Wendy) frequently jump on Twitter or Facebook adding tidbits here and there. I talk about cooking, homeschooling, parenting, and frugal living. My day is wrapped around managing the home of many children, so I do not have as much computer time as Chris.
I don’t enjoy debating as much as Chris does. I respond more to thoughtful people who ask honest questions. Facebook is nicer when it comes to that, our blog attracting the trolls and spammers. I spend my time thinking over a thoughtful question and answering in kind. I jump on our comment area when Chris says there are some good comments to respond to.
Honestly, I don’t have very much time for writing, so I must keep my scope and focus for writing down to a tight time limit. I apologize if I appear unresponsive. It has everything to do with focusing on my family. Know that I try hard to write down notes when they come to mind, and then I take those and write out longer posts when I have free time.
Currently I am working hard on my third cookbook and that is taking much of my writing time and energy. I really enjoy it, and boy, you’re in for a great cookbook!
So there you have it. We divide our labor and are quite productive because of it. Not much different than other families, really. We figure out our strengths and weaknesses, what works and what doesn’t, and adapt to our environment.
Doesn’t every family? We would love to hear from you about this; post below.