Strength of Conviction

Anyone who has pre-ordered David Archuleta’s memoir, Chords of Strength, will likely have read Amazon’s product description.

This line has caused some to be very concerned about David releasing his memoir and others to be thrilled:

“In this personal memoir, David opens up about the strength he draws from his unshakable faith and unyielding family.”

Let’s take a look at both sides:

Pro: Understanding the depths and direction of David’s spiritual conviction.

Con: The impact of making such a statement of faith.

David has always acknowledged the strength that he receives from his faith; as a cornerstone to the way he lives his life. In becoming a more vocal, take-charge advocate for himself and – as a result – those who are affected by what he does, I see this memoir as part of that assertiveness.

To be afraid of this memoir is like telling David to stop being the person of faith he is. Will there be negative fallout in the media/press? Isn’t it always so, especially when a controversial topic is exposed. David has shown that he is aware of what is being said in the media, made obvious by his ready answers in the interview with Ryan Seacrest, and addressed these questions head on.

Remember this David quote: “I’m not going to pretend to be somebody else just to humour society”?

Just as he knew he had to sing “Imagine” that first time on American Idol, writing this memoir may well have come about in the same way:

“Sometimes I feel like I don’t have the knowledge it takes to be in this position. I don’t know if I deserve this. But God has different plans for me, and I trust Him.”

David trusts that this book needs to be published for a reason, so who am I to have doubts?

For the practical nerd in me, here are some statistics:

As of May 2, 2010 (9:15 am MST), here are the current statistics on the book from Amazon.com:

Sales Rank: #10,354 in Books (updated hourly)
Popular in these categories:
#3 in Books / Biographies & Memoirs / Arts & Literature / Composers & Musicians / Pop #7 in Books / Entertainment / Music / Musical Genres / Popular #11 in Books / Entertainment / Pop Culture / Music

Here are the current statistics on the book from Amazon.ca:

Sales Rank: #62,340 in Books (updated hourly)
Popular in these categories:
#19 in Books / Biographies & Memoirs / Arts & Literature / Composers & Musicians / Pop #82 in Books / Entertainment / Music / Musical Genres / Popular #19 in Books / Entertainment / Music / Biographies / Pop

I have only stated – in my opinion – the most significant pro and con. Is there more to consider? More than likely, so let’s hear your thoughts!

Awestruck

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37 Responses to Strength of Conviction

  1. archangel48 says:

    It’s become a SAD situation in the world when we have to wonder if David will lose fans because of his religious beliefs.
    We should all be so devoted and faithful as he is to his God and Family. You see how HAPPY he always seems to be? It’s too bad those that really “need” David in their life, won’t even give him or his music a listen because of this.
    I say…IT’S THEIR LOSS! 🙂

  2. awestruck says:

    archangel – I actually don’t think that David will loose many fans. Who will read his book? Those who are avid followers (and will accept it for what it is because they have been drawn to him despite the book) and those who do not follow David but look for books in this genre (that may produce new fans). I don’t believe the casual David follower will take the time.

    But, for those (few imo) that do read it and ‘get turned off’ – well, you are so right IT’S THEIR LOSS.

  3. TOfan says:

    Awestruck (and archangel48!),
    great food for thought. I admit I was initially worried that a David memoir would rekindle the hateful fires of the media & others who cyber-bullied David during Idol. Not so much for his religious beliefs but just for having the nerve to publish a memoir at 19.

    And as soon as you tell your life story in print, you’d better be prepared for it to be an open book, literally, for interviewers etc. But as you point out, his interview with Ryan def. showed glimmers of him saying “You know what? Bring it on!”

    Your post made me curious to see what the reaction was to Miley Cyrus’s “memoir” (published last year when she was only 15) … here’s an interesting reader comment from Barnes & Noble:

    if you like miley, dont read this. if you hate her, your opinion might change a little:
    i dont like miley but i got this book because it was on sale. it gave me a good insight into her life and made her a little more likeable, but i definitely didnt fall in love with her. if u like her a lot, reading this book may make you not like her as much. if u hate her, however, this book will make u like her more. i enjoyed it; if its on sale i say go for it

  4. archangel48 says:

    BTW Awestruck, thanks for writing about this subject. I believe there is MUCH to say about it…

  5. awestruck says:

    archangel – thanks!

    TOfan – David has persevered through stuggles some people will never have to face. It just so happens that he is only 19. Interesting comment on Miley’s memoir – never to early to learn and never too late (speaking for myself here!).

  6. munkmusic says:

    I look at it this way. David knows what he is doing. I trust him completely. I don’t second guess anything he does. He is in our lives for a reason. He is and will make a great impact in people’s lives. I have all the faith in the world in David and what he is doing. No worries here.

  7. abanana77 says:

    I truly believe that David has so many admirable qualities (his kindness, his humility, his optimism, etc.) because of his relationships with God and his family. So why not write about them?

    Sorry, but I actually can not stand when people attack other people about their religious beliefs (not saying that anyone’s attacking anyone on here, but just in genereal I hate it). Let people believe what they want to believe. And I’m proud of David for writing this memoir, not caring what the world thinks. Just another admirable quality I can add to the list.

  8. TOfan says:

    I’m proud of him too for writing this memoir, and I’m looking forward to seeing how he handles the tough questions that will inevitably come his way on the press tour for the book.

    Questions like, “You’re such a great role model for young people, would the time spent writing this book have been better spent completing your high school diploma?” or “You’ve mentioned ‘The Alchemist’ is your favourite book, what other books have you enjoyed reading?” 🙂

    I’m sure he’ll handle them beautifully, as always, and I’m also sure he knows not everyone asking them will be the fans that we are.

  9. refnaf says:

    Thanks Awestruck♥ This is something to think about>
    I know there are fans that are afraid of David’s religious viewpoint, so I am quite sure there will be many non-fans who will be “turned off” by that aspect of him. I would think that most peeps who purchase the book will be fans, who want to understand more about him. I think the things that people admire most about David, other than his musical artistry, stem from his belief and the way he choses to live, think and act.
    My hope is that David’s book adresses his faith on a very personal, spiritual level rather than on a religous level. When people share their “religion” it is much different (at least to me) than if they share their faith and spiritual connectedness to God.
    Some critics and interviewers will give David a hard time about this book, but I think he is up for it because he trusts that it is needful… many people will see why David “glows”. That sounds corny, but it is what it is.
    So Tofan , I’m not sure I should laugh at your interview questions or not!!! Do you think the Alchemist is the only book he has read???

    Question> Why would miley’s book make her fans not like her? Just wondering.

  10. awestruck says:

    munkmusic / abanana – I’d have to agree with your coments.

    Further, I think that people who attack others – wether it be for their looks, race, spirituality etc. – are people who are unsure of themselves, feel threatened for some reason, or are plain mean-spirited.

    TOfan – I think it must have taken a lot of courage for David to do this and I am proud too.

    refnaf – great point “My hope is that David’s book adresses his faith on a very personal, spiritual level rather than on a religous level.” I see him approaching it this way. In fact I have always found it kinda hard to see David do the standard Mormon mission. In very basic terms, it is my understanding that on a mission you go to help with whatever is needed, but that you also preach/talk about the religious beliefs of the LDS. (PLEASE, for anyone with more knowledge on this, correct me if I am wrong!). I can’t see David being comfortable doing the preaching/talking aspect of a mission. He seems to want to be the role model for people to follow with a ‘do by example’ approach.

  11. Joner says:

    I applaud David for addressing the spiritual side of himself in his book. He is laying his cards on the table and being true to himself. Bravo!

    People have been drawn to him not only for his vocal finesse but also because of his strength of character, warmth and compassionate nature. If people are uncomfortable or can’t comprehend what nurtures his soul then they have the right to support a different artist.

  12. mormonarchuletafan says:

    We were talking about this exact topic just today at lunch and realized in the end “Why are we concerned?” David has done and will continue to do exactly what he feels is right and what he feels the Lord has asked him to do. I am only curious to see whether it is just a little bit more than what we understand about him already or if it is deeply personal. Either way, people who are anxious to find fault, will, and those who love him will be grateful for what they learn.

    I doubt whether he will preach Mormon theology, but who knows? I am sure he understands that his religion makes some people uncomfortable, but I also believe that he is brave enough to face the discomfort if that is the only way to explain who he really is.

    I remember reading the memoir of Jehan Sadat many years ago and was impressed with how she was able explain her religion and her beliefs and how it was such an interwoven part of her existence and of who she and her husband were. It was not offensive in any way and never seemed exclusionary of divisive. I appreciate to this day the understanding I gained of Muslim culture. I’m sure if David chooses to go there, it will be much the same way.

  13. mormonarchuletafan says:

    awestruck, I just saw your last comment. People have asked me this question a lot: Because David is not trying to proselyte people now, how could he want to serve a mission where admittedly that is a large part of what they do?

    I think that speaks to the little disconnect that happens when people think about David’s religion – and I don’t mean it in a negative way! I know it’s hard to understand! But when you have found something that makes you so happy and gives depth and meaning and answers in your life, why would you feel uncomfortable sharing that with others who are looking for something that might be lacking in their own lives? It’s not hard, at least for me, to believe that of him at all.

    And for the record, I don’t think he will be going on a regular mission anytime soon 🙂 He understands perfectly how much good he is doing right now I think!

    • awestruck says:

      thank you for that perspective mormonarchuletafan. Of course that makes sense. I guess I have just never heard it from him in any interview…, but a mission would be very different from media attention wouldn’t it.

      Your comment “when you have found something that makes you so happy and gives depth and meaning and answers in your life, why would you feel uncomfortable sharing that with others who are looking for something that might be lacking in their own lives?” stikes a very real note with me in another sense as well. When I first heard David sing, I could answer what it did for me with your comment. He made me take a good long look at myself which in turn gave me a sense of direction, a sense of purpose. He made me happy (something I had not been in a long time). And YES I did want to share it with others so inclined… which ended up bringing me here…

  14. TOfan says:

    Refnaf,
    no I didn’t mean those possible interview questions to be funny, I think he’ll be asked even more hard-hitting ones … I’m sure he knows that too, though.

    And reading the reviews of Miley’s memoir (which also addressed her strong faith), no one seemed to take issue with her speaking frankly about her beliefs … and it certainly hasn ‘t hurt the girl’s career! And when David told Ryan during their interview that the book will talk about “his relationship” with God, I took that to mean that, as Ref suggested, he’ll address “his faith on a very personal, spiritual level.”

    momjulee, “people who are anxious to find fault, will, and those who love him will be grateful for what they learn” yes, yes and YES!

  15. abanana77 says:

    Guys all this talk is getting me excited!! <333 David WANTS to share what he's written with us. And I WANT to read it.

  16. JEB says:

    Great discussion! This aspect of David’s book is something I have been a little concerned about but handled in the right manner the subject of his faith could be a great thing and open a lot of eyes. I have felt for a long time that he is the perfect person to allow people to see that various religions have more in common than they think and to emphasize open mindedness and tolerance. Perhaps he can also push back some of the stereotypes of Mormons. David is so open to people of all races, religions, sexualities etc. which is not what many expect of a Morman. David is also an example to young people that you can have high standards and stick to them – a rarity amongst young celebrities. So I’m hoping for the best when it comes to this section of his book.

  17. awestruck says:

    Joner – “If people are uncomfortable or can’t comprehend what nurtures his soul then they have the right to support a different artist.” Without any media / internet bashing please.

    abanana – I do too, like yesterday.

    JEB – “various religions have more in common than they think” and “Perhaps he can also push back some of the stereotypes of Mormons” – I think it is always a good thing to get people (especially when it comes to religion) to realize that they are more alike than not and this would, perhaps, help reduce the need to stereotype.

    Also “David is also an example to young people that you can have high standards and stick to them” Are they not lucky to have him? But, an example to not only the young people of today (who face ginormous challeneges imo), but also to people of every age group (as I raise my 50 year old hand)!

    Deseret Books (3 so far) shows on their promo’s for David’s book signings that he will also PERFORM. New single maybe??? Woo Hoo!

  18. bluebar says:

    Hello Snowangelz –
    Info from the Bookends website in Ridgewood, NJ.

    “Can’t make a signing?
    We take phone orders for signed copies.
    Call now at 201-445-0726!”

    Although I have books coming from Amazon, I did call and place an order for a signed copy! Just couldn’t resist.
    I spoke with Carol at the store. She could not tell me how many books will be available for this signing, but they are expecting a big crowd, and said they will order more if needed.
    Signed copies will be available after June 1st as well.

    She did say the books do not arrive already signed. David has to do that ahead when he gets to the store… and it continues for “as long as he feels like signing!!”
    She also said sometimes people start lining up at 7am., but mostly the “crowds” arrive an hour before the scheduled time.
    Haha, she may not know “Archies!”
    I bet people will be lined up at the Bookends door, down the street and around the block – and far into the next zip code – for most of the day hoping too, to get a glimpse of David when he arrives! Do they realize screams may be heard all the way to Toronto?!!? 🙂

    Hope this is helpful for anyone going. I used to live in NJ very close to Ridgewood, so I know the area well and really regret not being able to make the trip there at this time. I won’t have this opportunity to see David, but I’ll have a signed book and be just as thrilled!
    Also, waiting and waiting for that CD! And, TOUR!!
    Look forward to meeting up with the Snowgalz!!

  19. awestruck says:

    bluebar – thanks you for this info – I wish I could be there. Bookends has NO idea what’s coming.

    “screams heard in Toronto” LOL

    Think Canadians can order too? Runs off ot make a phone call…

    Just ordered 2 more copies signed!!

  20. TOfan says:

    Have been off-line all day & just saw the news that the Utah book signings may include performances of a song or two. Woooot! Oh to have a private jet!

    Bluebar, thanks for that info, and yes, screams will be heard in Toronto … MINE! ‘cuz I can’t go!!! LOL

    JEB,
    “I have felt for a long time that he is the perfect person to allow people to see that various religions have more in common than they think and to emphasize open mindedness and tolerance.” He is indeed.

    David’s own inclusiveness and tolerance serve as wonderful examples and, like all great artists, his music helps us feel more connected to one another … that we’re not so different after all. I imagine his book will do the same.

  21. Suzy-Q says:

    Thanks, Bluebar for the info on the book. I just finished calling the bookstore and ordered one. I also have one coming from Amazon. WooWoo!!!!

  22. thatdad'gumkizzilol says:

    great discussion all. had a few secs for a fly by check in. hugs to all in SAz land. 😀

  23. refnaf says:

    Bluebar! Thanks for the book info. I am ordering tomorrow! Woot. We will see you next tour for sure!
    I am tempted sooo badly to go to a book signing, we’ll see how things pan out. Maybe Utah!?!?!?

    momjulee> “he is brave enough to face the discomfort if that is the only way to explain who he really is.” David’s bravery is a joy to see. “I’m not going to pretend to be somebody else just to humour society”? is a very brave thing to say in this society where so much is fake… we love him cause he is real and genuine (he can sing too). I think you’re right that David sees that what he is doing now with his music is a mission in so many ways. He knows that his gift is to be shared and he is working so hard to do that. I admire him alot.

    JEB> excellent point! David is a perfect example of how to focus on what brings us together instead of our differences….he is so open to everyone, we should strive for that .

    TOfan> “his music helps us feel more connected to one another”. Amen. Look at all the online connections that have been made! The connectedness with peeps at a concert is an incredible thing. Feels like we are all friends from forever. I guess maybe we are♥ I am still amazed by that. It is all such a blessing.

    Awestruck> thanks for sharing this… ditto.
    “He made me take a good long look at myself which in turn gave me a sense of direction, a sense of purpose. He made me happy (something I had not been in a long time). And YES I did want to share it with others so inclined… which ended up bringing me here…”

  24. refnaf says:

    Just ordered my books!!! The guy on the phone asked me where I’d heard about it cause they are getting tons of calls!!! I told him it’s all over the fansites (I mentioned a certain Canadian site too)They are the only store offering signed copies for sale and asked me to spread the word. I said “wow, David is going to need to do a lot of autographs” and he said “Yeah, but he seems like a really nice guy” I went on to tell him how wonderful he is, haha.
    This is going to be a great summer! woot

  25. awestruck says:

    waves Kizzi

    refnaf – Way To Go! Promote David, give SnowAngelz a shoutout… Sooo you got multiple copies too? (On top of the multiple copies I have coming from Amazon.) Life is GOOD

    Poor David his hand / arm is going to be SORE.

  26. stenocruiser says:

    Just ordered my autographed copy (of course in addition to those pre-ordered from Amazon.com and Amazon.ca). A very nice fellow took my order in a business-like manner — no chitchat, no asking how I knew about it, guess he’s been filled in by the tonnes of previous callers. This is so exciting!

    • awestruck says:

      Yup stenocruiser, the man that took my order was the same way (probably the same fellow). refnaf was lucky to get a bit of conversation in!

  27. TOfan says:

    yay, steno, awestruck & refnaf! Nice to know they’ll take Canadian orders!!

    Here are pics from Mike K’s Facebook (have got to get that guy a Twitter acct.! (not to mention better lighting! 🙂 ) ):

    David, Mike & KC1

    David, Mike & KC2

  28. TOfan says:

    And along with the pics, a little Mike Krompass trivia … Mike is listed in the credits for the theme song for that Canadian classic Degrassi The Next Generation (which happens to be filmed in my neighbourhood! Woot!). Matthew Gerrard also contributed songs for the show.

  29. archangel48 says:

    WOOT! WOOT! Bluebar! You ROCK! I was all set to make the 9 1/2 hour trip to Minnesota for David’s book-signing, when I realized a very close cousin’s daughter has her openhouse on that day! GAH! So thankful I can still get an autographed copy anyway!!! THANK-YOU, THANK-YOU, THANK-YOU!!! 🙂

  30. SandyBeaches says:

    Well, I have ordered my signed book and when they had my address from Canada, they mentioned that there have been quite a number of people call from Canada already!

    I had a chat with the girl who took the info. and gave her a heads up as well just because it is David and one has to be prepared for an amazing event! Now they don’t need to say, ‘Wow what a shock, they were lined up for miles”…We have been on a starvation diet after all and it will be crazy!

    SB

    • awestruck says:

      SB – hopefully between you and refnaf here’s hoping they understand what’s about to happen!

  31. archangel48 says:

    Good news…Looks like a repeat of David’s showing on icarly is on @ 7:30 Saturday May 8

    iRocked the Vote
    A singer wins a television contest after an iCarly webcast causes a huge spike in votes.

  32. refnaf says:

    David’s latest tweet “The sky never ceases to amaze me. So beautiful with all the colors while the sun sets.”
    I do not know why but the way he worded that touched me deep when I read it ***sniff***

  33. awestruck says:

    (((refnaf))) David is touched by the most basic things is he not? Many things that a lot of us take for granted and fail to notice anymore. Brings us back to what’s important, ya know.

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