Should We Be Worried About Tim McGraw’s Side Hustle?

How Authoring Seems to Coexist Peacefully with Country Singing

Earlier this summer, when Tim McGraw announced his book project, Songs of America, I was all for it. I mean, I’d love him in Tim McGraw and the Dancehall Doctors in 2002. That book documented his dairy of sorts when he made his seventh studio album with his road band at the time. I read it from cover to cover like it was a thriller I couldn’t put down. Literally, down to the last line of the last page, when McGraw shared that his favorite song ever is/was Hank Williams’ “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry.”

Then there was My Little Girl in 2008.

Then there was Humble & Kind in 2016.

And then there was Songs of America: Patriotism, Protest, and the Music That Made a Nation, released in June 2019.

That one reportedly came together after Jon Meacham and McGraw — Nashville neighbors — were at a Christmas party and McGraw asked the writer if he’d ever considered connecting the dots between political attitudes in America throughout history with music. That’s how that one was born.

And then I blinked and there was yet another McGraw book coming out. It’s called Grit & Grace: Train the Mind, Train the Body, Own Your Life, and will be out in early November. “My mind is clearer, my sense of purpose is sharper, and my relationships are deeper,” McGraw says of the book that will unearth the physical and mental tools readers can use to make their own transformation. “Consistent physical exercise helps me bring focus to my life and to the people who mean the most to me.”

That’s five books. No other country star has an Amazon author page this exhaustive.

So penning books is starting to feel like more than a side hustle or a one-off thing for McGraw. I know all too well how hard it is to face that blank sheet of paper every morning. It takes everything I have to sit down and write, rewrite, write again, edit and write some more, and this is my only job. I don’t know how McGraw juggles is all: father, husband, son, brother, singer, producer, and now author. (Oh, and don’t forget actor. And pilot. And philanthropist.)

That said, it’s not as if McGraw has abandoned country music. Not at all. He’s released two singles of his yet-to-be-named upcoming album, “Neon Church” and “Thought About You.”

So I guess the only logical conclusion is that McGraw is the best kind of multitasker: one who does each task well, gives everything everything he’s got, and makes it all look so damn effortless.

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