Monday, January 15, 2007

I'm on my spring writing schedule

I’ve started my spring writing schedule for the Apostle’s Creed book.. it goes like this:

WEDNESDAY –I research all morning reading the chapter in other books related to the phrase in the creed I’m studying. Here are the writers I find the most helpful:

  • Alister McGrath (I believe)
  • Luke Timothy Johnson (the Creed)
  • Wolfhart Pannenberg (The Apostle’s Creed)
  • Hans Urs von Balthasar (Credo)
  • William Barclay (Aposle’s Creed)
  • Martin Luther (Large Catechism)
  • Emil Brunner (Sermons on the creed)
  • Karl Barth (Dogmatics in outline—Creed)
  • Thomas Aquinas (last sermons-on the creed)
  • Augustine (Enchiridion)
    Plus several other littler dogs (Roger Van Harn, Pritchard etc)

By noon I have taken all my notes on 3X5 cards. I have read all these books already—last year I read them all, this time I am extracting ideas to ponder before writing myself.

THURSDAY-SUNDAY –I carry my 3X5 cards with me everywhere and let my mind “write in background” for these four days, often flipping though the notes to refresh the ideas and adding new ones as they develop ex nihilo, or at least it seems that way. As the weekend approaches the dots start to connect and an “outline” of sorts begins to emerge in my head. During this time I also pray for inspiration…seeking the Lord’s guidance on what should come to the front for my readers and what needs to be left on the cutting room floor.

MONDAY –Is my writing day.
Before going to sleep I refresh my mind once again with the cards so as to program my overnight thinking with the ideas.
-I get up at the normal time and have coffee.
-I get a bath, put on my “writing coat” (a magical corduroy coat that helps ;-) and polish my shoes.
-I spread the cards out all across the floor beside my computer and organize them into a passable outline
-I type the outline into my chapter document.
-I launch into writing and don’t back up even to correct errors.
-After writing 2000 words I eat potatoes & eggs for breakfast as a reward
-I return and finish by noon
-Then I go to lunch where I meet with fellow profs in a Barth reading group.

I let the manuscript marinate and move on to other chapters. After a couple weeks of the above I start rewrite on old drafts “in the cracks” of my week’s schedule

IN MAY I will start rewrite of the whole manuscript—editing the “book” as one whole—this is a totally separate process of 15 separate drafts and will take a couple months of daily work after school is out.

If everything goes right the manuscript will be ready to turn in “for editing” in mid July.

Thanks for any prayers you can send up for me this spring.

--coach d