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


Erin Crisp said...

Thanks for sharing your writer's process. One of these days I'll get serious about my writing, and when I do I'll have you to thank- for putting yourself out there again and again, for encouraging my writing years ago at IWU, and just for being Coach D.

Ken Schenck said...

In honor of your jacket, I've decided to christen my new Superman hat my novel hat... I may never wear it :-)

erick said...

Coach D, what works will you be reading by von Balthasar? I find him quite enjoyable (hey look everyone, its quasi-Barth gone high church!) and was curious to see what you will be reading. By the way, I'm visiting and interviewing at Saint Louis University (for Historical Theology) this next Tuesday... just so you didn't think I fell off the grad school map. ;) Erick M.

coach d said...

ERIN: You bet --it'll happen eventually...right now you're preparing yourself... writing in your head... just don't do that all your life...

KEN: HA! I can just see you now writing in that hat!

ERICK: I should have listed the names of the books...they are allmost all called the same though--I went back and added the names this morning... your description of UVB is right on target! I love how he "sings" of God... wish I could write more like him--he makes one praise...!

Amanda said...

Praying for you...

Erick said...

I didn't realize von Balthasar devoted a book to the Creed, oh how I wish I had the time to read von Balthasar in juxtaposition to Barth... sometimes school gets in the way of education.

David Drury said...

Wow... I thought I had your "process" down but the shoe shine is a new one to me!!! Is that an old one you've kept a lid on or a new obsession?


I can't wait to see this book. wonderful

The AJ Thomas said...

Thanks for doing this. I think this book will be an incredible and much needed discipleship tool for churches.

Brandon & Jennifer said...

Your self-discipline and consistency are impressive and inspiring. Thanks for setting the bar high!


PS> Prayed for you today and for the impact of this book.

coach d said...

DAVID: The polish-shoes routine says to myself “Dress up for your readers—this is your Sunday morning time.” I started that with “No I in church and it made a 2% difference ;-)

AJ== Thanx for the encouraging word on need… I think the next wave of issues is going to be the core faith—the common ground all Christians agree on and always have… while debating eternal security, tongues and the rapture is fun, it is not where the core faith is found... and I don’t think these things will make an unbeliever out of one…the creed stuff will. Thanks for the word.

BRANDON—wrong! I am a lazy undisciplined slob… which is precisely why I must set a regimen like this ! Thanks for the prayer too—I had a few prayer partners pray be through the last two books and they were better for it.

Jeanine Long said...

Keith --

You'll stay on my prayer list through Spring. BTW, the class is still going great!