If you read my blog much, you may think I find it easy to write. It would be more accurate to say that I find it easy to blog. The barest hope that there might be someone out there reading motivates me. How do I crank out so many books, someone asks. It's because blogging 500 words is like having a conversation before breakfast.
I have a friend who just can't get his dissertation done, but he is quite a verbal person. I've suggested over and over that he record himself talking in the car and then write it up or maybe even email me as a motivation.
Scholarly writing is a different bird. It can take hours to craft a sentence. It can take days to finish a footnote. You end up sitting for an hour combing through a book that you don't end up using. It's hard enough to write books like that when you teach 4 courses each semester. But it's easier to get a camel through the eye of a needle than for an administrator to write a scholarly book.
And let me be clear that I've only written one truly scholarly book. Most people have no idea what a real scholar looks like.
So sue me for moaning and groaning. Another frustrating feature of scholarly writing for me is that I often finish a chapter--or an article--and realize all I have really done is figured out the content of what I want to say. If I really want the material to have impact, I'll have to rewrite the entire chapter all over again in a different arrangement.
So I've written 10,000 words of a chapter introducing the "new perspective on Christian Judaism." But it's completely predictable--Sanders, Dunn, Wright, Hays... I'm looking at it and feeling completely average, even below average. Surely I can come up with a better way to present this worn out path.
I just wanted to vent. I may end up going with it. In the meantime, I'm going for a run...
Thanks for listening... or not :-)