So far if you’ve been following my behind-the-scenes look at the writing and publishing process, you know that assessing your motives, deciding your specific goals, and taking sound advice from 3 year-olds is all very important. But none of that actually involves writing. So we should probably talk about the writing aspect of writing, write? Hoo, probably lost a few readers there with that joke.
Now there are roughly two ways one can proceed with putting pen to paper, or actually fingers to keyboard, unless your older-school than me…and you’re probably not (I’m typing this with Word 2000 and sitting within reach of a Commodore 64 right now). The Type A’s arrange thoughts into a scaffold, logically organized and tied up with no loose ends. The Type B’s let the fire of literary passion produce whatever words on the page it does, not worrying about structuring them much until later…maybe. Well, yours truly is Type A to the umpteenth degree, so I made a big ole outline for the book I thought I wanted to write. The problem was a few weeks later my Type B fire (which was probably God redirecting me as I really don’t have Type B fire) got ignited by unforeseeable events, making my outline completely obsolete. Maybe someday I’ll still write that book, but the point is I couldn’t stop writing the new one, Healing Hereafter.
I initially told my family I was writing a 25 page response to someone’s confusing explanation of the biblical hereafter. 75 pages later it was starting to envelope numerous Q&A’s I had previously written on the same topic. 50 pages after that I was still writing-occasionally from sundown to sunup while my family slept-without breaking a physical or literary sweat. 100 pages after that I had incorporated multiple research endeavors. And finally, when the book was nearing completion, my Type A finally had its day, and I totally rearranged the book into an outline that made a lot more sense. But never in my life have I been so driven to finish a project I never anticipated starting; I literally couldn’t stop writing. Without the scaffold to guide me, I would have finished a mess, but without the passion to guide me, I wouldn’t have finished at all. In your writing endeavors, may you enjoy being both calculated and compelled to write whatever God has truly stirred in you! And in case you’re wondering, next time we’ll address the filthy state of my keyboard…;)