|Where I "worked" this weekend|
It is easy to become obsessed with a writing project.
This weekend I did not read anything related to my American Bible Society project. I spent most of the weekend relaxing at my parents' house in New Jersey while my wife and daughters were visiting my in-laws in Colorado. But I still got work done. The more I study the history of the American Bible Society the more it consumes my thoughts. I think about the American Bible Society in the shower, while I lay in bed at night, while I am watching a soccer match, and when I am driving.
Questions abound: How should I organize the book? How does the American Bible Society fit with larger patterns in American history and culture? How should I organize the first chapter? Have I read enough secondary material to start writing? Am I using my research assistants effectively? How do I balance the intense focus needed to complete this project with the attention that must be paid to the rest of my life, especially my family?
And more questions arise as I dig into more source material. This is how research works.
Right now I am in the zone. I am thinking constantly about the project and feel very productive. But what will happen in September when the academic year starts and I will not have as much time to devote to the project?
The thinking, ruminating, anxiety, and questioning are all part of the work of writing a book. So while I did not look at any ABS Annual Reports this weekend, I did feel like I had a productive weekend.
I hope to start writing the first chapter this week. Stay tuned.