Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Reviewing My Reviews

Last week, while writing yet another book review, I realized that I had read a small pile of books this summer.  Most of these books could be categorized as theological, sociological, or pastoral.  A few were niche books related to some aspect of ministry.

Not all of these book reviews came easily.  Some of them had to be dredged up from some deep and creative space.  But I'm still learning how to write good reviews.  There's an art to it.  And responsibility.  And a deadline.

As strange as it may sound, I have always felt that I write much better when I am overloaded with work. Time, ease, and adequate space make for low-production.  I do better with encroaching deadlines, tight schedules, harried days and nights when there is no time for TV, conversation, fun or relaxation.  I do much better with a tight back, cramped fingers and red eyes.  I aspire for the frantic pace and the early mornings and the late nights and the all-day, 18-hour-straight marathons that test the mettle and the mind.  I love the butt-binding work of being saddled to an office swivel-chair in front of a glowing screen, draining pots of coffee for hours, eating nothing, losing weight, and stopping only to pee . . . and then back to the keyboard.

Not long ago my editor wrote asking:  "Can you read and review five books in a week?  Would this overload you?"

Currently, no.  I wish she would send me fifty books, in fact.  I'd like to try and write fifty reviews in a week.  Might be a record. 

I've got the coffee to swing it. 

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