Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Still Thinking About Writing With the Flow

Yes, I'm still thinking about that. I wrote my post from yesterday at work, e-mailed it to myself at home, and posted it in the early evening. After that, I got to work on the passage notes and completed one passage. That still gave me time to read a literary agent's blog, and achieve my reading goals for the night. Oh, and I got caught up on my personal finance budgets and on the checkbook. So I would call it a successful evening, if only there were more left in the checkbook and the budget balanced.

Tonight I decided to continue with the passage notes in the Harmony of the Gospels. I'm at the place where Jesus warned his disciples, and the crowd, to beware of the teachers of the law and the Pharisees (Mark 12:38-40, Matthew 23:1-12, and Luke 20:45-47). I originally worked on this 2 October 2001, and appear to have completed it in one evening. Now, however, as I was writing the passage notes "with the flow," I saw a number of places where my original harmony missed some key information. So I took time to break the passage down into smaller chunks, something I didn't do before, and reworked the harmony. I'm more pleased with it now, as it is more complete.

Maybe this writing with the flow is better. My mind is still engaged on these passages and on the passage notes. The way I'm writing them is to go back to my hand-written notebooks--three of them--where I wrote out the passages, discussed the similarities and differences, then wrote the harmony. Sometimes I began with chunks too big, and had to go back to the beginning with smaller bites. I should have done that with the passage in question. What I'm doing now is typing those notes I made as I harmonized the four gospels. However, I'm expanding my personal shorthand, and adding a few extra comments I didn't before--the laziness of writing by hand when you're used to typing seventy words a minute.

But I find I'm adding quite a bit more to the passage notes. After I reread my old notes, and the harmony, and the gospels again, and think some more, more words flow, giving a more complete picture of the process I went through and the nature of the finished product.

So maybe this writing with the flow does work. I'm writing these passage notes kind of fast, yet at the same time adding to them and improving the Harmony. I don't know how long this inspiration will continue, but I'll go with it for a while. Maybe I'll actually finish the project in a couple of years. Since it's probably non-publishable, no hurry.

I still need to work on the discipline part of writing with the flow, which will involve writing where the flow stops so as to finish a project. I'll figure it out someday. Otherwise I'll never get a book published.

Meanwhile, the flow to do my taxes has not yet come.

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