Finally! I have sent my proofs and the index for Holy Horror back to McFarland and I find myself in that state following intensive concentration on one thing. Well, as much as work will allow such concentration. Those who write books know how difficult it is to switch gears from fifth back to first while driving at highway speeds. As soon as the email arrived stating that the proofs were ready, I dropped everything to get them read, outside work hours, of course. With mind focused on a single goal—get the job done—I’ve managed to forget where I was before being interrupted by my own work. I recall it had something to do with demons, though.
Perhaps the most taxing part of trying to write while employed full time is keeping track of where you are. The luxury of spending hours outside of class doing the index, for example, is compressed into the little free time I have between writing for this blog and work—between a blog and a hard place, as it were. Indexing, which can be quite pricey when a professional does it, is much easier with a searchable PDF than it ever was going through a printout page-by-page to find obscure references you forgot you ever wrote. It reminded me of the time I had Owen Chadwick over for dinner at Nashotah House. I recalled someone asking him about something he’d once written and he looked puzzled for a moment and then replied, “One writes so many things.” Indeed. Millions and million of words in electrons, if not on paper, mark the status of a life. And indexing will prove it to you somehow.
This morning I awoke with the proofs and index safely emailed back to the publisher. What was I doing before that? I know that work is looming just a short hour or two ahead, and I need to accomplish part of my life’s work before going to work. I can’t afford to waste this time. Nightmares with the Bible is coming along nicely. A very drafty draft of the book exists. I have some more research to do, however, and the annotated bibliography—ah, that’s where I left off!—is still a shambles. Not only that, but I’ve got a stack of reading on the topic next to my chair. Time to put on a pot of coffee and warm up those typing fingers. I’ve got real work to do.