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While my upcoming book is in the last stages of prepublication mayhem, I have begun working on my next book with HarperOne. I recently had the opportunity to sit down with myself to discuss that project.

Pete: Pete, thanks for taking time off from yourself to sit down with yourself and talk about your upcoming book.

Pete: My pleasure, Pete. Thanks for asking. And I’m always thrilled to talk with myself about myself.

Pete: Great. So, what’s the title?

Pete: I don’t know.

Pete: What’s it about?

Pete: I don’t know.

Pete: Do you have a major theme or idea ?

Pete: Yeah…I think…I don’t know.

Pete: When is the draft due?

Pete: You promised you wouldn’t ask that.

Pete: {stares at Pete}

Pete: “Due” is a fluid word with many nuances. Who am I to limit myself to only one binding definition?

Pete: What nuance do you think your publisher has?

Pete: End of the year.

Pete: Tell me about your writing schedule. You are on a writing schedule, aren’t you? You’re not just watching TV or finding ways to distract yourself, are you?

Pete: I’ve learned not to force or “schedule” my creativity but to let it flow when and where it wants. When the muses hit, they hit, and I’m off and running.

Pete: I see. So you let yourself roam free, as it were, like an undisciplined child in a restaurant. And how often do the muses visit you?

Pete: The 5th Thursday of the month, unless there’s something good in TV. But if not, I put in a pretty powerful hour or so of quality (not quantity) writing. 

Pete: Writing seems to be a struggle for you.

Pete: Gee, do ya think? Stop judging me. You’re always judging me.

Pete: Maybe you should find another career path. Have you thought this through?

Pete: Stop it, stop it! You’re not mom. YOU’RE. NOT. MOM!!

Pete: I just think if you applied yourself a bit more, maybe acted like an adult, stopped whining and disciplined yourself to get up early, you might be be able to pull off a little thing like writing a book. It’s not like you’re in a war starving on rotted potatoes, bullets zinging past you, not knowing whether you will have a tomorrow.

Pete: OK, so we’re back in the old country now “dad,” the Vaterland, alles in Ordnung, Du kannst denn Du sollst? You’re crushing my soul.

Pete: I’m just saying you’re turning out to be a bit of a disappointment to both of us, that’s all, and I thought you could use some constructive criticism in the form of Old World German guilt. It’s worked pretty well for you so far.

Pete: True… OK, starting tomorrow, it’s back to proven methods: a self-talk regimen focusing on not-good-enough, perfectionism, guilt, and shame. I should have a draft by late next week.

Pete: Wonderful. Maybe we can do the interview then when you’ve actually done something to make us all proud.



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Pete Enns, Ph.D.

Peter Enns (Ph.D., Harvard University) is Abram S. Clemens professor of biblical studies at Eastern University in St. Davids, Pennsylvania. He has written numerous books, including The Bible Tells Me So, The Sin of Certainty, and How the Bible Actually Works. Tweets at @peteenns.