I have been silent for the last two weeks not because I was on vacation but because I needed to finally finish the manuscript for my book Judaism and World Religions. The publisher had eighty pages of instructions on editing, publicity, production, marketing and submission. My deadline was Friday and it took more than few days of concentrated attention, crossing t’s and dotting i’s, to finish it for submission.
If any of you ever read the ABOUT page on this blog, I started this blog in Sept 2009 as a way to stay focused on the book. This way I forced myself to sit down regularly and write. It also allowed me to blog things that caught my notice so as to get the distraction out of my way to continue, to put it out of my mind. It also allowed me to work on formulations of certain selections in the book, hence all the interfaith material on the blog. They ideally wanted the book in 14 months and I did it in 23 months.
It was by average about a page a day. (I dont count blog writing.) In contrast, Joseph Dan at his height of productivity once said he averaged 3 pages a day. And Moshe Idel is averaging way more than that.
During the year I asked to produce an Orthodox Forum paper on popular culture, I wound up writing that article as a series of blog posts. Along the way, new phrases such as Post-Orthodoxy, Half-Shabbos, and cruise ship Orthodoxy took on lives of their own. When I worked on a paper on Maharal, it never made any appearance on the blog. And over time, I posted less on Kabbalah.
At this point, my ABOUT page is no longer true. I will no longer be forcing myself to write to make my deadline. The blog needs a new purpose and About statement. I am not sure of its new purpose. I will continue blogging but my hours and topics may change. I am not sure how they will change.I will take much longer breaks from my computer but still post things that interest me or first drafts of reviews. This past year even trips to Norway, Poland, and Turkey did not take me too far away from the computer.
My book Judaism and World Religions comes out in March 2012, once again by the very efficient Palgrave-McMillan. We have not set the exact production schedule yet. But I assume that I get the edited manuscript back in OCT and then proofs a month later.
My 2010 book Judaism and Other Religions will be out in inexpensive paperback in 2012. It has already been assigned in three courses and there are already 150 pre-publication copies of the paperback ordered. People are sending me their corrections because I get to revise it for a second edition. It is interesting to note that the digital version did not sell well.
I thank Thanbo for responding to one of the blog posts soliciting a cover by providing a .gif scan that will be used on the cover.
I have to determine which should be my next manuscript to pitch to a publisher: Varieties of Modern Orthodoxy? Kabbalistic Meditation? A popular book on Judaism and Christianity: The Differences in the 21st Century?
Immediate focus – what do I do with Google+? Necessary Plug-ins? Does anyone have better circle arrangements that don’t sound like an MCI plan of friends and family? Should I arrange it as Academics, Interfaith, Orthodox chatter, Kabbalah, Former student still into Jewish stuff, Former Students, and Online acquaintances, and then family and friends? How many incoming streams and feeds are people setting up? And other than announcing my posts, is there any purpose in Twitter for those of us who don’t comment in less than 500 words.