N.T. Wright's Writing Routine


From an interview by Frank Viola:


Frank: You are one of the most prolific authors of our time. Talk about your writing routines. What does a normal day and week look like in your writing?

N.T. Wright: Sadly there is no such thing as a ‘normal day and week’. I wish there was but life isn’t like that. There is teaching, grandchildren, chickens to feed and clean out, shopping, examining Ph D theses, and all the other fun of family and academic life. But, left to myself (as has happened all too rarely!), I get up very early (5ish), say my prayers, have breakfast, and ideally am at the desk by about 6.30 or 7. Then I can have a really good morning before a late lunch, perhaps a walk, then back to work mid-afternoon, with supper around 7.30, read something for an hour or two, prayers and bed by 10.30 or 11.

However even within this (highly idealized) scenario, sometimes the ‘work’ will consist of simply writing, as fast as I can; sometimes of reading, slowly and carefully, a major new commentary or monograph; sometimes of a mixture of the two plus combing through journals, reviews, online materials … of all of these I prefer the writing task, because of the sheer joy of words and language and the delight in finding a creative way of saying something. The week in my life which most nearly corresponds to the ideal was the week, in spring 2006, when I wrote Acts for Everyone. I began it on a Saturday, had most of the Sunday off, and finished it in the small hours of the following Sunday. I have no idea how many thousand words that was but all I had to do was to sit down and the desk and turn on the tap. It was exhilarating.