Saturday, July 9, 2011

If Jonathan Edwards Could Inspire Backsliding Puritans, There May Also be Hope for Lazy Writers.

I've been making better progress on this book lately. What's my secret? Plain old self discipline. I have somehow been able to work straight through every morning this week between breakfast and lunch.  That has meant three to five hours of writing, but it doesn't mean I have covered much space.  I seem to be advancing at the rate of one paragraph per hour.

It's not that I'm trying to cover a lot of space these days.  I've already got enough words for a book–more than 100,000 of them, most written a few years ago when I was younger and faster.  My problem now is filling in the holes that I left open the first time through because they were kind of tough to deal with.

This week my tough spot has been The First Great Awakening.  That's the religious revival of the 1730's-40's, NOT the problem of getting up in the morning.  How did I get that far back in history? If you've read the side bands, you noted that I'm also checking out Henry's ancestors and the how the big events of their times may have affected them and perhaps Henry. I can't overlook religious movements because Henry's father and grandfather were both Congregational ministers.

The two giant figures of The First Great Awakening were Jonathan Edwards and George Whitefield.  The latter is pretty easy to deal with because he is mainly known as an eloquent and tireless preacher, but Edwards was something else.  It's not easy to get your head around his theology, but to the extent that you do, it's worth it.  And I write that as a staunch agnostic.  Perhaps that's why I've put off facing these religious questions.

I'm taking today off for blogging, but next week I may deal with The Second Great Awakening.

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