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A Personal Transition

A week ago today I finally sent off the very last and final version of The Triumph of Christianity to my editor.  It is done, as good as I can make it.  Now it will go to a copy-editor who will go over it line by line, word by word to make sure the grammar, punctuation, and even spelling is all correct, and to make suggestions for writing style as needed.   Depending on the copy-editor, sometimes there are tons of these stylistic suggestions, sometimes hardly any.

As an author, I much prefer the “hardly any” approach – it’s much easier on me and more, well, affirming of my writing style.  When I do get a lot of suggestions I have to take a deep breath and remind myself that the copy-editor is just doing his/her job and trying to make the prose better.  But I do hate that part.

I will then go through the copy-edited manuscript, approve or reject all the suggested changes, and return the book to the editor, for it to go into production.

The goal is to have the book published next year (2017) at this time, possibly at the end of November.  Then begins a new round of anxiety-producing-fun: seeing if it gets any media attention and public notice.

From beginning to end, the book-writing business is tense.  There is pressure…

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  1. Avatar
    maryhelena  December 7, 2016

    Les Miserables!

    Give the movie a miss and get the 25th Anniversary 02 concert on DVD or Blu-ray. 🙂

    Promotional video: Alfie Boe Performs Jean Valjean in the Les Misérables 25th Anniversary Concert at The O2.


    The video below has Alfie Boe with John Owen-Jones – Alfie taking a little dig at Hugh Jackman in the Les Mis movie 😉 John Owen-Jones has sung the
    Jean Valjean role numerous times on the West End stage.

    Alfie Boe & John Owen Jones ‘Bring Him Home’ at Royal Albert Hall 08.04.13 HD


    • Avatar
      Boltonian  December 9, 2016

      Alfie Boe and Michael Ball are on the TV (in the UK) tonight performing an hour of musical theatre, including numbers from ‘Les Mis.’ I saw the play in London a few years ago and I agree that the film is but a poor shadow.

  2. Avatar
    Todd  December 7, 2016

    I am very interested in post Jesus Christianity and will definitely buy a hard copy. I wish you much success with this book.

  3. Avatar
    Sunus  December 7, 2016

    Thank goodness for Turner Classic Movies! It’s become my favorite channel. I just watched The Man Who Came to Dinner again. Hilarious. Enjoy your free time!

  4. Avatar
    mrsmac51  December 7, 2016

    So many books…so little time! Bart, this really hit home with me. My late father’s old edition of Les Miserables sits on one of my bookshelves, along with many other of his classic volumes that I have vowed to read before I die. It’s always been just a matter of “finally finding the time…” I am starting it tonight, and I thank you for the inspiration.

  5. Josephsluna
    Josephsluna  December 7, 2016

    Warmest wishes with your new book Bart!! Happy Holidays Mr !

  6. Avatar
    Jason  December 7, 2016

    Congratulations Doctor. If I may, I’d like to recommend a new pastime for you-one which I myself very much enjoy-called “sleep.” I know many in academia doubt its existence but I can assure you, it is possible.

    • Bart
      Bart  December 8, 2016

      Ha, I already do a lot of that one! I’m a complete addict.

  7. Rick
    Rick  December 7, 2016

    At a YMCA Camp, 25 years ago, with my daughters – at the Sunday morning service on the subject of spending time with family someone said something I will not forget… That is: Have you ever heard of someone on their death bed say ” I wish I had spent more time at work?”

  8. Avatar
    steven.a.honig@gmail.com  December 7, 2016

    I’m not going to comment on your slowing down. From what you write here, you need a month in a spa. I wanted to write about something else. I am Jewish, I have very little back ground in Christianity, only what I have picked up en passant. I find Christian theology of any kind to be someone’s invention. And yet I have read a lot of your books, gently picking my way through whatever theological argument you are debunking. I should say that I don’t believe much in Jewish theology either; it’s just that having lost so much family during the war, and growing up with so much of Old Europe, Judaism is what I know. Your books, especially when you write about apocalyptic Judaism at the time of Yeshua are very interesting and helpful to me. I hope that you don’t take a permanent break!

    • Bart
      Bart  December 8, 2016

      A spa sounds nice! But no permanent break on the horizon….

  9. Avatar
    rbrtbaumgardner  December 7, 2016

    Bart, good for you!

  10. Avatar
    llamensdor  December 8, 2016

    I’ve wondered for years now how you could maintain your incredible schedule, and I believe you are wise to cut back now–instead of being forced to by an unwelcome surprise. May I respectfully suggest that you be very careful in increasing your workout days. I don’t know what your workout consists of, but 3 days a week is plenty. One of my dear friends is a retired pathologist (he ran a big city hospital lab with 98 employees), who is very fit, has run 28 marathons, works out regularly, It’s true he’s a dozen years older than you, but now he’s paying the price for his over-exertions: herniated disks, plantar fasciatis (sp?) etc. And yet every time after he chills out for a while, he goes back to a grueling regimen. And then the problems return. I’ve tried my best to influence him, but I’, such a feeble old f–t myself, I’m not very persuasive. I hope you do better with yourself.

    • Bart
      Bart  December 8, 2016

      Not to worry. My workouts are very tame. About 50 minutes on a cross trainer (watching Downton Abbey just now) then about 30-40 minutes lifting weights and doing core exercises, followed by a steam bath. Fantastic.

      • Avatar
        Pattycake1974  December 8, 2016

        If you enjoy Downton Abbey, you might like The Crown. I just finished the first season. John Lithgow deserves an award for his portrayal of Winston Churchill.

  11. Avatar
    Ibn.Fawda  December 8, 2016

    Almost 12 months from submission to publication? That must be frustrating.

    • Bart
      Bart  December 8, 2016

      Not really. It’s always been this way, so I’ve never had other expectations. But there is some anticipation/anxiety involved!

  12. Avatar
    Scorpiored48  December 8, 2016

    I appreciate your wisdom. Juggling work, no matter how enjoyable, with the rest of your life is a challenge for many people, especially those in demand.

  13. Avatar
    HistoricalChristianity  December 8, 2016

    Thank you for not abandoning the blog! And thank you for providing that rare but essential bridge between scholarship, an objective and honest assessment of any consensus of that scholarship, and conveying that consensus with its major variants to the public in an understandable way. I would never be able to do that on my own. Enjoy the gentle winding down of your writing marathon!

  14. John4
    John4  December 8, 2016

    Am I interpreting you correctly here, Bart? Do you plan to quit writing scholarly books and only write trade books in the future?

    Many thanks! 🙂

    • Bart
      Bart  December 9, 2016

      Ah, that’s more than I can claim. My idea right now is to devote a couple of years to the next trade book and to keep my mind and will open to the possibility of spinning a scholarly monograph off of it. Or not. But rather than planning to write two or three books over the next couple of years, I’m just planning to do this one.

      • John4
        John4  December 9, 2016

        Ah, I see. Well, I can’t thank you enough, Bart, for all of your wonderful work. Enjoy your less crazy workload! 🙂

  15. Avatar
    seeker_of_truth  December 8, 2016

    … glad there’s going to be a second edition of your Bible textbook…

  16. Avatar
    SidDhartha1953  December 10, 2016

    If you’ve never done so, I hope you’ll check out some of the silent classics. I think my favorite so far is The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928) directed by Carl Theodor Dreyer.

    • Bart
      Bart  December 12, 2016

      Haven’t seen that one, but have seen a number of the silent Jesus movies, including the original Ben Hur.

  17. Avatar
    gsillars  December 10, 2016

    I am all in favor of avoiding burnout, although, Dr. Ehrman, if you were going to burn out, it would have happened decades ago. But easing off and enjoying life a bit more is surely a good thing.

  18. Avatar
    shunter  December 16, 2016

    Nice. And, in addition to all your solitary activities, I hope you plan to share some time with your spouse (and children?)…. Best wishes for a fully satisfactory 2nd half of life!

    • Bart
      Bart  December 18, 2016

      Yes indeed! The kids are grown and gone, and Sarah is even busier than me. But that’s all part of the deal!

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