my next writing project and an interview with the author

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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  • Jackson C.

    Dr. Enns I think you have Smeagol syndrome. Just tell the mean responsible Dr. Enns to go away and everything will be okay. Repeat after me “LEAVE NOW AND NEVER COME BACK, LEAVE NOW AND NEVER COME BACK!!!

  • Nijay Gupta

    You are so weird.

    • peteenns

      Thanks for noticing.

  • Andrew

    Maybe there is a book out there on this already. I don’t know; I’ve never looked. But I would like to see a book on accommodation in the OT and how far or how much it can be used and applied.

    • peteenns

      You mean accommodation of revelation to culture? I’m not sure there is a book that lays out “this far and no further, and here’s how to apply it.” I’ve found that books that ask that question tend to be on the defensive/apologetic side of things, which I find unhelpful.

      In a sense, I try to look at that very question from a different angle in Inspiration and Incarnation. Same with my next book, though on a much more popular level, The Bible Tells Me So.

      • Andrew

        What I mean is accommodation of ideas in the OT that we wouldn’t agree with today. Like how God accommodated the idea of an ANE worldview in the Bible without correcting it. How far can we take accommodation and apply it to the Bible? Should it be used in reference to violence in the OT (Boyd is coming out with a book that seems to say so, so does Sider, I also am convinced of this)? It seems that there can be a dangerous point where Christians can just appeal to accommodation for things they don’t agree with (I want to do this sometimes). Like in “Slaves, Women, and Homosexuals” by Webb. I don’t see why the same argument can’t be made for homosexuals. I just know that with my personal Bible reading, the idea of accommodation comes to mind when I don’t want to deal with the text or if I don’t agree with it. Since I accept accommodation in some areas, I find myself wanting to extend it to areas where it probably shouldn’t be extended.

      • Michael Hardin

        Pete: I’m curious how you found the hermeneutic approach I developed in chapter 5 of The Jesus Driven Life.

        • peteenns

          I’d have to go back and skim it. Give us the Readers Digest version in the meantime.

          • Michael Hardin

            The Bible has two trajectories: myth and the gospel. Myth is narrative told from the perspective of the winner/persecutor/retributive victim, gospel is the voice of the forgiving victim. The entry point into this hermeneutic requires conversion from the former to the latter perspective. The hermeneutic has three legs: 1) encounter with the Risen Jesus (whether mystical, intellectual or otherwise), and 2) discipleship in the nonviolent way of the (textual) Jesus 3) in the context of relationship (community [ or ecclesia, not necessarily religious in nature]).

  • laughing


  • Kathryn Helmers

    Very funny, but enough with the humor distractions. Please get back to work.

    • peteenns

      Don’t you know I have to be about my father’s (Mickey’s) business? But if by work you mean split wood, I’m on it.

      • Kathryn Helmers

        Clever boy. Please get back to work. On. Your. Next. Book.

  • Who is Kathryn Helmers? Your publisher or your wife?

  • Preston Garrison

    This quote is from Jesus Creed – I hope it helps:

    “Wouldn’t it be a relief not to think of the saints getting on with with joyful business of the Age to Come without expending considerable energy trying not to think about their loved ones writing in everlasting agony?”