How Long To Write A Book? Ask Jacob Neusner

5 03 2012

Professor Jacob Neusner with Pope Benedict XVI

Professor Jacob Neusner is undoubtedly the most prolific Jewish scholar of the last one hundred years, perhaps of all time.

He has written or edited some 950 books.

When asked how he goes about writing a book, he said this:

“A dear and long-time friend,… asked me, ‘Jack, how long does it usually take you to write a book?’ I replied, ‘Of course it depends on the project and its requirements, each book has its own rules. But for a statement to the world at large, once I’ve thought a book through and written it in my mind, it takes me around a week or so, depending on this and that, ordinarily at the rate of a chapter a day, but I’ve had some two-chapter days and some chapters have taken two days. And then of course there is revision, but around a week is about right.’ He seemed surprised, and I was surprised by his surprise, so I thought, maybe I’m wrong. I went home and wrote this book, at the perfectly normal pace of a chapter a day, as usual…”

This is an inspiration and a tribute to the Jewish ethic of hard work and the role of being people of the Book.  How can this inspire you in your own writing?

Image Credit





6 responses

6 03 2012

We all find out own path and pace in this the writing journey. 🙂

6 03 2012
Christian Fahey

Yes! Don’t think I could write a book in a week at this point. 🙂

7 03 2012

HAHAHA that’s not for me ..I’m certain of it..not with having 4 kids to raise and everything else that comes with this happy chaos I gladly call my life .

7 03 2012
Christian Fahey

I don’t think I could do that either–at least not at this stage. But you have to love his output. 🙂

7 03 2012

I agree!

7 03 2012
Christian Fahey

Yes, Eva, a great book!

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