For much of the time I’m working on a book, I struggle with the sneaking suspicion that it’s going to, uh…suck. But then in every project (so far), I experience something I’ve come to call an authorgasm.
Authorgasm (n.) Literary. The intense elation an author experiences after something happens to convince him/her that his/her book will not after all, as it turns out, suck.
Once the authorgasm happens, writing is fun.
I’ve had at least one authorgasmic moment in the writing process for every book. When I found the unpublished translations of the Inquisition interrogations of Jacques Fournier for Voices of Unbelief — that was authorgasmic. When Julia Sweeney said she’d contribute to Parenting Beyond Belief, when the co-authors of Raising Freethinkers had our first phone meeting, and when I created Scott Siberell, the atheist priest in Calling Bernadette’s Bluff — multiple authorgasms.
Since this project began, I’ve been searching for someone who has written thoughtfully and well from the perspective opposite my own — a religious believer married to an atheist. To understand why I think Alise is that person, read her post Things That Have Gone Missing Because My Husband is an Atheist.
I contacted her yesterday to she if she’d be willing to complete and promote my mixed marriage survey (which closes in two weeks, people) and to answer several hundred highly personal questions. She graciously agreed. I’ll also be mining her entire blog for insights.