It’s been my privilege to be in the personal spaces of several writers. Among others, Pulitzer winner Tony Horwitz warmly welcomed me at his home on Martha’s Vineyard as did William F. Buckley at his place on Long Island Sound.
I have interviewed close to 200 authors. Everyone has their own style with reading, capturing what they have read, research, and then writing. As I writer myself, I have settled on an approach I feel comfortable with.
During a time of study at Princeton I had the pleasure to sit down for a few hours with Makoto (or Mako for short) Fujimura. Mako is a world-renowned artist and brilliant writer. His commentary on Endo’s Silence is a tremendous and beautiful reflection. His forthcoming, Art and Faith: A Theology of Making promises to be a much talked about book in 2021 (and beyond).
Moore: Do you still acquire books as you get older or have you slowed down a bit?
Fujimura: I am a voracious reader, and Kindle has not helped as I am downloading more books than I can possibly read.
Moore: What are the best time(s) and place(s) for you to write?
Fujimura: After I do my usual two hours in the studio, I have a list of writing projects I get to. Before the shutdown, I had this regular routine on writing at airports and planes, too.
Moore: How do you capture your research? Old school with note cards etc., or new school with computer programs?
Fujimura: All on computer and remembering where the physical books are in my libraries visually.
Moore: Do you immediately start writing on the computer (perhaps typewriter) or by longhand?
Fujimura: Always on laptop, sometimes on my iPhone
Moore: Do you put marginalia in your physical books?
Fujimura: Oh, yes. I draw in them at times as well (see Four Holy Gospels by Crossway)
Moore: Do you read digital books?
Moore: What is some good advice you received on writing?
Fujimura: Write an essay every week and hand it in on Friday (at least when I was at Bucknell University for my freshman writing seminar). I‘ve never really stopped.
Moore: What do you think is your best book?
Fujimura:Art and Faith: A Theology of Making (to be released by Yale Press, Jan 5th 2021). It’s my lifework.
Moore: Please name a few of your favorite authors from your own field of study
Moore: What is a book you should have read by now, but haven't? This will make all of us sleep better!
Fujimura:Brothers Karamazov…. Always on “my next book list.”
David George Moore is the author of the forthcoming Stuck in the Present: How History Frees and Forms Christians (Leafwood/Abilene Christian University Press). Some of Dave’s teaching videos can be found at www.mooreengaging.com.