Filling the Waiting Space With Other Work

I have been informed that the shipment of books will not be arriving this week after all. So now we’re back to the original schedule instead of the week early schedule. This leaves me with a space of time where I’m accumulating and processing orders, but not yet beginning to sort invoices for shipping. The busy is coming, but it is not here yet. Not only is it not here, but also I’ll be handing off portions of the work to Kiki. Even at the busiest, it won’t be as crazy as it has sometimes been.

I’m going to use the time to push through the challenge coin PDF. I my second preliminary layout for it today. The first preliminary layout showed me how I did not want to organize the stories. I knew it was wrong, but hadn’t a clue what would be right. So I talked with Howard and he said it should read as if you were sitting at a bar where folk were swapping coin stories. The moment I heard that, I knew it was the right approach. It helped me figure out what stories go where, because one story can be a set up for the next one. It gives a narrative flow to the whole project. Today I started defining the design space. I threw in a top and bottom border element which is vaguely like what we’ll actually use. I put page numbering in place. I defined the styles for basic text, pull quote text, and sidebar text. All of these things need to be refined, but when I took it to Howard he agreed that the shape is right.

One of the hard things about starting to design a new book project is that every decision extinguishes another possibility. I love the bar conversation format. I believe it is the right one for this project. But it means the death of my original concept which was to sort stories by service. Each choice narrows the project into what it will actually be. In the refining stages it is easy to see how each change makes the project better. In the early stages there are so many possibilities and they are all so ephemeral that it is hard to see which will work best. I end up spinning in paralysis of choice. Today’s work means I’m past that stage. (I hope.)

The other work I’m going to try to push forward in the next few days is writing. I’ve just hit the mid-point in my novel. I wanted to have the draft done by the end of June. I’m not sure I can make that, but it is worth reaching for. If nothing else, I want this to be a week where I average 1000 words per day across both fiction and non-fiction writing. That’s a good writing week for me. I’ve even set up a spread sheet to help me track. Now I can look back and see when I was writing and when I was focused on other things instead.

I have plenty of things to keep me usefully busy while I’m waiting for books. Yet somehow part of my brain would really just like to sit and wait. Not that waiting is fun, I don’t like it much at all, it is just that even when I’m trying to get the other things done, part of my brain is focused on waiting instead. This makes the waiting feel much longer. Not my favorite.