Friday, August 10, 2012

The Swing of Things

Okay, so I really didn't intend to get nearly two weeks away from my last post, but that's what happened. August is a weird time for me, though. In theory, it's a month off of work, which should mean that I have plenty of time to do whatever I want. In practice... not so much. August is the month before my busiest season, the semester where I get the most classes. It's also when my employers tend to hand down updated textbooks, new administrative requirements, and when I have to get my syllabi/online course shells in order for the classes I teach.

Since I basically have 4 weeks to update the curriculum for 3 different classes at 2 schools, and some of the sections are online only, it can get hectic. That's not to say that I'm not having fun--I get to do this work while I watch the end of the Olympics, and then baseball. It's a good gig if you can get it. It's just that at the end of the day, I'm writing 4000+ words of lessons and 2000+ words on my novel, and that means it's easy to forget about blogging. Or, on the days I don't forget, to just get sick at the thought of laying down more words.

I promise that I'm still thinking about neurodiversity, faith, family, and education. Hell, I'm writing about those topics every day. I'm just not doing it here.

About the book:

I have occasionally posted updates about Nothing is Right here. In May, I unsuccessfully attempted to get a Kickstarter going that would have covered the costs of cover design and editing, and then I've mentioned it from time to time.

Nothing is Right is coming out in September. I'm currently on the "final" rough draft--the one that will go to my first readers. I'm happy with the text. It's shaping up to be at least 65,000 words, which is nearly double the length that I originally envisioned, and it will be coming out in paperback form in addition to the ebook.

Originally, I had envisioned a release date of September 1. Unfortunately, that is not reasonable. Even assuming that I can finish the draft I'm on by the end of next week (which is unlikely), my readers will need at least a week to comment on it, and then I have edits to do. That's before formatting. Since I'm doing all of this in-house, too, I have to act as my own editor. 

That's fine. I've done editing work before. I'm not complaining. The only reason I mention it is because if I'm doing my own editing, then I have to do multiple passes to be sure that I haven't let anything slip through. It's just harder to edit your own work than it is to edit someone else's.

That all being said, I'm excited by the progress this book has made. I have been trying to figure out the novel form for about three years now, and this is my third attempt to get everything to hold together. My first two didn't work out--partly because I attempted to be too ambitious with my expectations, and partly because underneath both of them, this book was gestating. Occasionally, it would work itself loose through short stories or character sketches that interrupted my process on other projects.

In March, I decided to really give it a go. From then, it took until June 4 for me to crank out a 40,000 word draft. I was exhausted at the end. I took a week off, and the next draft (50k words) only took me 44 days. That one left me feeling like a superstar.

The current draft is on-track to break 65,000 words before I'm done. It might get even bigger than that. And it's going the fastest. I've been working on it since about July 20, and I'm over halfway there. The more I work, the better I feel.

Three months ago, I would have cringed at the thought of doing 40,000 words of work in a month or less. Now? I can't think of doing less.