Tuesday, November 13, 2007

A book idea arrives

I can’t believe it’s been two years since I released, When Towns Had Teams. At the time, my goal was to begin doing research during the winter of 2005/2006 and getting another book into the pipeline, for late 2006/2007.

Instead, I got bogged down by multiple ideas for a book and also, thinking that releasing someone else’s book would bring more legitimacy to RiverVision Press. As a result, here we are in late 2007 and no follow-up book by me, while RiverVision’s second book has been widely ignored, resulting in poor sales and frustration on my part.

For much of the past year, I’ve been feeling tension between wanting to publish books by other writers and also wanting to get back on track to begin research on a project of my own. About three weeks ago, while attending a business after hours in Auburn, hosted by the local Chamber of Commerce, a seemingly unrelated discussion planted an idea that I continued to ruminate about, on my drive home.

When I got home that night, after greeting my wife and catching up with her, about her day, I sat down with a beer and sketched out an outline for a book idea that excited me. Maybe that’s why I’ve had trouble sleeping of late, but I’ve been thinking about this idea, off and on, for the past three weeks.

Two weekends ago, I took a stab at some preliminary drafts and the results were disappointing. After about 200 to 300 words into an idea, I’d hit a wall. I continued to work at this a couple of nights later and I had a similar experience. While I’ve been blogging regularly for the past two years, writing 700 to 1,000 words has become almost automatic. I haven’t been faced with the prospect of coming up with 70,000+ words and I think the idea initially freaked out my subconscious.

It’s taken me a couple of weeks to come to terms with the idea and the reality of what’s involved, particularly now that I’m working full time. It’s no easy task, but I know it’s something I’ve got to do.

Amazingly, yesterday, which was a holiday from work for me, allowed me a brief period of uninterrupted time to write. I made the most of it and felt some energy to write and a sense of abandonment at the keyboard that I haven’t in quite some time. Then again, tonight, after dinner, a 30 minute walk with my lovely wife and my trusty sidekick Bernie, I came home, got out the laptop and again was able to write for over an hour, with the words just jumping onto the screen, as I hammered away at the keyboard.

I’ve put up a new blog that I’m calling, Words at Work. It’s very rudimentary, at this point, but it will exist exclusively to track the development of book #2 and, in fact, I’ll have some drafts posted, hopefully, in early 2008. I’ll also occasionally touch briefly on the craft side of the project.

Interestingly, I began the blog with the thought that it might help me to jumpstart my writing and allow me to post narrative that I was able to develop, which might lead to a book idea. In fact, you can see that was the rationale within my first post at the site. The next post shows me glomming onto an idea that I thought was going to be a book, but that idea subsequently fizzled.

Six weeks later, I truly have found the project that has rekindled my creative fires and feels very much like the initial epiphany that ultimately became When Towns Had Teams.

Daunting, yes; doable, I certainly hope so. Only time will tell.

No comments: