3 days, 3 stories … ahem …

My birthday is in – er, well, I guess it’s 5 days if you count today, and if you count my birthday. (Or 4 days, depending on whether you want to say that technically it is now January 2….)

I don’t, and the above probably didn’t make any sense to you, so let’s just get to the point: There are only 3 days left before my 30th birthday.

Arbitrarily, some time ago – maybe 2 years ago? Three years ago? Longer? Some time ago, I decided I would “be done with the book by the time I am 30.”

I’m not worried about whether I will have “accomplished enough” by the time I turn 30. I just desperately want to be done with the book so that I can clear psychic / creative space for other projects, new ideas. The book project takes up a lot of real estate in my insides. So I desperately want to see my promise through to the end.

Gotta be done my book by the time I am 30.

I finished the first draft a few weeks ago. The whole manuscript, the whole first draft.

Since then, I’ve been half-heartedly editing, figuring out what the work still needs to make it better. Mostly, I’ve been distractedly making booklets of select chapters for friends and family. (Yes, “distractedly making.” Today is not a day for eloquence. And this is my effin’ blog, so stuff it.)

So, mostly, I’ve been fussing, and mentally pacing back and forth, driving myself and those closest to me crazy. But fortunately it is the holiday season. We’ve seen friends, family, gone out dancing. Bass-bin therapy.

Today, I think I am resolved.

A few nights ago, we had decided to go to New York for my birthday. That same night, I was not looking up things to do in New York, I was not looking up publishers or publishing services… I was probably looking up the name of a popsicle or something else completely unrelated to writing / publishing but then somehow I stumbled across the website of an independent bookstore in New York that has a print-on-demand book-binding machine right there in the middle of their stock for sale. Meaning, I thought, I can go to New York for my birthday, drop off my manuscript, and come back after my New York trip with book in hand, just like I had promised myself, two, three years, or some time ago.

The reality is, I think, the layout of the manuscript into book-form will itself take three weeks. (This past week’s experience messing around with InDesign and Word trying to print booklets for family and friends has renewed an undesired acquaintance with digital layout woes.) So I’m not sure I should be gunning to print the whole book (except maybe for shits and giggles, with typos and poor, confused, inconsistent formatting, and because I like to edit form and content at the same time) …..but I do think it is a sign, a push, a kick in the butt from the universe telling me, “YES, do not go the route of traditional publishing. YES, be entrepreneurial, figure out how to do this yourself, how best to reach the audience you want.”

I don’t want to lay out the whole thinking process right now, with all the various factors and related anecdotes… but let’s just say that there is not a single publisher out there who is reaching the audience that I want to reach. Why go to a traditional publisher when they don’t have the audiences that I want? (I can’t believe I was even going to consider it. Ashamed. Have you heard of Steve Roggenbuck? Poetry by Emily Dickinson? Chapeau, et encore chapeau!)

I have an idea brewing, a plan beginning to develop, a strategy.

Stay tuned. News to come on my birthday. (Fingers crossed!)

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