I’m so very linear and it’s seriously getting in my way! I think that I’d make a fine mule in a pack train. Or more accurately, I want the projects of my life to act that way, like good little mules who don’t sit down and bray loudly and refuse to budge. I have a plan for all of them, and even though I may have a number of related projects going at the same time, there is an order here, at least in my mind, and I need to have them all move in the same direction at a steady pace. Especially, the lead mule.
Therein lies my current problem. My lead mule is my new book, In Secret Diffusion: The Upper Realm Answers Questions About Earth. This baby has shown an independent streak you wouldn’t believe. Remember? I began talking about this book way back in the Fall of 2009, and it’s still not quite born yet. It has certainly had a full-term, nine-month pregnancy and there are now encouraging sensations of labor making themselves felt. But never having given birth to a mule before, I cannot predict exactly when the little fella will appear. I have a nagging suspicion that this foal is a race horse and I’m the mule!
I know that you are now thinking: this writer sure does mix her metaphors, doesn’t she? Yes, I do when I feel mule-ish.
I had tried a different track with this second book by going through a commercial publisher instead of handling all of the various tasks such as formatting and cover design, myself. In hind sight, I realize that I would have been much better off to just learn how to do all of those things but I’ve actually taken the harder, slower way. Last week, I finally received my ready-to-print files and officially sent them off to my printer, knowing that the Fourth of July holiday would slow things down a bit. Today I find that the spine width on the cover template needs expanding by a fraction of an inch and must go back to the designer for that.
So, we zig and we zag toward the end of the trail on this one. What else is new? I’m sure this sort of drama lies behind many books and movies that we, on the outside, all take for granted. It may be the nature of the medium. It may be the nature of art… the nature of work, itself.
The thing about it for me, is that there seems to be a psychological component here. I have a new website to design to fit the new theme. I have a marketing plan to incorporate to give this book the best chance to soar. I have two more books already written, with completed cover art, which I could be multi-tasking on. They need my full attention but are, so far, standing around waiting for my current tome to make its appearance.
What lesson can I read into this current situation? I suspect that it has to do with my usual compulsive, headlong rush into and through everything that I get my hands on. I have become accustomed to creating good stuff at lightning speed. I have a low tolerance level for delay. At the moment, I’m figuratively sitting in rush hour traffic with my destination in view, but am not physically capable of clearing the highway. If only I will accept my lot, then life, publishing, mules, mule trails, highways, and childbirth will suddenly take care of themselves.