I feel like a tape recorder on repeat talking about the book making process. But it can be quite consuming and it occupies your mind for a while. Once you’ve been through it, you might think, “Hey, I did this! This is something I can do.” So you plan to do more. But in the process you realize how tedious and repetitive the process is. It’s one thing to do the writing and pass off a manuscript to people who can pretty it up, do the layouts, design the book itself. It’s a whole other thing to do all of the above.
You might think, why isn’t everyone doing this? Then you realize the process becomes daunting. The writing process itself, but then the putting everything together process, too. If you’re submitting the writings to publishers you have to go through the painstaking process of applying, waiting, then possibly being rejected. Now you have to reel off the rejections and apply to other places and repeat until something hits. Even after acceptance, the process progresses at a snail’s pace. You have to wait months to years before you can see a physical copy.
Self-publishing makes the process a lot more tangible. You’re seeing a physical copy (potentially) within a few weeks of finishing the layout, and book design etc. The layout and design is quite trying. You just have to keep at it, bit by bit. You need to make quick decisions, knowing that you will come back to some and some you will forget. But moving forward is more important than deliberations. The pauses cause paralysis. Chipping away is the way. A moment here and a moment there. Then you repeat, once you have something you can review, revise, rethink. You realize that you have something. Something is better than the thought of something. Something you can work with is golden. It is silk against your skin. Something is why you slug away.
I had wanted to (self-)publish two books last year. I was able to slug away at just one. Still. One is something.
I hope to publish two books this year. I hope to walk away with something.
There is so much I want to do. My mind races from point to point, from end to end and it is not enough. There isn’t, as is for everyone, enough time. The pace at which things progress is not enough. The pace at which I progress is not enough.
There is no shortage of items on the list. There is no shortage of the incompleteness of things that I juggle. The list grows even as parts of it are completed. Though it does muddle up notions of completeness. There is no “done,” there is simply the next thing.
Solace lies in this very sequence of things. The drive lies in this juggling of things. My heart continues to beat along this race against time. My heart races against this race.
Watch me catch up to my racing heart.