Step One

Last week I announced my goal of finishing Lichtenbergianism: procrastination as a creative strategy this summer and getting it published (via Boll Weevil Press) by Labor Day.  Then I promptly failed to blog the rest of the week.

You could be forgiven for thinking my silence was because I was hard at work on the book and now I have returned to announce its completion.  However, the truth is that we'd been gifted with three newborn kittens by a feral momcat, who died—we were feeding these babies every two hours, 24/7, and sleep deprivation does not produce blog posts.  (Sadly, two of the kittens also died after failing to thrive.)

But I'm back, so let's get started.


All right, class, what is the appropriate Precept to apply in order to finish a work?

That's right: GESTALT.  Take a step back and assess what's missing.

I printed out the entire manuscript as it stands, some 24,000 words/102 pages, went out to sit in the calm of my labyrinth and figure out what is missing from my book.  Could I have done it on my laptop, in the Scrivener file itself?  Yes, I could have, but one of my RITUALS is to switch out the venue for an altered viewpoint.

Also, there's something about the permanence of the pencil marks on paper that begins to make the structure of what I'm working on concrete, in contrast to the erasability of electrons on a screen.  Yes, Scrivener allows you to insert notes, etc., but then you have to go look for them and type some more to accomplish your edits.  I like being able to edit on paper, then correct on screen.

I also used almost an entire little block of small sticky notes: for those sections that are truly ABORTIVE ATTEMPTS, I wrote the chapter/Precept and the section on a note and stuck it to the page.

Let's just say I have some work to do:

All those little sticky notes...

My next decision is how to manage the sticky notes.  Do I pull them all out and use them to create a kanban?  Do I leave them in the notebook and transfer their info to some other system, like my card stand (a kind of kanban) or to the desk calendar?

One thing I don't have to think about is RITUAL time: every morning after blogging is my writing time.  What I do need to do is calculate how many mornings I have and what amount of writing I need to get done each day, then do some pretty heavy scheduling.

Ugh.  Art isn't easy.