The writing of a book has always loomed large on my personal horizon. I finally got tired of seeing it there (looming all ominous like) and so last week I started writing the thing to avoid its terrifying gaze.
Even though I love planning as an “activity” or maybe even a “hobby”, it’s really only something I do when I’m looking at the proverbial Big Picture. Once I know I want to do something, the only way I ever actually get it done is if I just jump in and start. If I overthink how/when/where I will do it or exactly what I want it to be like, I will get sucked into the Misty Land of Well-Laid Plans and never seen again.
Since I am an inveterate self-publisher, what starting means is creating a book format file in Publisher and simultaneously writing and designing the whole book. Since quite a bit of it is art instructional, that includes detailed photographs of me doing various art things (my hands look like lizard hands, though, so for vanity’s sake I won’t take any photos until I use a good lotion for a few days). So as not to get too intimidated, I am just thinking of it as a really long zine in color, plus with only my own stuff for illustrations. I have A LOT of art instructional books to look at for help in designing that kind of book. I usually work in black and white, so I’m not confident with designing in color. But without the margins, I am going to try to use bleeds (where photos go off the edges of the page). When it’s all done I will have it made into an online flip book and I will use that to see if any actual publisher wants to publish it. That would be my ideal, but I will self publish it some way if no one has any interest in it (NOT as an ebook). I’m not assuming any publisher would want it as-is, including my oh so perfect design and everything – but creating it from start to finish, seeing what works and changing what doesn’t, letting it come to be organically – is what I have to do in order to complete a big project like this.
I am dealing with serious Impostor Syndrome as I work on it. But really, while I know I’m not the world’s greatest artist at this point, I believe I can be called an expert on Creative Chronicling and Everyday Memoir (the tentative book title):
I think the uniqueness of this book would come from that angle. The market is pretty much glutted with mixed-media art books right now, so what I want the ultimate theme for the book to be is not artsy projects or “techniques” (which will be there) but rather leaving a creative paper trail of your own inner and outer life and also connecting with other people through art and writing in a non-virtual format. This book will bring together all I have created naturally and developed mostly on my own over the past two decades, with what I have learned through books/courses etc. Tentative contents, though likely to expand, change and/or morph:
I go back and forth, wondering if I should give myself a deadline to finish it. Having a deadline usually helps me, but only if the deadline is super close. If I give myself six months, I’d probably only work halfheartedly for five months and then cram to get it done. I think I just want this to be a project I work on steadily (which means in between all the family-and-household-stuff which takes up most of my time).
One last peek into the prototype so far (before I get started on the aforemetioned stuff that takes up most of my time) the first two-page spread of the introduction, which I assume will be pretty long: