Thursday, August 23, 2012

Decisions, Decisions

Mental coin toss
Last spring I set what seemed to be a reasonable goal of getting a second e-book out no later than the end of July.  By the first week of July the deadline was pushed back to the end of August. Here we are at the end of August, and the deadline has been pushed back once more, to the end of September. By now the deadline must feel like the wimpy kid at lunch who keeps getting sent to the end of the line by bullies.

(Important Public Service Announcement: NO deadlines were harmed in the writing of this post, and no live animals were used in the testing of the deadlines. Although, to be completely honest, a tree may have died in the process. Hey! Paper happens, even in the e-book world.)

I wish there weren’t delays. Avoiding delays is a priority. I want nothing more fervently than to be done with the project. If for no other reason than to get the dreams to stop. The dreams have me staring at a great, white, blank expanse of a page while a voice whispers, “If you write it, they will read.” Damn you, Kevin Costner!

At issue with the deadline is life. There is so much to do; so much to be done; so much that must be done.

Do this...
 Okay, okay, you good readers truly are in the drift of a manure spreader in a strong wind. Really what is at issue is my own indecisiveness. There are so many decisions to be made in the making of a book. What is the theme of the book? What pieces to choose for that theme? What kind of editing is needed for each piece? How to lay the pieces out? Go with sections, with the pieces lumped together based on a subject for that section, or assemble in chronological order? What about the cover shot? Should I go fishing today, or work on the book?

Most of those questions are piddly little things, but that last question has really tripped me up since the salmon started running. In desperation to get a quick answer to the last question, and avoiding all the mental anguish, I switched to flipping a coin: heads I fish, tails I work on the book.

...or do this? Tough decision.
While not afraid to take chances (otherwise, I wouldn’t be freelancing) I don’t relish the idea of giving up all control. Consequently, when I flip the coin it’s a mental coin, not a physical one. That way there is some certainty on how it will land. I’ve found it very liberating. I am fully invested in the process. So far, the coin toss results are nowhere near the accepted statistical projections of chance. Heads are way out in front of tails. Go figure.

For the one, possibly two, of you anxiously awaiting the second volume in the Of Moose and Men series, I apologize for the delay. However, I flipped a coin today and it came up tails. I sense a change in the fortunes of projected chance.

Some decisions are piddly.
Shameless plug: If you haven’t read the first volume in the Of Moose and Men series, A Skewed Look at Life in Alaska, it is available as an e-book at both, as a Kindle edition, and at, in a format for just about any other e-book reader.      

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