Promises, Promises

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It may have been a mistake to announce, in writing, on this blog that I would complete my nonfiction project and have it published by November fifteenth of this year. Perhaps.
Or was it?
What I do know is that I am at the halfway mark on my schedule, but not on the book. Putting the book together is going more slowly.
It’s not like writing a novel, which is something I do all by myself. I am in control of every aspect. This project requires others to bring it to completion and to realize my vision for it – an artist and an expert on the subject and later, actors for the promotional spots.
Before I began writing seriously, I was involved in local theater. I loved the atmosphere, the camaraderie and all that it took to get a show off the ground. But we had to deal with egos and insecurities and the flakiness of others. We had to rely on everyone doing their jobs and doing them well. That may have led to my becoming something of a control freak.
Writing a novel is the perfect occupation for someone with control issues. I get to be not just the writer, but the actors, the set designer, the costumer, prop master and so on. I get to control everything. No one else contributes until I bring the pages to critique groups, beta readers and, eventually, literary agents.
The nonfiction project I’m working on now takes me back to those theater days. I have found my artist and expert who will – hopefully – be able to see and interpret my vision. I have to rely on them. Then others will be involved in the production of the promotional ideas I have. I will have to find these people.
It’s all going to take more time than I’d planned. Which brings me back to my schedule and my arbitrary deadline. It seemed doable at the time. At the time a year stretched before me. It seemed possible to complete the nonfiction as well as a novel and a graphic novel.
What was I thinking?
I imagined how fun the nonfiction would be, in a completely different genre and age group. And it is, can be, fun. It’s just once I began it grew, swelled with more ideas, as each of the topics led to something else, something more.
I am not an anxious person, but I began to think about it constantly and felt the passing of time crushing down on me. One night I was pacing, complaining about my schedule, or lack thereof, to my husband.
“It doesn’t have to come out at Christmas,” he said.
“Yes,” I said, “it does.”
“Not this Christmas,” he replied.
Not this Christmas. He was right. Just because I announced it, vowed it even, there’s nothing holding me to this deadline. I didn’t carve it in stone. Suddenly I have all the time in the world.
A year and a half stretches before me.
Stay tuned.