Considering publishing a book

I’ve just calculated that in the past three months, I’ve written, edited, and published 40,000 words on this blog.

I’m finding that rather mind boggling! Wow. It’s been very good for my writing, in learning to write more frequently, clearly, to edit quickly and make it all happen. Last year I was writing the talk on Supporting someone in a dissociative crisis and I found that it was quickly turning into a synthesis of a lot of my thinking and reading over the past 8 years. I put up a page on the DI website with links to articles I’d written so that people could further explore topics I could only touch on briefly in the talk itself. I wondered if this was the bones of the structure of a book.

If I can write a first draft of 80,000 words in under a year, that seems surprisingly within reach, and I’m excited by that. I’m mulling over different ideas – how broad the topic to work with, how to structure it, how on earth to get it to people who actually might find it useful, or get paid for any of my time on it, if it can be worked on alongside a blog, or if I need to pause the blog for awhile, if self publishing is still the best format, who I could recruit as support people – encouragement, editing, marketing, if it would be best to start with a small project where all the learning and mistakes will be cheaper and easier to manage…

40,000 words. Blimey. It makes me feel like a real writer, helps me to really grasp just how important this craft is to me. That’s a lot of hours. And at the moment, since the Hearing Voices Congress, my brain is alight with ideas. I’m drafting blog posts in my head while driving to the shops, while lying in bed trying to sleep, while watching movies. I’m writing them on my phone while waiting for appointments. There’s a lot of inspiration and drive. It may collapse at some point, or some other project may demand more time, but things written once, remain written. I’m giving serious thought to this.

I took a while day off this week to write on this blog, preparing a series of posts ahead of time. It was thrilling! I headed off to friends for dinner and card games, then cane home brimming with inspiration and wrote into the small hours as well. I was in that place where I’m so happy my heart is thrumming, where I feel like I’m going to burst with joy.

I’ve been debating setting my time up differently this year, and trialling a system where each day of the week is overtly given over to something specific, such as art, college work, writing, admin, the face painting business, and time off. Yesterday was an admin day, and my house proud part came out and cleaned and bought things and organised to her hearts content. The problem was trying to make her stop! At 3.30 am we finally managed to switch her out while she was cleaning and rearranging the pantry. She was the happiest critter in the world. The best part was that Rose did an admin day too, so there was no sense of being rushed or taking away from our time together. It was great! I may be onto something with this system!

In high school my English teacher had set aside Fridays to work on his novel. I always envied him this idea. Now I think I might embrace it.

4 thoughts on “Considering publishing a book

    • Maybe, depends on the form… For a lot of visual art, the discipline and craft comes first… After is the nesting of the work – finding it a home somewhere and a format to be presented in. If it’s destined to be public, that is. And even then, sometimes it’s more about wildness than craft. Sometimes I think everything we think we know about art is wrong.

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  1. Good on you, Sarah. Creating a work of art is one of life’s greatest joys. There is no one technique superior to another. Try a few or many and adopt the one that best suits you. I do not write everyday though I think about writing every day. Blogs and Facebook status updates can also be triggers for writing. When an idea siezes me, like the current one, I just go with it, hang on tight, try to maintain control, like a wild ride down the rapids ๐Ÿ™‚

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    • There’s such passion in it, isn’t there John. That joyful, complicated, inconvenient obsession. We are vessels through which art courses, like electricity. What’s the trick to it? Trying to have a little left over at the end so you can make toast and go to bed instead of pass out on the floor?

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