The Book(s) Slog
Last night I logged in 9 hours working on the books. I have a very tight premise and way too often I find myself wanting to veer out of my lane into tangent territory, and I have to keep reminding myself to stay on premise.
My schedule consists of getting up, reading the godawful news, eating breakfast, getting dressed, and going to work. Before I strap myself into my writing area for the night, I will go through my notes, saved images, items for the book, and organize everything so I am ready to work.
I make a double espresso and get a tall glass of ice water, and then head upstairs to my office. I have two rooms, one is for storage where I keep all the items I need to photograph for my book(s) and the second room is where I create. I have three desks.
- One is a wooden teacher’s desk from the 1940s - that is where I do my hand-coding on my big desktop PC computer.
- One is a wooden desk from the 1900s and I draw all my posters on that one. I have it Jerry-rigged with rubber bands, a knife, and shims of wood and cardboard to keep it stable.
- One is a wooden desk from the 1870s and it is tucked into a small area between the wall and bookcases. This is where I write. I love it here. I have a tree limb with a hornets nest and colored lights - it is like an anti-Christmas tree. This is currently my most favorite place in the entire world.
I am here for about 7 to 12 hours a night. I tend to work all night and sleep all day. I get a lot more done at night, less distractions inside and outside. I try to make sure to move every hour so I don’t lock up, and sometimes I stand and work because my desk is high enough.
I listen to background noise on YouTube called CAFE SOUNDS. It is 8 hours of cafe noise and I love it - it keeps me company without being distracting like music can often do.
To give you an idea where I am at:
Book 1: is ¾ done with the first draft. It is HUGE and will need to be massively trimmed down, but I feel like it is better to have way too much than just a teeny slim book with a lot of boring filler. When I am completed with the first draft, I will take a break and update the website, work on posters for a month, and then get back on working on the books.
Book 2: The first draft is completely finished, though I ended up moving stuff from Book 1 to Book 2 because I felt like it fit better. I still have to do one last research trip to New York City in September to take photos and see the lay of the land, check out a few old hotels still standing and visit a few graves of the main characters in Book 2. This will be my third trip to New York and fifth research trip, and I believe it will be the final trip.
Book 3: No draft, but because it is basically a book full of images, it shouldn’t take me but a few months to get it all together. Here is a photo of all the scrapbooks I have filled with 19th century images relating to my premise.
I eliminated a lot of social media and cruising the internet and buying collectibles in order to focus 100% on these books. It is all I can think about and I love that I finally found a place where I can write about it here.
Also, I am not going to worry all that much about grammar or spelling here, this is more free association and a place to vomit out my thoughts quickly so I can get back to work.