August 28, 2003


See. Here's the problem. Instead of doing the thing, I write about doing it. It's as bad as my making lists of my lists rather than getting to the task so I can begin to check off to-do's as done. I am writing about the writing that I ought to be doing if I were not distracted by a thousand other things. The weblog shares the role now of both blessing and curse: I would probably never have developed the discipline of writing daily without the threat and promise that someone would read my words. On the other hand now with the time spent entering my largely trivial and silly daily posts and getting sidetracked in the process on the various branches one ends up in when reading others' blogs... I am not finding the time to work on the little 'book' I envision. It would include both images and various of the 'better' posts from the first year of Fragments. This is still a viable issue, but the summer's events and my own distractability have not done much to move that project forward. I've got to get back in focus.

Task at hand: send required information to at least 3-4 publishers before resorting to self- or web-publication. By October 1: complete the following and submit...

  • Include a cover letter that gives a brief description of the project.

  • Include an outline of and/or introduction to the project.

  • Include at least 30 pages of the text, preferably the first chapter.

  • If the project will include illustrations or photographs, please send samples. Do NOT send originals. Clear photocopies are acceptable.

  • Supply a market analysis of the book. Unless there is something about the potential market that would not be obvious to the uninitiated, this analysis should concentrate on the titles, publishers, and dates of all similar books, with an explanation of how your book differs from each.

  • Send a biography of the author, including publishing credits and credentials in the field. If the project also has an illustrator or photographer, please include that biographical information as well.

To do this, I need to curtail my blogging. I know this. But I am weak. Does anyone know of a 12-step program for bloggers I could join? Or, is there a patch I could wear as I taper down? Does anyone have any good links to a blogger's version of the Serenity Prayer? Nevermind. I'll Google it and be back to you in an hour or so...and if I don't find one, it shouldn't take more than a couple of hours to write one.

Wait a minute. I lost my train of thought. What was I talking about?

Posted by fred1st at August 28, 2003 09:19 AM | TrackBack

Oh man. I'm so with you in that 12 Step Group.

How about little pieces of gum you can chew. Call it "Boggarette."

Posted by: Cody at August 28, 2003 10:25 AM

I'd like to join, too. I've spent most of my summer blogging, rather than doing the things I "should" be doing. On the other hand, why isn't blogging a legitimate activity in itself? You've written wonderful stuff here, Fred, and even what you have referred to as the "silly daily postings" are evocative, insightful and certainly part of the overall work of being a writer. As I tell my students all the time, we don't end up "using" everything we write, but that doesn't mean it wasn't valuable work.

Posted by: Cindy at August 28, 2003 03:19 PM

How about singing, There is a time to blog, a time to research, a time to prepare book proposals, a time for every purpose under heaven...?

Posted by: trish at August 28, 2003 05:03 PM

Would you like a nice cheddar with that whine?

I hate lists...they only serve to mock me...beseeching completion of tasks I never had any intention of beginning.

Posted by: feste at August 28, 2003 05:57 PM

Me too... Where do I sign up?

Actually, looming work deadlines have a way of making you go almost cold turkey for a few days at a time. And, as you try to settle into the deeper and wider groove of that work, to your horror, you realize that thanks to blogging, you have developed a slight case of attention deficit disorder.

I think its okay to take some time off blogging, without having to justify it or worrying that your blog will fall off the radar if you dont keep those new posts flying for a while.

Posted by: maria at August 28, 2003 07:21 PM

When you find the answer, please blog it! LOL. My husband is a compulsive list makert. Indeed, once something is on a list, he regards it as good as done. The list is buried amongst a pile of other lists, and the job rarely sees the light of day again. But he feels good - it's on a list.

Posted by: Jan at August 28, 2003 07:25 PM

Why don't you blog "offline?" You could write up the answers to those requirements in your blog (or another blog you created) and save them as drafts so no one else can see them. You get the feeling of working with your blog but not the publicity... Just a thought...

Posted by: Another Dave at August 30, 2003 10:03 AM

Why can't those suits do their own market analysis, for cryin out loud?

Posted by: Fran at September 3, 2003 04:38 PM

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