Eats, Shoots, and Pays
'A basic rule of punctuation' "It could be the most costly piece of punctuation in Canada."
Read how a misplaced comma (oh had they only employed one of Garrison Keillor's English Majors!) made the bill go up by over two million dollars!
And Also on Language. . .
Take a look at Seth Godin's advice for writers. Looking back on this accidental process that lead to Slow Road, I think I've conformed pretty well to Seth's advice.
- I'm still exploring to find my niche market.
- I think my expectations are reasonably placed.
- I'm doing the hard part (marketing and promoting) with some joy and success, now that the "easy" part (getting it between covers) is three months past.
- Turns out, I even followed his rule #2 (which he repeats twice) about the three year building of a constituency and network before the book came out.
I really appreciated all the blog mentions back in the first month which Godin says are more important than blurbs. I may ask some of you bloggers for a repeat mention closer to Christmas as the PayPal and direct orders dropped to a trickle once the book was off the web radar. But I am glad he ended his list with this point:
Writing a book is a tremendous experience. It pays off intellectually. It clarifies your thinking. It builds credibility. It is a living engine of marketing and idea spreading, working every day to deliver your message with authority. You should write one.
Idea spreading, delivering your message with authority. That's it.
I got back a tentative yes from a civic organization who wants me to come speak, provided my talk is more than "a shameless plug for your book." And that kind of presentation will be easy to provide.
It seems that now with the book finally printed and in hand, I want to talk less about the book itself and more about the process of coming to have it, and about having it behind me. I want now to talk as much about the themes that powered the discipline and emotion and connectedness in those pages.
I want to tell about the value of looking carefully and about traveling slowly and indulging the senses we use too casually. I could speak about the utter strangeness of the commonplace and the importance of curiosity, awe and respect for nature; about the once-ness of every experience we have and about our neglected role as caretakers of the planet. I could encourage listeners to think about the importance of finding their own story, their voice, and passing that story to family and community. There are so many things to talk about now, and promoting the book only to sell a few is not what it's about after all.
How do we know what we think until we see what we say? I certainly can talk about how this experience has enriched my self-knowledge, my sense of belonging in this house and this community and this living world. I'm only now starting to know what I think about all that, now that I am carrying this little book around as a means to be able to speak to groups of people.
What is your book about? What will you come to know that you didn't know you didn't know, once your book is written? And what are you waiting for?