Friday, 6 February 2015

Weather, Dog-walking and Progress

I have just sent the revised drafts of the final chapters of my book to Andrew Derrington, who is kindly acting as my coach/editor and external conscience.

That feels like a very positive achievement, although there are a couple of caveats.  The first is that I thought I had a complete draft of the book last January: when I sent it to Andrew at that stage, his comment was that it was not so much a draft as some notes for a book... Alas, he was right. Thanks to his help and support, it is very much better now than it was then.

The second caveat is that although I have practically finished the last chapters, I have still got a lot of work to do on the first.  That is deliberate: we agreed that it made sense to edit the introductory part of the book once I was clear how the rest was turning out.

That proved wise, as I have recently removed four chapters that were essentially digressions. They are interesting (to me, at any rate) but detracted from the focus and clarity of the book. I will post them as blog posts on the new, dedicated blog I plan to launch when the book comes out. As I put it to one friend and colleague recently: 'Generally, I’ve decided the book is for my half-formed thoughts. Quarter-formed ones will go on the blog!'

It is perhaps no coincidence that the work rate on the book has accelerated recently: the very cold weather here has meant that it has been less tempting to skive off and walk the dog, and more inviting to stay by the stove and write. 

I should make it clear that the dog is still getting plenty of exercise, just not quite as much (on writing days) as she used to.

So I now have the early chapters to revise, and then there is some work to be done on graphics, illustrations and so on, and then... well don't hold your breath, but I am hoping for an announcement later this year...

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