As long as I feel excitement when a title is published, I’ll keep doing it! I started on this in October. It wasn’t on my production list until January. Once I started, I kept going. For me, working on a nonfiction title such as this math workbook allowed me to make progress when so many other tasks didn’t get done. I needed to clean out old papers I had from when I was in the classroom. Scraps of paper and well-used file folders and even scratch paper with notes on it all went into the recycle bin after being given “permanent” life in this book. I wanted to create a resource for teachers, tutors, homeschoolers, and students looking for mass practice of foundational math concepts. I’m very pleased with the result!
And now that I’m not living in Equation Editor, I can focus on my fiction. Not that I couldn’t before, but it was easier to pound out math problems than it was to string the right words together in the right order to make a story worth reading. I know you’re thinking I must be a little strange to prefer logical math problems over escapist imagination. But in a lot of ways, the nonfiction is less stressful. If the numbers I used didn’t work out to a “nice” answer, I could tweak the problem. It’s a little more involved to do the rewrites during a second draft!
Do I have other nonfiction ideas? Yes. Are any of them on the docket for 2023? Not right now. I can’t say publishing a nonfiction title is the worst kind of procrastination, but it certainly fills the time I could use to write stories. To prove to myself that I am still a fiction author, I’ve been working on finishing The Secret Gift. The story winds this way and that way. I almost gave up a couple of times, made a note to move a scene to a place earlier in the story, then scratched it out and kept writing. I’m past the “boggy middle”, which for me is on the backside of 3/4 of the way through the manuscript. I know the things that will happen. But as always when I write, some scenes take forever, while others are only a paragraph but seem like they take forever.
All the sayings flit through my mind. “You can’t edit a blank page.” “All first drafts are crappy.” “Writers write.” And my own monologue playing in the background messes with my why for writing, comparisonitis, and using the past to predict the future. My paid hours have lessened and will be that way for the next several months. If I don’t take advantage of this shift in schedule, then I’ve wasted an opportunity. Do you do things that still excite you? What kind of creative ways do you have to procrastinate?