Creators log

Proposal Progress

17 May 2024

I have a stack of books on my desk that I’m mining for inspiration. What is the right tone for my book? What is the right structure for its chapters? What ratio of story to information — narrative to ideas/history/context — should I aim for? What kind of book do I want this to be? What kind of book does it want to be? I’m even debating whether my narratives should be in past or present tense. These are just a few of the many decisions that I need to make.

Yet, despite all the thinking, I’m struggling to find the deep stretches of time I need to make actual progress on the proposal’s sample chapters.

My wife is back at work. I’m alone at the house teaching, grading, cleaning, taking care of Lucky (my father’s nickname for my son, after mob-boss Lucky Luciano… a metaphor that might not be too far off base considering how demanding he is of my time and loyalty), etc. As such, I don’t have long stretches of time for deep focus.

I do, however, have snippets of time here and there. These short blocks of time are perfect for quick research and reading, taking notes. I’m continuing to read and take notes on the larger project, and to think about my approach, but this isn’t directly helping the proposal itself. But for the deep editing and structural work I need to do on these sample chapters, the short blocks of time frustrate me. I will need to get over this frustration and these restrictions and just get to it. Perhaps it is all a form of procrastination.

In other news, I’ve deleted most social media apps off my phone. I’ve kept my accounts open, which I access on my computer for posting updates (not for consuming/browsing). I’ve also unsubscribed from a number of podcasts that seem to generate more noise than signal; taking their place, audiobooks via Libby and Audible.