Monday, January 24, 2011

Are You Finished?

Are you finished? Finishing a project is such a strange thing. I think it is especially strange with self-publishing. I recently finished another book or perhaps you can say that that I’m in the process of finishing it. I had some time away from my regular job around Christmas, so I made use of that time to write. It is amazing how much you can accomplish when you have eighteen hours a day that you can use for whatever you want. I didn’t spend all of that time writing, but enough of it that it gave me a good start. Then in the days that followed that, I used whatever time I could find to continue the project. It was all just hard work. There were things that needed to be done. I finished the first draft and I started on the cover. It took me a good 36 hours of labor to complete the cover. I figure that means I saved myself at least $500 by doing it myself, but at last, I finished it. I went through the book, correcting the mistakes I found. Then I created the PDF files from the cover design and the book block. I went through several iterations of doing that because the preflight evaluation kept coming back with problems. At last, I got it down to two problems that I figured weren’t going to cause any real issue in printing. It took me a few minutes to realize it, but I was done. The next step was to send the files off to the printer.

We reach that point where there is nothing more that needs to be done, and yet we’re sitting there trying to think of what more should be done. Finishing is such an abrupt thing. There’s all this work to do and then there is none. Oh, there will be more that I have to do. Because this project is so dependent on graphics, I may have to make some adjustments when I get the proof copy and I’ll want to do some things to promote the book, but I’ve reached that point where I can sit down and relax, read a book or watch television and not have to worry that my writing project isn’t getting done.

And it really is such an odd feeling to finish a book this early in the year. I’ve got nearly a whole year that I don’t have to worry that I won’t finish a book this year. That really is such an arbitrary thing, but it does give one a sense of accomplishment.