|This is a PARTIAL list documenting the many stages of the book's |
revision over the full two years of its composition. Every time
I decided to re-organize or change direction,
I started a new folder to give myself a fresh slate.
The actual work I did on the book over the next five days began with my original vision in the shower, but then expanded into some other revisions that continued to tighten everything and make the remaining material pop. I condensed five chapters into four, and excised 8,000 words from the manuscript. (This leaves a good 50,000+ words that I wrote for the book which did not make the final cut. I know from past experience that I'll find ways to re-use some of that material.)
When I sent the revised version of the book to my editor on Sunday evening, November 3rd, five days after the original submission, I felt the sense of accomplishment that I had been missing. No doubt more revisions are in store, but for now I am satisfied that I have written a thought-provoking book about attention, distraction, and education. Two years after I first started thinking about this book, I still find the subject fascinating--which is important, since I still have to see it through a year's worth of production into an actual book, and at least a couple of years of promotion and speaking after that.
I submitted the book on November 3rd, 2019. Currently the book is scheduled for publication on Tuesday, November 17th, 2020. We chose this date because I'll be giving a keynote lecture at the Original Lilly Conference at the end of that week, and it will provide a nice opportunity to celebrate its publication.
But looking at those dates, you might be asking yourself about that timeline. What happens during that year between submission of the manuscript and the actual publication date? Why on earth does it take so long? Especially in this digital age, it seems like we should be able to produce books more quickly than a year, right?
I was frustrated and confused by the extended timeline of the book production process before I published my first books, when I was especially eager to see my babies get out in the world. But having been through this ringer five times now, and having served as the editor of a book series, I have a much clearer view of the reasons for what can seem like an interminable delay.
|How I have missed writing in these beautiful, handmade|
journals! They come from Bomo Art in Budapest;
I discovered them while visiting Central European
University in the spring of 2018.
For now, I'll finish by noting that I love writing books, but I also love being done with them. For the past six months I haven't posted to this blog, submitted an article for the Chronicle of Higher Education, or written a single word in my journal. I'm excited to get back to all of those activities, which I love, and dream about the next big project.
If you have questions, you are also welcome to post them below, and I'll try to address them in a subsequent blog post.