When I spoke to Ryan's creative writing class, I mentioned the importance of ritual for me as a writer.
When I'm working on a project that takes more than one session to complete, I need to write at the same time of day, in the same place, with the same music. I don't know why, but it kicks something in my brains into motion and the creative part of it rolls out of bed and starts running. In both of my published books, I've included the music I was listening to during the various phases of their construction, and it will be interesting to me to see the Venn diagram of all three.
Today, I realized that I'm sitting in exactly the same place (the dining room table, kitchen on my left, family room on my right, facing the living room) as I sat when I did the final draft of Just A Geek. The first draft was written in my office, at my desk, on my Linux machine, just like the first draft of both Just A Geek and Dancing Barefoot. I also start and finish my work around the same time each day. I don't understand the significance of these individual bits, but they all go together to make up one very important writing ritual that helps me work every day.
Which leads me to another thing I mentioned to Ryan's class: the importance of discipline and schedule, especially if you're freelance or self-published. If I don't give myself actual deadlines and make them, I'll never get anything done. If I don't set aside some chunk of time every day (for me it's from nine in the morning until 2:30 in the afternoon) that's just for writing, I'll never be disciplined enough to get things done.
I bring all this up as prelude to the real reason I broke away from writing to post in my blog: I'm so very, very close to being finished with this penultimate draft, I can feel it. In fact, I can flip over to OpenOffice and I can see it. I have to substantially rewrite one story to make it less bloggy and more timeless (that's a theme, I've discovered, when converting work from a blog into a book) and then I just have to polish everything else before I send it to Andrew for notes.
Current word count: 26000. It's substantially less than I'd originally wanted, but I'm okay with that. I keep reminding myself, it's a companion to Dancing Barefoot, not follow-up to Just A Geek.
Some people have asked me what the plans are for this, and how you'll be able to get your hands on it.
The main release will be softcover, but there may be a very limited-edition signed and numbered hardcover, like Scalzi's Questions for a Soldier, depending on how much that sort of thing costs and how much interest there is from the audience (that's you, so speak up if you're interested -- it will make a difference for me.) There will almost certainly be an audiobook like Just A Geek, too.
At the moment, the plan is to do this just like Barefoot, setting up a little shipping operation in my living room and handling all that stuff with the help of my friends. In fact, Ryan is counting on working for me before he goes to school near the end of summer, so I already have my first employee!
My great hope, of course, is that this method becomes impossible to manage when you all tell your friends to buy two copies as gifts and I have to move to some sort of fulfillment house, but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.