Friday, January 4, 2008

I need your help faithful reader.

Yes, two posts in two days, can you tell the Holiday season is over?

I'm back baby, and I need your help.

Of the following two plans, which is smarter?

The current plan is for the primary focus to be learning Spanish (and trust me, the “learn Spanish” part is immutable) and then get back to writing. Of course the web site would be updated sometimes and I would be transcribing notes for the upcoming book “I’m not an alcoholic, I’m just European” but none of that would see Lulu print (re – Quest for the Pro Tour.) See, under the current plan, everything I have written is going to sit on my hard drive for months. But when it is published it will be much more refined.

A man who shares my love of UFC and I assume Magic, Chris McMahon, has become my editor. And the amount of editing I need is staggering. The man has an excellent eye for detail and I think we’re up to revision five of “Quest for the Pro Tour” now, with a ways to go yet. (Note – “Quest for the Pro Tour” was formerly published as “Tournament Reports.” I don’t want anyone thinking that I have a new book they need to download or buy and be pissed at me.)

The professional thing to do is to make sure that everything is perfect and proper before I publish it on Lulu. The problem with that is, it’s going to be a long time before anyone sees anything new from me. A longer time before I might be “discovered” by one of those sites or people that just all of a sudden launches your career. It’s going to be a couple more months of Spanish until I can focus on writing again. And then the first thing I need to do is make sure “Quest for the Pro Tour” is perfect. Then make sure “Marilyn’s Story” is perfect. Then collect all the various rambles I have about travel in Europe for that book, make sure it’s perfect, and publish that.

That is months and months and months away.

But, it is the professional way to do things. The proper and right way to do things.

Plan number two is entitled – well, something gross involving a fan and a wall, I think you know the saying. Under this plan, I upload the latest version of “Quest for the Pro Tour” so at least the version out there is better than the one out there now. Then I collect all my Magic writings since then into another loose collection of columns and stories and put that on Lulu for anyone who wants to read about PT Dallas, PT NJ, trying for multiple seasons to qualify and failing and then retiring for five years and coming back and failing again.

Inspiring huh?

After that, publish “Marilyn’s Story” which only needs a little more work. I’ve collected all the blog entries, added to them, made it more of a story, had Marilyn’s journal added to it, the get well cards, obituary, eulogies and final sympathy cards and aftermath all collected into one document.

It’s a tear-jerker and I think it’s pretty damn great and I can’t fathom why anyone would want to read it. But then, I don’t know why anyone reads sad books and goes to sad movies so I’m clearly not the target audience. But its good damn it! Its Oprah “Book of the Month” quality in the sense that it’s a great portrait of a brave woman, insightful, enlightening about this horrible disease and it makes you bawl.

No one will see it for six months at the very earliest if I follow plan number one. If I follow plan number two it could be an HBO mini series by then!

Or, if I follow plan number two, no one will give it a glance because it’s clearly not perfected yet. It has a LOT of care in it, but certainly not enough to be published by a major house.

It’s the perfection that’s killing me! And the perfection is important, right? Right?

It’s just, I have all this material and all I can see in front of me before it’s released for people to see is months of Spanish and then months of editing. Arggg!!!!

I'd appreciate your thoughts in the comments section.

(You don’t have to register to publish your comments on this blog, you can post anonymously.)

9 comments:

  1. Go for plan one.
    You know you don't want her story out there with anything less than 110% effort put into it.

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  2. I agree, stick with the Spanish Plan. You are already committed, see it through.

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  3. Look - It's simple - Do it right. Don't half do it, but don't sit on it forever either. If it's going to take months of editing, then set a rigorous schedule, find some others as well as your editor to chat with about it, stay fire up, focus. In between is Spanish, Running, maybe a few less dinner parties here and there. Set the bar high. You always do so you can do it this time and you'll make it work.

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  4. You need a project that you can perfect. There are many reasons that I think "Marilyn’s Story" should be that project, but I won't list them, you already know them.

    But that's not to say every project needs that level of perfection. Most of your readers are used to your style of writing, which seems more spontaneous than planned. Kind of like the difference between someone telling a really good story, and someone reading a story.

    One last thing, for the love of everything holy, don't go so long between posts on your site. Fans expect something/anything to read, if there are no updates, they won't come.

    John T

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  5. If you're looking for perfect you're never going to finish. You'll always find flaw with your own work.

    I'd go with plan two. Also, which are you more interested in/excited about: learning spanish or writing and having your works published?

    You could even do a plan c which involves you writing articles (non magic) and short stories and submitting and organizing those while you back burner Marilyn's Story as your magnum opus.

    Writing >>> Spanish.
    I was thinking the other day while I was on the toilet that I only have one use for spanish and that is to read the second set of washing instructions on my jeans.

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  6. If you're looking for perfect you're never going to finish. You'll always find flaw with your own work.

    I'd go with plan two. Also, which are you more interested in/excited about: learning spanish or writing and having your works published?

    You could even do a plan c which involves you writing articles (non magic) and short stories and submitting and organizing those while you back burner Marilyn's Story as your magnum opus.

    Writing >>> Spanish.
    I was thinking the other day while I was on the toilet that I only have one use for spanish and that is to read the second set of washing instructions on my jeans.

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  7. Plan one.
    Something that important to you is worth doing putting the effort and time in to make it perfect.

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  8. Plan one.

    Editing refines your work, makes it easy to read and draws the reader in. Good content alone isn't enough. You might get away with it with Tournament Reports, but not with Mare's book.

    Also, learning to speak Spanish is really really important if you live in Spain. So I would say, be patient. I know it's hard, but it'll pay off in the end.

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  9. Plan One, because otherwise you're doing a diservice.

    - Ben

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