I just completed the first chapter in my first book--a travel guide called Backroads & Byways of Arizona. It'll be published by Countryman Press in 2009. I'm waiting on edits so I can complete the remaining 11 chapters. It's going to be quite the feat to finish by February 1 (How's that for alliteration?), as it's not just the chapters I have to write, but I also have to compile all of the photos, find a map and highlight the routes, write the acknowledgements, the table of contents (after I organize the chapter), and a bunch of other details that the publishing company has written down in style guides. They e-mailed me three different ones. It'll be a lot of detail work when I get to that point. And I still have two or three more trips to take, and maybe a few short reminder weekend travel days to schedule in. I'm not sure yet.
But now that I met the deadline on this first chapter, I'm feeling a bit underwhelmed. I now have no immediate deadlines, no immediate assignments to work on, and no need to feel rushed. That's a weird feeling for me. Not to feel under the gun about a deadline? It's crazy. Yet nice.
I have a list of things to do, of course. There's always plenty to do, but no rush.
Ummmm. So this is what a slow day feels like? Nothing. Very strange. I'm even going to have time this weekend to go shopping with my daughter for a few presents for my son's new baby--due also in February.
Since she'll arrive about the same time as my book deadline, I'm thinking that's not good timing on her parents' part. At least it doesn't take into account my deadline. I won't be leaving this house in late January, I hope they know, until the book is turned in. So good thing this is my son. My daughter would kill me if I weren't there for the birth. She's already pretty much told me that. But I'm hoping I'll be there for my son, anyway. Still, the timing thing could be tricky. There are no delay allowances for a book project. Not this one, anyway.
And now that my days have slowed down a bit, these are the kinds of things I'm thinking about. I've now got time to think. I've also been doing a bit more marketing than I had been. I've been able to fit in about 10 pitches to several magazines in the past week. That's a good thing, to try to stay ahead.
When you have a slow day, or a down day, or whatever you call it, how do you stay busy?
If you care to weight in, post a comment. I'm curious to know how you are able to manage the down time when no one's on your back. Are you using your BIKE? If so, which parts?