I get to work on my second book revision of the summer.
One of the drawbacks of being a freelancer is that you spend part of your time lining up work but have very little control over when that work needs to get done. As a result, your life can be a mixture of large blocks of time off with large blocks of time working your butt off.
This summer is a perfect storm of work. Not only did I manage to get nine weeks of contracted cherry drying work in Central Washington State, but three of my books came up for revision at almost the same time.
Fortunately, cherry drying is mostly a waiting game. Although I’d like to see more rain (and, hence, more work) in the area, the waiting time can be easily turned into working time for my book projects. Once I get motivated, that is.
I spent much of July working on the biggest of those three projects and got it off my plate right after starting my last contract of the season. When it was over, I was burned out. I couldn’t start the next project until I had beta software to write about anyway, so I took five days off.
Then the software came and I took another five days off.
I am a procrastination expert. I can find anything to do other than work when there’s work to do. Yesterday, I even paid my bills — that’s something I usually put off doing. You know you’re grasping when you start using the things you don’t want to do as procrastination tools.
But today, I get back to work.
While I’m not at liberty to discuss the software I’m writing about, I can say that the software revisions should make the project a bit more difficult than a straightforward revision. I’m expecting about a 25% change in the content of my book. I’m not doing layout, which is a good thing. But I do have to come up with plenty of fresh examples and hope I can get all features working properly in my limited setup here at the motel.
So I’m diving back in today and will keep myself productive by turning off Twitter and my e-mail client and my Web browser. I’ll set achievable goals for each day’s work and knock off chapters, one after the other. The book has 23 chapters. I’m here for the next 10 days. Two or three chapters a day and I’ll have the book done before I leave.
I probably won’t be blogging much while I’m on this crazed schedule. I’ve found that if I blog in the morning, it sucks away some of my best working time. (I’m a morning person.) And by afternoon, I’m too burned out from the day’s work to write any more. But we’ll see. This revision might just go better than I expect.