Coming back, possibly slowly

Five weeks later, it’s time for a somewhat optimistic update to this post.

It’s been more than two months since I did any serious original work on Cites & Insights. That’s the longest break I’ve had in a very long time. (I did write one or two print columns, so it wasn’t a complete shutdown of the creative impulse–but close.)

The post referenced above raised a gloomy prospect–well, gloomy from some perspectives:

In recent years, I’ve said I’d keep on writing as long as (a) people want to read what I have to say and (b) I find it interesting & worthwhile to do so.

Right now, I’m a little uneasy on both counts. With luck, this too shall pass…

Two of the comments on that post made similar points; I’ll quote bibliotecaria:

I would suggest that even though the moving is not necessarily taking a lot of time, it IS taking more mental energy than you might think. Moving is stressful. Wait until you’ve settled into your new place before you start thinking that your inspiration is gone and will never come back.

Moving does take more mental energy than I’d imagined

…and the drain on energy goes on for a very long time. It’s certainly not over yet! (We have lots of painting, carpentry, electrical, etc. projects to get completed–along with the big changes–and there are still a few boxes in two rooms, a lot of boxes in one bedroom, and a completely chaotic garage.) But it’s also home now. Our most important paintings (all original oils) are hung, my office is fairly well set up, we had our first Sunday home-cooked dinner last night, we watched our first Netflix movie in three or four weeks night before last…all signs of settling in. In another month or four, we may be fully settled in (except for the garage: that could take years).

I realized this when I found that, even though I wanted to do some writing and even had some time at one point, I just couldn’t focus.

Signs of renewal

I’m still devoting at least a couple of hours a day to move-related stuff, but that also leaves a couple of hours a day for reading and writing.

The previous post–this one–is a sign of renewal. I couldn’t have written that post two weeks ago or a week ago.

I just printed lead sheets for 18 items that add to a folder that should yield an essay for the July Cites & Insights. I hope to start that essay this afternoon or tomorrow–and recognize it will go a little more slowly than usual. And, although I’d originally planned to leave GBS alone for a while longer, the comments related to the previous post lead me to believe it’s fodder for a new article.

Projects and issues

I’m still postponing decisions on the Four Projects, but probably not for long. Since sales of the three blog-related books continue to be nonexistent, this mostly boils down to two things:

  • Am I sufficiently interested in how liblogs (not library blogs) are doing to carry on even with little or no likelihood of revenue?
  • Can the case be made that a workshop/book/whatever on low-cost library book publishing would reach a wide enough audience or generate enough interest to justify the work?

Given the enormous sum of two favorable responses, I’m a little dubious on the second, but if I wind up with an excess of energy at some point I might proceed anyway. Regarding liblogs…that’s tough to give up.

As for library blogs, I think another nail has been hammered into that particular coffin: Cites & Insights 9:6, containing the most important chapters from both books, has had unusually low readership for its first month of publication. Apparently, y’all not only won’t pay to know how library blogs are actually working, most of you don’t even want to read about it. Hint:Taken.

The next couple of issues of C&I may still be somewhat erratic, but that’s nothing unusual.

There is another issue with C&I, a financial one; that deserves a separate post, which will happen later this week.

2 Responses to “Coming back, possibly slowly”

  1. Steven Kaye says:

    Worth placing the books with a Neal-Schumann or other specialist publisher, so they can handle all the administrivia (even if you get a smaller share of revenues)?

    And now I promise I’ll shut up about this.

  2. walt says:

    Administrivia isn’t a problem: Lulu and CreateSpace handle all of that. Publicity (and cachet, or at least “being professionally published”) are what N-S and ALA Editions and ITI provide–along with editing and a time delay (and other things, mostly good).

    I doubt very much that a library publisher would do a traditional edition of any of those books, since they’ve already been out for a while and have demonstrated lack of demand. The time delay was one reason I didn’t approach them in the first place.

    I do plan an essay on the self-publishing experiment. It reminded me that I’m not an entrepreneur or proper publicist by nature. It hasn’t been entirely a failure…but certainly not mostly successful either.