March 15, 2014

Spending time making BROKEN

Clock icon designed by Andy Fuchs from The Noun Project collection

In the first post about how my book BROKEN was made, the importance of time was emphasized—specifically, that it took four years to make the book available. During that time, I needed to find a new co-writer—a search fulfilled by going to the gatherings of CreativeMornings. It took time to write and re-write, edit and re-edit, design and redesign, launch and promote, and promote again. Time was essential to all of these activities, but it contributed specifically to these two aspects of time:

Start doing what you feel must be made
My project of BROKEN had a number of starts: the initial ideas for the concept of the book, discussions, and note-taking. But the true start of the book was on September 28, 2010, when the first word was written—“tools.” It was also the title of the first chapter that was worked on. Compared to the other versions of starts related to thinking, talking, and documenting, writing the first word was the book’s true beginning, because it connected with the book in the most visible way. Yes, it was only one word, but it was the first actual building block.

Spend—don’t make—the time
Rather than committing to making the time, commit to spend the time. The time is already there, so spend it. Use your time to craft its substance and style. Over time, your efforts will result in something substantial. This is gratification of getting work done. At the same time, it’s gratification that briskly dissipates, until it’s achieved again, for a few more minutes to a few more years. Time is an inheritance. It can’t be saved nor stored. Its ease is to spend it.

Start your book and spend the time to get it real

When you envision the complete iteration of your book, it’s an intimidating thought. A motivating aspiration, but a lot to behold.

Starting has versions and can materialize in different forms. The beauty of start is that it has no standard method to make the act of starting a valid one. Pick and start from there.

Once begun—whatever part of the book project is approached—time is spent. The more time spent, the more the project advances toward completion. Time well-spent, on your book.

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This is the seventh post, after the launch of BROKEN, that reflects on how this book was made. More to come in this series about aspects related to writing and self-publishing. Read the previous write-up: Talked about BROKEN at the Institute of Design, IIT, in Chicago.

• • •

BROKEN: Navigating the ups and downs of the circus called work is available in ePub formats and PDF.

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