I've decided it's time I start documenting my latest fan-to-pro effort – my next book "Focused Fandom: Fanart, Fanartists, and Careers." It's about the career value of cross-national linguistic software.
Wait, no it's about how fanart can lead to and enhance your career. Sorry – it's been a long week.
Unlike our own Rob and his wife I don't have the energy for a day-by-day discussion, and the book isn't due to April anyway. In fact, that's part of the story.
Originally the book was coming out in March. I had it booked into my schedule, planned, structured, etc. Heck I wrote the last book in 3 months, right? I could do this in about 4 or so.
Well me, I'm a Project Manager. I'm good at stringing out schedules. I forgot that my life can be just like any other organized structure – it has parallel goals. I had this all planned out – and interruptions started coming in.
Planning a move. Changes at work. Family visits. Other events. Changes in marketing plans. It all slowly crept up on me, and I realized "this sucker is sliding into April." Yeah, it's only sliding two weeks, but there's a few lessons for you current and future writers:
- Treat your life as a unified effort. Be very careful about "siloing" your efforts. Also if you're good at this big picture, remember you'll screw it up.
- Take it from the Project Manager – learn to pad your time estimates. If you don't like the word pad, then provide a "buffer" of time. I usually find 10-30% is good.
- Your prototype is not the pattern. When I did "Focused Fandom: Cosplay, Costuming, and Careers" it was an experiment in "how efficiently can I do this" it was not "can I keep doing this forever." I'm still scaling.
- A change in schedule does not have to be huge to make a difference. This is also why padding/buffer works.
So the book slides by about two weeks. Not bad, and I caught it early. Still a good reminder that your efforts require you to be good at planning no matter what.
Now excuse me . . . I have to get back to writing.