Focused Fandom Countdown: 2+ Months To Go

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.

Steven Savage