Over the several years that this project has grown, morphed, died, and been reborn, I learned that protecting your writing time is critical to successfully seeing a book manuscript through to completion. As my project began to mature, protecting my writing time was never an essential component of my day or my mindset. Instead, life intruded at every (in)opportune moment.
During the life of this project we moved three times, bought two houses, began multiple jobs, and not least of all, had two beautiful children. Somehow in spite of the constant interruptions of life the project matured, even if that route has at times been torturous. More importantly, the project matured and in doing so, became more focused, which led to it moving beyond the moniker 'the cabin book' to becoming a book manuscript initially titled "Rubyat".
Unnamed tributary creek in the Cloud Peak Wilderness, Bighorn Mountains, Wyoming
I'm not quite sure when the all important, "ah-ha" moment struck, but it was sometime after the birth of our first little one and moving between states to chase new career opportunities. I had once again decided to work on the book project, but having put on paper all of my childhood stories about summers spent at the family cabin and fly fishing (see part 3 of this blog series), I found that something was lacking. The stories themselves were missing something; they were missing a larger unifying purpose behind them. And without the larger purpose, they were simply cute stories about a kid experiencing nature in the mountains of Wyoming.
It was at this moment that I realized if I was going to continue putting time into this project there had to be justification for it, and if that justification was to publish my story, then I needed a reason for readers to pickup the book and read it. This was also the moment I realized that if I was going to work full-time and write at night during time that in all right belonged to my new daughter, I needed to approach the project as a professional.
The next post will cover how the project matured into a book manuscript and I grappled with finding a reason to give readers a reason to pick up the book.
Until next time,