While Tyler and Rick worked on our road today, progressing ever closer to the finish line, I spent a productive day in our camper poring over my bicycle touring cookbook. With so much going on since we moved to Vermont, I've had trouble focusing much attention on it. But right now, I'm buckling down for the home stretch, getting ready to launch it into the world.
Currently, I'm adding page numbers to an index I compiled a few months ago. It's a pretty huge milestone for me—it's the last big thing to do, and it means that I won't be making any significant alterations. (I can't change the way the text flows from one page to the next, or every single reference to a page number will be wrong, and will need to be fixed!)
After the index is done, there are just a few piddly little things to do on the book, and then I'll set up a Kickstarter to fund the first press run. Phew! After nearly two years (on and off) spent working on this thing, I'm so ready to move on to other projects.
The creative process is so strange. When I first began writing my cookbook, I didn't know how to make it happen, and progress seemed achingly slow. It took ages to get clear about what I wanted to write, and even longer to acquire the skills I needed, such as learning how to use InDesign. But then came the juicy, meaty middle bit: time flew by as I was able to do what I love: cook, photograph, write.
Now, time seems slow again as I edit, edit, edit, index, index, index. I realized today that the difference between "doing busy work in a crappy camper in the woods", and "being a writer on her gorgeous Vermont homestead," is all in my head, and it's my decision to pick which story I want to live.
And so, instead of listening to the voices in my head that were saying you'll never finish this stupid thing, and who cares about a stupid cookbook, so why bother? I made myself a cup of tea, turned on Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong, and embraced my indexing for what it was: the work of being a writer on her Vermont homestead.