I’ve talked a lot about stress recently. I am hyper-aware of deadlines, not the least of which is a progress report, due next Thursday, which I have to present to the project committee. In light of the meeting, I am going take the opportunity to take stock of all the things that I’ve accomplished thus far, including work on the drafts, my cover art, and my blog. It’s hard, and sometimes it’s good to stop and appreciate how far we’ve already come.
I started this project last October. I spent a month researching depression, reading and performing interviews, before beginning to write in November. I finished the first draft in mid-January and began editing the the draft, shortening it into what became draft two. While working on draft two, I created an outline for the first draft and, from that, decided on necessary changes to the narrative. I abandoned the second draft and started rewriting the book, resulting in a third draft. I wrote eight chapters of the third draft before losing motivation and winding up where we are now.
I needed a break from rewriting and decided to put my efforts towards my book’s future cover. My graphic artist and I began work on the original cover before I even started writing the book. I had a vague idea of what I wanted, and she worked to bring it into fruition. After a month of work, we decided to shelve the cover until I had written the book, to minimize work lost if the story changed and needed a new concept. This week, we resumed working on it, and, in light of the tone change, the cover was changed to reflect the new, more hopeful look. The cover art has always been the most concrete element of my project, because it is a visual hallmark of what my book will become, and to see how it’s changing and becoming formed is inspiring. The success with the cover and the formatting of the book is coming along well and is a source of hope for the project as a whole.
At the beginning of the project, I was very nervous about my blog. I was scared to reach out to people and talk to them about something this important to me. I was afraid of running out of things to say or having to argue for validity. These fears were unfounded, and the blog has been a mainstay of support and encouragement throughout. I’ve been able to engage a readership of people who care about the project and support me through it. The support of my audience, from new and old readers alike, is unparalleled and invaluable. This would be a very different experience without you, and I am grateful for your presence. You make the work better.
On the whole, this project didn’t pan out how I expected. I am not as far along as I hoped I would be and I am scared to present my work. Despite this, the project has come a long way from where we began, and it now has a real presence in the world. It has served to create a community of encouragement and has gone a long way to helping me discover my process. Even if it didn’t turn out the way initially hoped, the project is good; what my colleagues and I have accomplished is good. And, regardless of what happens going forward, nothing takes that progress away. The story so far is a good one and will continue on as such.
Thank you for your presence; the work is richer for it.
Project Status: The project is somewhat on hold until the assessment next Thursday.