Maintaining practice after completing a project

It has been over a month since I last posted to my blog (and much to my pleasant surprise, that gap was even noticed by someone).  Despite the hiatus, it was a reasonably productive time, as my efforts were simply directed to other efforts.

The two main endeavors that have been taking my time are 1. finishing my book, and 2. making some videos.

My book is about to come out. 

It will be available on December 16th.  Over the last month+, I have checked the copy-edited files, read and corrected the page proofs twice, and also done the index.  That all was mostly done by mid-November, and the book has been out of my hands for some time now.

Over the last couple of weeks, I have worked on making some videos to help promote my book and my business.  I’m not good at visual stuff; I don’t really think in visual terms, so it’s hard for me to translate the ideas that I want to discuss in a visual presentation.  I am used to talking with people about these ideas (and writing about these ideas), so the upshot is that these most recent videos are basically just me giving powerpoint presentations, and all the slides are text (and sometimes even a fair amount of text). Moving to a more sophisticated visual language is something that will only evolve over time and practice. The videographer actually brought up his concern for visual consistency between this series of videos and any future videos (which I intend to do). I think/hope/expect that these will be superior to previous videos I made, which were also basically powerpoint presentations, but which were produced using the tools I had on hand (i.e., my laptop’s built-in camera and microphone and free video software). 

As of now, the videos are in the process of being made, and my tasks are, at the least, changing. This is all to say that I have been working recently, but that due to the progress I have been making, I no longer have the same set of tasks to work on. 

Currently, I need to find new rhythms to replace the rhythms that were shaped by the needs of finishing the previous projects, and now that those projects are essentially done, I’m a little bit at loose ends as I try to figure out where I will be focusing my energy next.  This post is very much an exercise in trying to wrap loose ends into something that I can post on my blog. and to generate some new momentum on writing blog posts, when I haven’t given them much thought in a while.

Partly the issue is in choosing where to focus my efforts. It’s not that I don’t have things that I could work on, it’s just a question of deciding which. Blogging is something of a sidebar—it’s something I do while I’m also working on something else—so it’s a relatively good task for a short term, transitional moments in a writing practice.  

Prioritizing different tasks is always difficult because the necessary choices are fraught with uncertainty.  This is one reason that it can be difficult to get moving on a new task immediately after completing a previous one.  But choices of what to work on are good ones to decide relatively quickly: better to get writing, than to sit wondering what to write about.

That’s my main message for this post, and for myself at this moment: get writing, don’t sit around wondering what to write about.  I’m going to wrap this up here just so that I can post it, and then I’ll get on to a next project. Or at least get on to choosing a new project to work on.