Monday, December 13, 2010

How Do You Decide What to Do Next When You Don't Know What to Do Next?

My husband and I have been writing a book for a few years now and it is getting to the point that probably what needs to happen next is a thorough Roto-rooter-like edit/proofread by me and then find a publisher. Or do I find an agent? Or is it neither of those things? Am I deluding myself that I could actually do any of those things? I started down the garden path to find a literary agent, then looked at some stuff people had written about getting a book published, then started looking at the book to see what sample copy I could send out, then started writing a cover letter to no one, then I realized that my head was swimming and I had no idea what I was doing or what I needed to do next and I know what a run-on sentence this is, I'm just using it to give you the idea of what it feels like in my head. My head is one big run-on sentence, and as an editor, I should know better, but it just never stops. In addition to the book, I am an artist. I show my work in a gallery here in town and also in my Etsy Shop on the internet, so I'm also an internet marketer of some ghastly variety. Plus, and more importantly, I'm a housewife and stepmom (and dog-mom).
So what do I do first? Do I work on said book? No, not at all. Instead, I work on something that I know how to do, putting off the probably much more urgent thing (the book) that I have no fucking clue how to do.
One of the first things I have been trying to work on is a book cover illustration!
I rediscovered a former professor from college on Facebook, friended him, and discovered that in addition to being a brilliant physical chemist and concert cellist, he has written several novels! So upon mentioning my delight in this discovery as part of my Facebook friend request, he offered, "buy one of my books and I'll buy some of your artwork." So I bought one of his books (for Kindle, which I'm reading on my computer, since I don't have a Kindle) and waited to see what he would pick from my artwork. Better than picking something, instead he asked me to design the covers for his next three (I think he said three) books! I was flattered and excited and said 'yes' immediately, of course. So the first image in this post was the condition of the first cover, before I took it with me to the doctor with one of my kids and sat in the waiting room for 90 minutes. So that sketch is considerably further along than it appears in the photo.
As a consequence of being a stepmom and artist, I have volunteered to design my daughter's first tattoo, and her Dad is going to get (part of) the same tattoo with her. Fortunately for the creative process and unfortunately for my kid, said daughter had a terrible stomach ache on Saturday, sending us to Urgent Care, resulting in 4 hours trapped in a small, sterile room with a bitchy teenager. Needless to say, I got almost the entire drawing finished right there. Fairly excellent usage of a day I will never get back.

Next thing on the list, in no particular order, but that needs to be completed immediately along with everything else, is my Sketchbook Project sketchbook. I found one of the many, many links to The Sketchbook Project and thought it would be a fantastic opportunity to both do something creative and almost completely limitless in possibility and get some publicity by being part of this huge project that will be touring the country, then wind up as part of the permanent collection of the Brooklyn Art Library. Each artist chose from a wide variety of themes--I chose "Science project gone wrong" because, well, how perfect does that describe my scientific career. I can finally make a formal mockery of my own failings in scientific inquiry. Shown here is the back of the book. Those are the only marks on it thusfar. It must be postmarked by January 15th, 2011. Sigh.

1 comment:

jcsvisuals said...

Oh my, good luck to you in 2011.

It sounds like you have a lot on your plate with art writing, and family.

You'll have a wealth of inspiration...