Glorious day for organizing and planning!

Happy Saturday, friends!

IMG_1661Thought I’d take a moment and give you a little glimpse into what a day in the life looks like when you’re attempting to write your first book. Spoiler: it’s not exactly what you’d think!

Here is what I’ve learned thus far: the beginning stages of book writing involve far less writing and far more planning and organizing than I originally expected.

When I embarked on this journey in January, I had this idea that I would just jump in and write the first chapter no problem. Since I already had a strong base of knowledge on the Responsibility to Protect, it should have been easy to just bust out a few thousand words, right? This has definitely not been the case.

While admittedly I initially felt a bit defeated about this, I’ve come to realize it’s all part of the process. So, I’ve slowed down and am now working on putting together a list of people I would like to interview about R2P and related matters. These will be good background for the book, as well as a refresher and learning opportunity for me.

That means today has been spent creating interview questions, making a list of people I’d like to interview, and thinking of creative ways to share these interviews with you in the process. I will keep you posted on what comes of this plan.

In the meantime, here’s today’s working soundtrack. Enjoy! (oh, and feel free to check out my good ol’ donate button on the side of the page. 😀 )

Printer Wars and Book Funding Ideas

IMG_1591Last week, I announced the launch of this fancy new website, as well as my big new book project. This week, I’m plugging away reading articles, making lists, rethinking how I’ve laid out my writing schedule, and pondering how I am going to create just the right voice for this book. This, by the way, is more difficult than I thought it would be. The multiple different drafts of my first section, none of which are quite right, are a testament to that. How does one find the balance between their academic voice and their casual voice? I will be sure to let you know when/if I figure this out…

What I have learned thus far is that book writing includes infinite hours of simply thinking without much tangible progress to report. Did I work on the book all weekend? Yes. Do I have 20 pages written to show you? Nope. Do I feel like I have a new or better understanding of my next steps? Yup! So…success? Perhaps.

Recently, I’ve been thinking quite a bit about the travel portion of this project. As my life seems to be getting more and more scheduled, I’m keenly aware of the need to start getting serious about planning my trips. It’s time to figure out where I’m headed, who I’m going with, and more dauntingly…how am I paying for this?

You might find yourself wondering why I feel the need to travel in order to write this book. Couldn’t I just interview people, or read about the conflicts from the safety of my apartment? Well, I could…but there are a few reasons why that’s simply not enough.

First, I see traveling as an opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the conflict situations I’m writing about, as well as the people involved. Second, I can’t very well publish a book that speaks a great deal about Africa without having set foot on the continent. There’s just something inauthentic about that. And finally, I genuinely feel that without seeing these regions firsthand I won’t be able to do this book justice. I won’t feel comfortable putting it out there as some sort of authority on the topic.

So in the meantime, I’m working on fundraising ideas. I’ve pondered all the regulars (Kickstarter, GoFundMe, etc), but none of them felt right. For now, I have simply added a donate button to my site. You may notice that nice little PayPal donate button on the right side of the page. Do feel free to take a moment and click on it. 🙂

A Day in the Life – Anecdote #1

So, what does a day in the life of an “author” look like? Well, this weekend it included a pretty serious game of chicken with my printer. I’ve been trying to be environmentally friendly – as any self-respecting northwesterner is – but I finally decided that as much as I want to conserve paper, I just needed to print out the articles I’m reading as I research for the book. People mock me quite regularly about my disdain for e-readers, but there is just something about having the actual paper in your hand.

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Punk-ass printer scoffing at my request for a few more pages before I replace the cartridge. Note the single “e” at the bottom.

Things got serious on Sunday when the printer decided it would acknowledge my print request, but would only print a single letter on each page (note the lone “e” at the bottom). Bold move, printer. Bold move. I, of course, have circumvented this problem by now printing everything in blue. I will give in at some point, but currently it’s Printer – 1, Corrie – 1. So, let’s just see where this goes in the next round.