Many months ago, several hundred people signed up for my Tranquility by Tuesday project — the study that will form the basis of my next book (likely out summer 2022!). They answered some initial survey questions and then, for nine weeks, learned about a different time management strategy each week. They answered questions about how they planned to use the strategy and then (a week later) they answered questions about how the implementation worked in real life.
The end-of-project survey went out this week. While I’m hoping a few more folks will complete it (if you are reading this and are in the project please go do that now!) and there will be two follow-up surveys, the main data collection is mostly done.
So now I have to write the book.
I do have time. The manuscript draft is due October 1. I’ve already been compiling each week’s responses and also steadily writing 500-1000 words each week since winter with my thoughts. I will wind up dumping a lot of these musings, but setting weekly word counts has forced me to spend time thinking about the project. As I did, I’ve come up with ideas (like adding a “bonus” idea for each chapter that is related to the strategy, but is a little different). I’m doing some more extensive interviews now (and if you did the TBT project and want to talk more, let me know: laura at lauravanderkam dot com).
Nonetheless, book projects are always daunting. So, as with all big things, I try to do two things. First, to picture myself on the other side. In a year or so I will be holding galleys of a finished book. I will be looking at the cover, seeing the type. In the months to come I am simply bringing that vision to be.
And second, I aim to enjoy the process. I love writing. I wanted to be a writer growing up. And now I am. I have an opportunity, over the next few months, to compile some ideas that I think will be helpful to people, and to do so in a way that will hopefully be enjoyable to read. I am happiest when I am deep into a big writing project. I’m trying to focus on the pleasure inherent in doing this. Now, onward!
In other news: I’m making steady progress on the book, but this week I was reminded that sometimes putting things off…pays off. Last week my to-do list said I was supposed to make a plan for renewing my clearances for school volunteering, and getting my Real ID. I intended to execute those plans this week. Then I figured out that if I waited until June to do the clearances, I would have officially lived in PA for 10 years, and so I wouldn’t need to do the fingerprinting stuff I had to when I’d only lived here five years. So I happily bumped that to-do forward a few months (as we’re not allowed in the school buildings right now there’s no upside to getting it done earlier).
And then…lo and behold, the Real ID deadline was moved back to May 2023. Since my regular license renewal will come up before then, the time I would have put into getting the Real ID would have been totally wasted. I am glad I didn’t rush to do it. Has putting stuff off ever paid off for you?
Coming next week…details on a graduation book bundle give-away. Stay tuned!
Photo: Leatherleaf viburnums, blooming alongside the driveway