I am delving into the world of non-fiction! Hooray!
Two years ago Dayle A. Dermatis, an awesome author who I’ve had the pleasure of working with in a number of short story collections, suggested I consider writing a book about organizing bundles. At the time I’d curated one collection and was getting ready to send out invitations for the second, so while I liked the idea, I didn’t feel that I had enough experience yet. But I do now!
The focus of this book has changed a little over time, primarily because BundleRabbit, the story bundling site I use to create and manage collections, added a new feature last year. Initially BundleRabbit was designed to help authors and curators create bundles of ebooks, but it now offers the ability to create ‘collaborations,’ where the curator(s) create the book (which can be ebook and/or print) and BundleRabbit handles the revenue split. I’ve since switched from creating short story bundles to creating collaborations (which are really anthologies) for a variety of reasons. (If you’re interested in the difference between the two, I wrote a post on the difference between bundles and collaborations created using BundleRabbit.) This means that my ‘bundling’ book now covers both story bundles (collections of ebooks, so essentially box sets) and anthologies. And not only am I finally writing the book I’ve had on my to-do list for two years now, I also mentioned it in my interview on Mark Leslie’s Stark Reflections podcast – so I’ve publicly committed to finishing the book soon. 🙂
I’m working on a fun project which has given me even more things to reference in this book: I’m co-curating a monster-themed anthology series with DeAnna Knippling. DeAnna is a fantastic writer, editor, and friend, and it’s been super fun to work with her. She’s great at finding things that aren’t working in a story, and knows enough about the craft of writing to be able to pinpoint why something isn’t working. I can do that sometimes, but not nearly as well as she can. We’ve been editing the stories for our first volume, and it’s been really interesting to see what each of us will pick up on.
And now, as promised, here’s an update on new things I’ve learned and experienced in the past week!
My lesson for the week was to remember that no matter what I think ahead of time, if I go out to celebrate a friend’s birthday I’m going to drink too much wine and stay out to late. Oh wait, I learned that lesson before…several times. Oops. 🙂
The most important thing I’ve learned in the past week is that writing non-fiction is very different from writing fiction. Wow. I thought writing my bundling book would be like writing something for my day job, or like sending a friend an email explaining how to do something. This is indeed the case, but it’s involved a lot more fretting and fussing over the outline and organization than I anticipated. And I’d even put together a rough outline ahead of time!
That said, once I poked at the outline – and fit in a fair amount of procrastination time, because apparently that’s what I do when I’m figuring things out (whether I should do this or not is a different topic…) – things started to feel comfortable. Now I’m on a roll, and am very happy with how the manuscript is progressing.
Celebrating my friend’s birthday was super fun! Maybe a little too much fun… 🙂
It’s been interesting to think about my learning/experience goal every week. A day or two after I wrote last week’s blog post I thought: I’m not learning or doing anything worth reporting! Ack!!!
While that caused a moment of consternation, I’ve also found myself paying attention to things I might have ignored otherwise, and my level of interest and engagement in things feels different than it did a few weeks ago. Will this continue? I don’t know yet, but it feels good!
One new experience of sorts is that I’ve started reading The Laws of Gartsherrie by A. J. Morris. This book is set in the early twentieth century in Gartsherrie, Coatbridge, in Scotland, and was recommended by Kay Smith, who is my 4th cousin once removed. I’ve been collaborating on genealogy research with some of my Scottish cousins for the past few years, and we recently met Kay (electronically, as she lives in Scotland). Kay said this book does a great job capturing what life was like in that time and place, and it’s been fascinating to read it and think about my own ancestors. They didn’t live in Coatbridge at the time – my Scottish great-grandfather came to the U.S. as a toddler, in the early 1880s. This is more me reading about other people’s (fictional) experiences than having experiences of my own, but I’m enjoying it nonetheless.