A week ago, I got an e-mail from Red Line Editorial. Would I like to write a book for a new Abdo series? As always, my first response is “Yay! Someone wants me to work for them! I’m going to get paid. Hey, wait a minute. What do they want me to write about?”
Why the subject is never my first thought remains a mystery, but it always takes me a moment to get there. Truly, my process always follows set steps.
- Yay. They want me.
- Wait. What will I be writing about?
- Sure. I can do that.
- Wait. What do you want again? What are the specifics?
- Cool. This is so do-able. And I’m perfect for the job.
- I wonder what my library has on this. There — books requested and journal articles saved.
- There’s so much information. But I have to make sure that X, Y and Z make it into the book.
- Whoa. This is really complicated. I’m not sure I can pull this off.
- Take more notes. Take more notes!
- Ah, this is going to work after all.
Four Abdo titles sitting on my shelf, two more sets of author copies to arrive any day, and two more in production, but I go through these same 10 stages each and every time. Where am I right now? Step 8. I’m writing for a series on racism and the thought of explaining microaggressions is freaking me out. Why microaggressions vs everything else, I have no clue but I tend to panic about something pretty specific.
So far I have 18 pages of notes. I need to skim through them and pull out the sources for my bibliography but I have about 13 more sources to read. I have to admit that I love electronic sources such as PDFs. Why? As much as I love the feeling of a print book in my hands, when I research I copy and paste material directly into my notes. I started doing this on book #2 because while writing book #1 (Ancient Maya), I got tired of going back to the orginal source to see exactly how the author had worded something. It was a bother when I was writing my draft. It was a huge bother when answering my editor’s questions. It is a lot easier to know that I have everything at my finger tips.
Ah, well. Back to the reading. 6 of these sources are books so finishing up the research stage is going to take some time.