Making a book is like buying a house. If you've never done it, you can't figure out why people aren't more excited when they move into their very own home! But the entire process seems designed to wring every bit of enjoyment and pride out of the result, leaving you with regrets and second thoughts that wake you up in the middle of the night.
Well, The Joy of Color: Fair Isle Design Your Way is wandering the same path. A few years ago I decided that I would like to translate my 3-day Design Your Own Fair Isle workshop into book form. I'll talk about what it took to go from "vague idea" to "book in nearly finished written form" in another post, because I know that many people have dreams of self-publishing. Let's just say that I was challenged on many fronts, mostly personal negative self-talk issues--the committee in my head was absolutely certain that such a book would be a major failure, opening me up to responses ranging from indifference to anger to laughter. Not to mention financial disaster. But I digress....
Despite all that, I wrote the text. The folks at Stitch Definition took some great photographs for the chapter opening pages. My first graphic designer didn't work out, so I taught myself how to produce a book using InDesign (thank you, Lynda.com!) And I came up with a nearly reasonable version of the book, but it didn't delight me--I don't have the skill and training to figure out how to lay out complex pages in any way other than the obvious. I found another designer to give it a spa treatment.
In August the designer came up with brilliant changes--less spa treatment, more major plastic surgery and pilates--and I felt so excited! I said, OK, let's go! Love it!
I got quotations from printers, even got a dummy book--a blank book with the same paper and binding and cover choices that I specified--so I could feel it, turn the pages, imagine readers being inspired and empowered.
And then, two days ago, a blow: the graphic designer, after months of just enough output to keep me hanging in there (but enough warning signs for me to ask her directly if she could complete the job a couple of weeks ago), told me that she had not spent the weekend working on my book, as promised, and had enjoyed a weekend with her husband instead. And when she admitted that the work wasn't done she also admitted that she wouldn't have time to do it in the next few months, either.
Needless to say, I fired her.
And then went into a funk.
I'm breathing deeply, taking this time to rework the text and photographs, gathering my energy to find a new designer. I am trying to embrace this gift of extra time to add some more pages, knit a few swatches, fine tune. Lemons into lemonade.
But I need some encouragement, people!!!