"From Auden To Yeats" is now finally available as a paperback, after weeks of struggling with formatting and cover issues.
Publishing this book is a reflection of many of the lessons I have learnt lately, and have been chronicled on this blog - the importance of perseverance, of breaking projects into smaller chunks, of iterating until it clicks into place.
For each aspect of the book, which I insisted on doing myself, I had to overcome ignorance (of the various factors involved) and frustration with all the new information that was coming at me, and my inability to keep up with it. I kept asking myself why I was doing this - in Write. Publish. Repeat, the authors argued that print publishing was a 20% activity (as in the Pareto Principle), and should only be undertaken once other 80% activities were done (which for me is writing more books). I was sure this was simply an exercise in time wasting. And yet I was convinced there was some merit in putting myself through these paces - and went ahead with it anyway.
I almost gave up a few times, putting the project aside and working on my new book projects. Something kept pulling me back into it - somehow I sensed giving up would signal something unproductive to my mind, and I decided to doggedly keep going - fixing each mistake and uploading new versions till they were accepted. I had decided to go with Createspace, and while I think they have a great system, it can be highly confusing if you don't know what you are doing, which I certainly didn't.
Nevertheless, writing this blog and reading the books and articles of the writing and productivity communities, some lessons have become embedded in me. For instance, don't give up. Keep trying, keep coming at it from different angles, because most of the time its not lack of talent or knowledge that stops us, but the fact that we gave up too soon. In this case, all I had to lose was time, and potentially my peace of mind. I was hardly risking money or even my reputation. And my writing career could only be benefitted by giving readers an option to buy a print version if they wanted.
I had a stronger motive for following through. I wanted to learn this process for future books, and I know from past experience that each time around, I learned something. The first few covers I created for instance, disastrous. But over time and several iterations, they started to suck less, and look almost professional. Thus another lesson learnt, failure is a temporary condition, made permanent by not trying again.
Anyway, I did manage to jump through all the hoops and put the book together. More importantly however, I learnt yet another application of these principles - that productivity and creativity aren't so much an inevitable consequence of talent, but of the right mind-set.
From Auden To Yeats: available in Kindle and Paperback.