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March 2, 2016

It’s been slow, book-wise. I haven’t conducted any interviews in about a week. I’ve got at least three scheduled for the next five days, but I’ve already worked through transcribing all of the interviews I’ve done recently and working that content into my draft. I’ve been trying to work on other components in the meantime, but most of what I still need to write is so dependent on additional research that it doesn’t make a lot of sense to get started with it until I’ve gathered more material.

Of course, not all of that research will come from interviews. In most cases, I’m sort of stuck waiting around until I can pin down certain people for an interview. In others, though, it’s on me to reach out to publications about digging through their archives (there are quite a few pieces that I know exist but haven’t made it online yet), and sometimes I just need to do some old school [search engine]ing to add some context to this or that passage.

The other thing I can probably start doing now is cutting stuff out. As of now, my manuscript is 435 pages long. When I flesh out some of the placeholders I have in there and drop in quotes from the interviews I’m still planning to conduct, I expect that to balloon by another 80-100 pages, at least. If I want someone to publish this thing—and I do—it’s going to have to be pared down significantly. I’m not sure I’ve ever read a music book that was longer than 320 pages or so. Realistically, I may end up having to cut half of what’s in this current draft (a draft which, beastly though it is, has already been shaved a few times). The hardest part of writing anything is often knowing what to cut, and I’m going to need to cut a lot. 

At any rate, I need to maintain some momentum. Not every day can be a marathon, fugue-like 14-hour writing session, but if I can do a little bit of work each day, it won’t get stale. And as much as I like living in Athens, I don’t think I want to be here forever.

Update: In the half day since I posted this, I’ve added three more interviews to my schedule over the next week, with a few more that could fall into place in the same span. Feast or famine.

In other news, I had something published in Flagpole this week, the first time I’ve had my name in print in a few years. It’s a 110-word calendar pick, but it’s something.

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