Do you know if it's possible to wear the grooves off the tips of your fingers? I think it's altogether possible I'm close to losing a fingerprint on my index finger and if I don't hurry and finish this job I know it'll be gone. Or I can plan better tomorrow and attach a mouse to my laptop and salvage what's left of the feeling in my entire right hand.
Sometimes when I've worked for a client over time and we have a really good rapport, they want to hire me to do things I never said I could do. Start out with a liittle old website, and pretty soon you're doing something really interesting. Like laying out books. Generally when this happens, it takes me a week or two before I wake up and realize what I've agreed to. This weekend brought one of those realizations. And so a job that would be fairly simple and straightforward to somebody with, oh - I don't know - formal training in graphic design, would probably already be finished with this book by now and it'd be on its way to the printer. Me? Not so much. Client doesn't care...she's banking on my becoming addicted to this process and agreeing to do more.
There's a different kind of concern at stake. If you muck up a website, you'll just go in and change it, soon as you find the problem. Books? Yea, well you get one chance. When it's printed, that's it, babies. No pressure there...
It's actually not a complaint; do you know how cool it is to take a couple of workshops in a program you've always wanted to learn, then have someone offer to pay you to practice your newfound - albeit limited - skills? Yea, it's a good gig if you can get it. But I've been having to repeat certain steps over and over when I find myself realizing something should have come before that other thing. The book is perilously close to 250 pages - with illustrations, which of course is what makes it so tricky. Placing all those illustrations just so, so the text can subtly wrap around the pretty pictures in a way that feels natural and, well, not like a kid did it...that's become one of the most formidible challenges I've had in years. (All this, after I've cleaned up the scanned illustrations - from original artwork - so that they're rotated properly and don't have that fuzzy gray surrounding area you often find on scanned documents.)
So except for 2 hours of Pie Time yesterday, this is what I did this weekend. Sat on my fanny and stared at a computer screen for what I think I can honestly tell you was 15-16 hours since I left the office on Friday. A few years ago I read a blog of a pregnant woman in which she referred to her new "magical expand-a-butt." That phrase keeps coming to mind. 'Cause not only am I attempting to hit a goal here, (which is to say: finish the blasted book before every one of the hairs on my head has turned white,) I'm also a couple weeks into my something-or-other go round with taking Adderall again. And you know what? That stuff will keep you in your seat!
Today I spent half the day working at Panera just to get a change of scenery. It's possible if I hadn't left after 4 1/2 hours they would have kicked me out for drinking that last refill of coffee, but fortunately I didn't have to find out. I'm not sure I'll do that tomorrow, because I have to return to some other jobs (read: web ones,) but I'm gonna' have to do something to make it through to the end without going crazy just sitting in one spot. Like put a bigger pile of pillows on the sofa. I don't think people were intended to stay this focused. Are they?
Anyway, I've crossed over the hump of There Is No Way In A Million Years I Can Do This and I'm starting to imagine how it'll feel when the book is available on the bookstore shelves. And I can even imagine what it's gonna' look like!
This is good stuff, ya'll...