News, Publishing a book in a year

Publishing a book in a year: August

It’s August. The month of time off, promised writing time, and when I imagined we would finish the book.

First of all, an apology – today is my first day back after a very nice week off. And my head is in that post holiday fug. However, I have a few things to share. So here are 4 (maybe 5) unconnected ideas.

ONE – The book is written.

That’s right – we have done it! Or at least we have created a first draft with words under every planned section title. 64,000 words long – almost exactly half written by me and half written by Oli.

But it will not be published in a year. That’s the not so good news. And there are two reasons for this. Firstly, the publisher isn’t able to fit it into their publishing schedule for this year, I always knew it would be a long shot, so this isn’t a great surprise, but it is more likely to come out the first half of 2023.

Secondly, the book is written, but now we need to edit it. To go through and make sure it is coherent. That the ideas that appear in one chapter are not contradicted in another chapter. That was my plan for August, to go through all of the content and do this process. However, I have been side-tracked by another book, which is further ahead in the writing process and has just received a large volume of reviewer comments. As a result, and as the publication date will not be till 2023, I have had to prioritise that book over this one.

It is also possible I am procrastinating. I love love love the process of writing the first draft. I really love when a book is published and I can refer to it from my book shelf. But the in-between space, the editing, the responding and updating off the back of reviewer comments and the final checking once the book has been edited, I really don’t enjoy that part of the process at all.

So, the book is written, yes, but it hasn’t been submitted to the publisher and won’t be for a few months yet.

TWO – Music

A couple of months back I did a daily diary of my writing practice (or lack of writing practice). In it I often mentioned the music I was listening to. But left no explanation. This was because I couldn’t quite explain the reason this was important. Around the same time, I read “What White People Can Do Next” (Emma Dabiri, Penguin, 2021) and specifically the chapter titled “Read, Read, Read – and Dance”. The chapter urges us not just to read around the subject – but to immerse ourselves in the culture:-

“The Black Radical Tradition can be found in black expressive cultures outside the mainstream, where the most profound expressions of freedom are located, in roots reggae, in dub, in jazz, in techno, in house, in hiphop (and sometimes not in the lyrics but in the sonics).”

I think the final part in brackets explains why I have been listening to the music I have been listening to as I write this book – especially as much of it either has lyrics in other languages, or none at all – but there is something in the sonics. Whether music from East Africa or the Powwow Singer Joe Rainey, as well as reading, reading, reading around regenerative design I have also immersed myself in the music of other traditions.

THREE – Visiting Mars

This month I am also really excited to say that a project I have been involved in for a very long time (i.e. pre-pandemic) has finally happened. The Martian house – which is an art project that is designed to challenge us to think creatively about how we can live here on earth in a much more circular (maybe even regenerative) way is open. I would highly recommend a visit and hope to organise a small (about 10 people) event there before it closes.

Visit the artists website here: https://buildingamartianhouse.com/

You can read about it here: https://www.dezeen.com/2022/08/16/golden-martian-house-inflated-bristol-dockside-hugh-broughton/?utm_source=Klaviyo&utm_medium=campaign&_kx=6Ca1nncZNijGKZ7rtXV0zxYHxMZNQqAxeAvhYCXvX1TC4OozjejIGVqlA6XPUKjX.NQ6i9b

And I was about to add a link to booking a visit – but it is fully booked for the next three months!

FOUR – Future Walk

Finally a quick update on the future walk on the 6th September. It will be starting from the entrance to the two tunnels in Bath at 10am. Sorry for not stating this in the last blog post. If you’d like to join do email me james.norman@bristol.ac.uk (and thank you to those that already have). The location can be found using ///weep.nodded.groom on what three words.    

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