Book Progress Report: November 2021

Hello everyone! Here I am once again giving an update on the book. It’s going to be a relatively short, but still rambly as usual, update because as discussed in the last update, I’m preparing to go on my first long distance trip in two years, which is the longest time I’ve gone without travelling on a plane in my entire life (holy crap I sound like a spoilt brat complaining about first world problems). To say that the pandemic shook up my life is an understatement. There are other ways it shook up my life, but we’re not going to get into that. Why so long without travel if travel between European countries has been open for a hot minute? Well, my passport was gone for almost half a year because I’m applying for citizenship and I swear that department is just like the DMV in Zootopia, run by sloths!

When I least expected it I got a call that my passport was coming back soon and it came back in a little over 2 weeks. I had no idea which day I’d get my passport back and I wasn’t going to book any holidays until I had my passport in hand. The top priority for me was to see my family, who I haven’t seen in almost 2 years – once again the longest I’ve gone without seeing them and I’ve spent most of my adult life living outside the US. My grandparents are 95 and I have no idea how much longer they’ll live and I need to see them just one more time. I never got to properly say goodbye to my grandparents on my mother’s side and I would be so sad if I couldn’t see my grandparents one last time. This isn’t going to be exactly the most fun trip ever, but I’ll try to make the most of it and certainly the weather will be nicer there than where I live, in Ireland. So I’ll be gone for two weeks, so that’ll cut into my book progress, and after that we have the holiday season, which once again will throw my progress off a bit and it’s hard to get that momentum going when you’ve stopped writing for a while.

That said, breaks are necessary and that’s one of the things I’ve learnt about writing long form content. This isn’t my first time writing something very long. The word count of my masters thesis was nearly 35,000 words and I had to write that all up in just a few months. I don’t think I got a good mark on it, but a masters is a masters. C’s get degrees, right? We all know that marks aren’t the be-all end all anyway. How many classic rockers dropped out of school, did horribly on their 11 plus, or failed classes? A lot of them! But they’re still brilliant and no one cares about your honour roll status or your 1:1 when you’re in the real world. For the Americans, who’s in their late 20s or older and still brags about their SAT score? Weird tangent/rant about school.

Back to why breaks are necessary, sometimes you need to press the reset button on your brain because if you do the same thing for so long, it feels stale, boring, and you’re not as inspired. You need time away from what you do, even if you love it, so that way you come back energised, motivated, recharged, and doing better than ever. There’s a reason that unions fought hard for paid time off and 8 hour work days. The thing with being a content creator, whether it’s being a YouTuber, podcaster, musician, or writer, is that you have no boss and it can be so tempting to keep working and pushing yourself harder and harder to the brink of burnout, sometimes because you compare yourself to others and other times because you have intrinsic motivation to be the best you can be, but you have to remember to be kind to yourself. I made the mistake of pushing myself too hard past my limit and it hurt me more than it helped me. Yes, the content is out there for posterity’s sake if nothing else and I’m hoping people enjoy it and learn something from it, but am I happy? Isn’t there more to life than writing about classic rock, even if I love doing that? Your happiness is key. If you’re not happy or mentally healthy, sure you can create some amazing work, some of the best songwriters ever struggled a lot with mental illness, but you can’t neglect your health – physical or mental.

As you can tell with this month on the blog, you’re wondering, hiatus, what hiatus? You were still posting content and working on your book, you must be crazy! Yes, I am crazy, but I like to think that I was productive. Typical to my fashion, you know that I’d never leave this blog entirely since I’m still responding to comments and emails as always. Whenever something comes up that I find interesting, I’m going to write something and I always make sure that whatever I write is something that readers will enjoy and that I enjoy too. I don’t just write for my audience, I write for myself. I write the guide to classic rock I wish I had when I was 14 and just starting to get into it. And that’s what I hope to do with this book, it’s gonna be something special and I always think about the content that’s in it and other ideas about it: the cover, the corresponding playlist, how I’ll promote it, and formatting. I’ll talk more details later, but I will be excited to share when I’m ready.

As for writing this book, this topic has been very interesting to explore and as with anything I do, I try to make sure I leave no stone unturned and I thought I covered it all in my outline, but as I find with classic rock, there are so many connections and you go down a lot of interesting paths. You know this if you’re an avid Wikipedia reader, you could go through all these articles that lead you to other articles for hours and next thing you know you’re reading something you never expected to read. So crazy how there are all these connections. Classic rock is a small world and even when I’m reading about stuff that is not super related to my book, I find more things and I had to go back in my book and write a few chapters and one of them is a timely one with events that happened recently, one of these chapters was something I briefly talked about somewhere in my blog but I forgot about it when writing my outline, and the other chapter is something I only recently learnt even though there was a lot of publicity around it. I know this paragraph here sounds really dry and boring because I can’t reveal the topic of my book yet, but it’ll all make sense when I make the announcement of what the ‘Untitled Angie Moon Project’ is, well it has a title, but I’m not telling you yet.

Last but not least, let’s talk word count and give an update on that. So in the October book update, my word count was over 46,000. What’s the word count for November? Over 56,000 words! That’s not too bad, 10,000 words written on my book in a month where I wrote other things and am planning a trip. Any progress is good and I’m very happy to have an even number like that.

That’s about it for the book update. I still need to pack those bags, isn’t that one of the most stressful things?

Until next time!