Today, after many months of toil, I finally released a more-complete-yet-still-incomplete version of my monster of a book, Working with Stories. The two catalysis chapters (basic and advanced) are in it, coming to about 120 pages together. All the chapters now have summaries, questions and activities for self-study. Many parts have been re-read and cleaned up. References have been collected and an improved "further reading" section has been written. The Scrivener-Word-PDF mangle has been dealt with, for better production next time.
What's left to do? Chapters on sensemaking, intervention and return, all of which should be far shorter than what I have written so far. More notes on case studies to be cleaned up into prose. A few more diagrams and pictures. Indexing and preparation for print and Kindle self-publishing.
If you like this book, or you like the idea of this book, or you have told me in the past that you would like to help me finish this book, now is the time to step forward. As I finish the book over the next (cough cough) months, I am in desperate need of two things, which only you can supply.
- Encouragement. To a person undertaking a years-long effort like this one, the work can seem like mining deep in the dark for jewels that may or may not exist when brought into the light. My biggest obstacle at this point is the need to maintain belief in the book's right to exist, which rests entirely on its utility. I know the book itself still wants to be finished -- it has told me so -- but I am no longer sure the world wants the book to be finished. If the world were to tell me it wants the book to be finished, I would gain much energy to keep mining.
- Discouragement. Self-published, self-edited books are always too long. At more than 700 pages, even without the several chapters yet to come, I know the book has grown into a monster. But I just can't choose parts to cut out! All the sections have such cute little faces! You, my readers, can do what I cannot. Please tell me which parts are not useful, because I am incapable of performing this service for myself. Clarity and utility are at risk, I tell you. The book is poised to eat itself. Someone must take an axe to it, for its own good. All reasonable opinions will be gratefully, greedily accepted.