I’ve hinted at writing another book. Now it’s official. I signed a contract with ALA Editions. The manuscript is due to them in January 2012. The first one was a growth experience because it really pushed me to think differently on how I viewed my job and the library profession.
In terms of size and commitment… obviously there is a big difference between writing a 5,000-word article and a 55,000-word book. But it’s more than length—it’s sustaining a concept, building a story, and hopefully leaving people with positive ideas. I really wanted to capture a particular emotion (excitement) and for the most part I think that worked out.
Contractually, it was a marketing book, but I wanted to project my public service orientation, especially in the epilogue. To me-- that book was more about interacting with students rather than “marketing” advice.
The new book has been brewing for a while. It took me a long time to find the right tone. I want it to be very readable and hopefully widely appealing. It’s a bit philosophical actually, yet simpler. Here is how I described it to my mom: a synthesis of library experiences viewed at a molecular level. I’m sure ALA is expecting that to just fly off the shelf, huh?
But seriously, it’s going to be a short energizing book exploring core qualities that most libraries share. I’m stripping away functional things, like collections, technology, and people and aiming for the emotional nerve of what we do.
I’ve decided to chronicle the writing process online. A few friends and my brother have expressed interest in what goes into writing a book and so I figured I’d share it with them over the next 18 months. I have to admit that my approach is wildly inefficient and that there are far better and more productive ways to get this done—so I’m not advocating my behavior, but here it is should you be interested: BrianMathews YouTube Channel.
What else is going on? Oh yeah, my wife is pregnant. I’m excited! I’ve been learning A LOT and I’m more observant of kids out in public. I find myself critiquing the parental decisions of my neighbors—and their fashion choices too, but this is California. I’ve also been watching a lot of baby videos on youtube.
My wife and I are both librarians so I’m hoping the kid will strive to be the Librarian of Congress or something noble like that. At the very least I hope that our bookish nature is passed along.
I’m not planning to turn this into a baby blog, but I just wanted to take a minute and share what’s going on in my life-view these days. Hope everyone is having a good summer.