I took a little break from working on the books over Christmas. It was nerve wracking to just set everything aside but has proven to be just what I needed. When I returned to it (so very much closer to the early February deadline) it was very clear that the beginner knitting book had moved into the next phase of the process. While that sounds like a simple statement, the division isn't so clear from the thick of things.
That got me to thinking about the whole process and why it was suddenly in a different mode and why. So, I puzzled out my own structure for what writing a book involves. For me, the process of creating a book divides into roughly three parts (with a lot of overlap):
1.The generative phase where new material is generated. This is where the ideas for projects are thought up, actual designs are created and many, many notes are scribbled. Imagination and creativity are hallmarks of this part.
2. The organizational phase. This is as you would think. All that loose, voluminous and messy material from the first phase is marshaled into a logical and coherent form. Not so easy as it sounds! There is a lot of concrete and analytical thinking going on here.
3. The finishing phase. This is what goes on after the manuscript has been sent to the publisher. There is a tremendous amount of work going into the actual making of the book and questions inevitably come up or more material might be necessary for a spot or two. This phase is highly collaborative and requires commitment and quick thinking.