Embracing Radical Simplicity

Sometimes simplicity is complicated. For a long time, I’ve been trying to simplify my affairs, including my writing process. Somewhere along the way, it seemed that the simplest route for my writing was for me to do all the things I could, which meant the writing of course, and also creating covers, creating the ebooks, creating the website and my weblog, and so on. I remember that it seemed simpler to create these things (and the tools to create these things) myself, rather than having to find appropriate tools and to work within their limitations.

This led to problems. One problem was that by spending so much time doing all the other steps, I had less and less time for the writing part, and my production ground practically to a halt. Another problem was that, although creating tools and such took a long time and a lot of work, in the end it seemed that my results were not as good as even the generic options available.

So lately I’ve embraced the opposite approach, doing as little as possible apart from the writing to get my books dressed and into the world. Where before I had simplicity, now I have radical simplicity. I’ve decided that can work within the limitations of tools like WordPress. I can accept the output of cover creators. I eliminated design elements that were sucking time out of my projects with unsatisfying results, like special fonts and icons. I let as much as possible go, then I examined what was left to see what I could do differently to make even more unnecessary, then I repeated the process. It seems like simplicity should be easy, but sometimes it isn’t.

I’m several weeks into this process, and I’m very happy with the results so far. It has been truly liberating. For the first time, I have a  clear and easy path between the writing and the publishing, and projects that have been struck for years are moving again. And every day I’m eager to get back at the keyboard, because I’m no longer trapped doing work I’d rather not be doing, and my writing projects are exciting.

In truth, I’m quite uncomfortable writing posts like this about the process, because without real results like new published content, this seems like only so much wheel spinning. In fact, I was on the verge of deleting or abandoning this post for several days. In the end, however, I decided to publish this information because I will be making some changes soon that won’t make much sense without this context.

That’s all for now. I have to get back to my work. It’s looking really great, and I can’t wait to share it with you.