What has two thumbs and has not totally forgotten it’s writing a book? THIS GAL!
The book has been on hiatus, and I thought I should talk about that honestly.
I got cold feet as I got closer to being done writing it. Much of that has to do with footnotes! I can’t decide which way to err – to include no footnotes and make academic-types mad, or to include them and turn normal folks off.
I did recently finally get the new version of InDesign, so I don’t have to worry about a serious compatibility problem that would have forced me to put footnotes at the bottom of each page rather than use endnotes, so that’s helpful, but some chapters have upwards of 100 of them.
I also don’t know if it’s right/acceptable to put a digital version with all the citations online and direct book readers there as some have suggested.
Then of course there’s the fear that I print this thing and something (or things) are wrong – and I don’t mean typos. Or someone who descends from the people featured doesn’t like what or how I wrote about their ancestors. I have seriously thin skin. And other than a little booklet about Revolutionary War soldiers, I have never published my own work (and if it weren’t for other people involved, I would have left my name off of it!).
I recently started looking at my files and all I have left to finish writing are two parts of the chapter about “life in 1903” – the one about morality and religion, and the one about health care.
I’m not worried at all about the layout and I have more images than I know what to do with. It’s just these last two things I feel I don’t know enough about, but the only way I can think of to learn about the morality of people from Northern Dutchess County in 1903 is from the newspaper and I got as far as April of that year before I gave up. The Pine Plains library has a microfilm reader, but it sits on a file cabinet and there is no place for your legs or for your notebook and I end up in agony after an hour of searching.
Bweh bweh bweh. I know.
tldr: I don’t have the confidence to finish or publish and I don’t know when I will, but I still think I will. Maybe.