Since I signed the contract with Manchester University Press for my book on fantasy writing, the prospect of having to write an index has been haunting me.
At first, with publication far away and the entire manuscript to write, I could shove the index to the back of my mind.
When the manuscript was completed and submitted for editorial review, a dark smudge appeared on my horizon. But I still could ignore it.
When revision instructions came back, the smudge became a cloud. Dread, uncertainty, reluctance all had to be faced.
A deadline for the index was handed down. Procrastination was not an option.
Faced with the actual task, with no way out, I took on the challenge of flexing my writing muscles in a new direction and tackling something I’d never done before.
Like so many fears in writing that we finally face, the index has proven to be no big deal thanks to the miracle of computers and a great deal of patience. Is it the most comprehensive or superb index ever written? Nope. Neither. I believe it will be adequate to the task, however, and that’s all I ask of it.
I’m not a fan of Franklin D. Roosevelt, but I love his famous quote, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”
How true that is. How often do we let doubt and uncertainty keep us from writing the story in our hearts, the story we believe we can’t do? How often do we write a manuscript and leave it locked in our computer, never sent to market or uploaded to Kindle and Nook? We have to face our fears and keep trying, always.
And now, like the person skydiving for the first time, who lands safely and feels the thrill so keenly she wants to do it again, am I ready to tackle another nonfiction book with index?
Well, not right away.
As for THE FANTASY FICTION FORMULA, the page proofs have been checked, and the index prepared. To my knowledge, all systems remain “Go” for January 2016 release.