19,000 words into writing a new book and I decided to change course

So I’ve been writing a book. I had a really decent outline, I believed. And the words just spilled out of me. I was writing about 2 hours each night and really making progress. I’m right at the halfway point. I thought I had about 14,000 words til I checked today. I didn’t hit a wall or anything. I just haven’t had a lot of time to devote to it the past week.

I traveled over the weekend. Usually the grind/loneliness of travel makes me even more internal than usual and I find myself in this sort of subdued zen state of thinking, “I know what I should be doing.” This weekend, in that state, somewhere in the Denver airport I guess, I thought I need to revamp the direction of the book. I may have an outline that “makes sense” but it doesn’t necessarily make it appealing to readers. Sticking to that outline just because it makes sense in its own universe could be detrimental to the story. I don’t know. It’s non-fiction and therefore full of things with which I’m uncomfortable. “Detrimental to the story” presumes I have a story in there somewhere.

The “changing course” idea I have in mind doesn’t change what I’ve written. It just expands the breadth of the subject and maybe limits some of what I was planning to write. I’m going to have to go back into what I have written and add a bunch of stuff. I know that’s super vague but that’s where I am right now.

When I was writing Barry’s Cherries, I wanted to blog about the progress but then feared I’d jinx the completion of the book. Or I just didn’t want to write any more about it each day after I wrote. I’m not really afraid of jinxing the completion of this thing I’m writing. I’m more worried about adding words to something that no one may care about.

David Dewese once described his approach to making records to me as “I’m all about checking things off the list.” I approach songs and records and other writing that same way. One reason it’s tough to part with my original outline is that it puts me many steps away from being able to check this off the list. So I may have 19,000 words down but I just moved the goal line.