As the publication date for Human Game approaches, I’m keeping my mind distracted by working on my next project. I’m roughly 20,000 words in and hoping to hit the 30,000-word mark by the end of September. I don’t write as fast as I used to. With a 17-month-old son, it’s also harder for me to stay at my computer for long periods of time. He’s at the age where he enjoys being chased around the house, which is a lot of fun for me—and helps me burn a few calories in the process.
I told myself going into this current project that I wasn’t going to be a stickler with the writing schedule. Thus far, writing only when I feel like it has made the process all the more enjoyable. I don’t feel obligated to produce and don’t feel disappointed if I have an unproductive day. On days when the words are flowing, I limit myself to a 500-word maximum. It’s always better to finish a day’s writing when you know what you want to put down on the page the next day.
There’s another reason for my more relaxed approach. I enjoy knowing that I have a project to work on. Whenever I finish a book, there is—naturally—a great sense of relief, but that soon gives way to fear that no new ideas will materialize. By taking my time, I can draw out the writing process and delay the inevitable panic that will set in when I’m done. All that said, this current book is proving a joy to write. It entails some strange research on my part. Among the books I’ve had to consult thus far are:
The Devil’s Dominion: The Complete Story of Hell and Satanism in the Modern World
Man, Myth, and Magic: An Illustrated Encyclopedia of the Supernatural: Volumes 1 and 2
At the Heart of Darkness: Witchcraft, Black Magic and Satanism Today
The Occult: A History.
Anyone who walks into my home office and sees such reading material spread about might think I’m trying to master the dark arts. My interest in such a subject is purely professional—but if I learn how to put curses on those who annoy me, then I’ll consider that an added benefit!
In the meantime, I was recently contacted by a fact checker at Wired for the write up they’re doing on Human Game in the October issue. I have no idea the length of the article, but judging from the number of questions I was asked and the depth of detail they wanted, I’m hoping the article is rather substantial—and kind towards the book! I’m very thankful for the publicity!