There is no feeling that has my nerves on end like going to print. It’s just so final. Every time I approve that final piece of work, permitting the printer to produce hundreds, sometimes thousands of copies, I get a hard-to-describe feeling.
It comes from the finality of it; the written/printed word never dies. It’s irrevocable, once it’s out there, it’s out there. Decades down the line, someone shall pick up a copy and make conclusions not just about the content of the publication but the author too. Isn’t that how we know so much about the Egyptians? Their calligraphy drawn on the pyramid’s walls thousands of years ago speaks volumes. Yap, the whole world might be judged by this one book. (Lol I know, my imagination does carry me away sometimes :-).)
Or maybe the butterflies signify my excitement at the soon-coming new product. Everybody loves fresh unadulterated stuff. And what about that wonderful new book smell? I have spent weeks imagining what the final product will look like, tweaking this and adjusting that. I am sure I annoy the printers, calling multiple times to confirm delivery dates. I hope they understand; I just cannot wait for it to finally come out.
Or it’s relief at the conclusion of a drawn-out production process. What begun as a blank white page (you know that step right before you put down your first thought, your first idea) is finally coming to its natural end. And the work is now available to the whole world for them to skim through, scorn, criticize, acknowledge, plagiarize or use as they please.
It’s as if my whole life depended on it; it’s got to be just right. Yet no matter how hard I try, however much attention I pay to the detail, there is going to be a fault. In fact multiple errors – a typo, a missing word, a false capitalization, an indication of my imperfection, my faulty humanity. It’s just not possible for one person to produce a faultless 50 page document. I wrote that last phrase hoping that if I said it out-loud I would somehow believe it. Pause. Nope, it didn’t work. I’ll still cringe the next time I find that error, because I am the kind that shall always desire perfection, however unattainable. At some point, whether I like it or not, my best has got to be good enough. I just have to say to myself, I did my best; what’s done is done, it is now time to move on to tomorrow’s task.
So here is the soft version of what the printer shall hopefully deliver on Friday. Enjoy :-).
And now the song of the week – Tim Hughes – He’s got the whole world in his hands.