Saturday, December 18, 2010

0 A Fool's Errand & An Extended Deadline: Or, Where Did My Super-Chef Cape Go?! ;)

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Roughly 19 days ago, I made a decision that my cookbook-writing was going to take precedence over all else in my life, and that I was going to sacrifice almost all other activities -- sleep, a "normal"/regular bedtime, preparations for our upcoming vacation, social media interactions, household maintenance, heck, even exercise (!), etc. -- towards meeting that goal. That meant nonstop cooking & recipe-writing, and little time for anything else. I was going to try to get to 250 recipes by the end of the year if it was the last thing I did, even though that'd mean creating & cooking 2.5 recipes a day in order to reach that goal.

Yes, I know. That was a completely insane goal & set of expectations, and 19 days ago, when I first set my sights on reaching that goal, I honestly knew it deep inside. Even though I'd even stated as much on Twitter -- "Could I reach this crazy, impossible goal?" I wondered aloud  -- I thought that it would be fun to see how close I could get to that goal before the self-imposed deadline, i.e., 12/31/10. I did this full well knowing that I was going away on vacation for a week, and thus losing a whole week of time I'd normally have had had we not gone on vacation. Did I need to get my head checked? Maybe it was the sleep-deprivation talking. ;)

Of course, it was an exceptionally poor decision, but back then, for some strange reason, I thought that announcing it publicly on Twitter would force me to be publicly accountable, both to the goal itself & of course to those eagerly awaiting the publication of the cookbook. After all, I didn't want to lose face. :-D

In hindsight, this was sheer folly. No, scratch that, it was a fool's errand. :) I'll admit it: Unless I can create and cook 31 recipes in the next 4 days -- Ha, yeah, right ;) -- I will have I failed to meet this goal. However, it wasn't for lack of trying. I really busted my tail trying to meet that goal, sometimes creating, cooking, and posting as many as 2+ recipes per day. Of course, I kinda knew from the outset that I would fail -- I didn't have a snowball's chance in hell -- but, even so, it didn't stop me from trying.

Darn it, I knew that I should've re-evaluated my progress and the likelihood of achieving this goal. The moment I realized that I'd never achieve this goal in the first place, I should've just pushed the deadline forward to a more realistically achievable date. That's what I usually do. Don't ask me why I all of a sudden got so stubborn, instead of being my usual flexible self. Maybe it was just a compelling, burning desire to finish the cookbook. Yeah, that was probably it. ;)

Oh well, I didn't meet the goal, which in truth, wasn't really a surprise. ;) OK, so big freakin' deal. It's not like someone's breathing down my neck to get it done, except for my own inner fire pushing me forward to cookbook completion. However, it's time to forget the setbacks, move forward again, and modify my existing goals. There's literally no time to cry over spilt milk, not that I'd even shed a tear over something like this. :)

So, I'm now doing what I should've done a few months ago: I'm extending the deadline by another 2 months, i.e., to the end of February, 2/28/11. At least now I have a fighting chance of making the goal. I know with absolutely certainty -- that is, unless my computer explodes or I'm suddenly being hunted down by an angry, disappointed mob holding pitchforks ;) -- that I can realistically create 31 more recipes over a span of roughly 2 1/2 months, or the next 72 days, allowing for our upcoming week of vacation and a few days off in between recipe-writing to avoid complete & utter burn-out. :)

Not many people probably realize this, but I've been slowly working on the cookbook in a slow trickle, that is, whenever I've had a spare moment to write and test recipes, since July 2007. It wasn't until relatively recently that I've exclusively devoted my time to finishing the project. As compared to previous years, the recipe-writing process has really picked up at an incredible pace. Yes, it's been full steam ahead.

The archival data on this blog really tells the whole story. Just look at number of posts -- and a good number of them are, in fact, recipes -- in the blog archive by year:

► 2010 (221)
► 2009 (38)
► 2008 (42)
► 2007 (64)

Wow, pretty unreal, eh?! In light of these numbers and in spite of the recent, botched attempt to meet my short-term quota, I still feel really good about my accomplishments over the past year. There's still so much work yet to be done, but at least now I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

I'm now planning for a mid-year release (for 2011), which I think is much more realistic, given that I still have to add chapters on general nutrition, sports nutrition, and information about how to plug in the cookbook's recipes into one's daily life & training for optimal athletic performance and enhancement of one's health and overall quality of life. Plus, I still have to polish the manuscript and do some preliminary rewrites & edits before submitting it for publication.

As I mentioned before, there'll be lots of new content -- new recipes not found in the blog, plus lots of useful nutritional and training information and advice. I'm hoping that the extra time will give me a chance to make this cookbook even better, with even more value packed into its pages. I hope that you will be patient as the "cookbook construction" process continues. As they say, good things come to those who wait.

It's time to put the hard hat back on and keep drilling away until I reach the finish line. On your mark, get set, GO! :-D

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