With only a month left in the year, it’s become apparent that 2021 publication for my book isn’t happening. I’ve heard from many sources that the final phase of publishing one’s first book tends to inevitably run longer than expected. Certainly that is part of what’s happening here. Additionally though, there is simply an incompatibility between the rhythms of my day job and making progress at the moment. In such circumstances, one gains nothing by trying to rush to meet a self-made deadline. And so, given said work rhythms, something in the range of April-August 2022 is likely more realistic. Below are some details re: the book’s status, though – mostly taking stock for myself, but sharing for those curious…
Keys of Doctrine in an advanced phase of editing
First Key: Unlikely to change much in further rounds of revision. Main question remaining is, do I want parts of this to sound as PhD-thesis-like as they do? Or can/should I make the narrative more immersive, without losing certain nuanced points I am trying to make? Incidentally, this part of the book has the highest likelihood of being posted free online at some point. That’s because I like to think there’s “something for every Satanist” in it.
Second Key: Needs more thorough proofreading for potential repetition/efficiency issues. To be fair, I think 15,000 words for a comprehensive account of the human condition is not terrible. I did change certain details of my “rallying call against Dogmagianism” last edit, though. So I suspect certain wrinkles still need more ironing out.
Third Key: Has been basically done since several drafts ago. My primary academic background is at the intersection of ethics and religion, so this part of the book always came easily to me.
Fourth Key: Gets tweaked a bit every time, but increasingly more for clarity than for content. I thus suspect I tinker with it more to reconcile myself to sounding like a Lovecraftian lunatic than to actually “fix” anything at this point…
Keys of Praxis in an advanced phase of editing
Fifth Key: Through practice, I’ve built up extensive notes on the meditations. Work can yet be done, then, on refining instructions, balancing between including tips and not getting too long-winded, etc. There’s also the issue mentioned here to deal with. And then, making sure that any changes on that front are consistent with things said elsewhere in the book.
Sixth Key: I go back and forth still re: should the divination system’s explanation be as lengthy as it is. The difficulty is, I associate each rune with a lesson in self-reflection, which requires explanation. Some such lessons are, however, hard to explain in a way that avoids stepping on various “dog-whistle land-mines.” It’s true the message I have to communicate is not for everyone. However, I’d still like to do my best to get it heard out by the broadest audience – i.e. as opposed to dismissed out of hand because of unimaginative “everyone who uses that certain phrase can only be far-right!” assumptions or suchlike stupid bullshit.
Seventh Key: My standard for this chapter is, “could I teach a class on magick using this as my required reading?” And I do think it’s getting close. Issue is just whether it belabors the point too much in some places. And the attendant challenge is, I don’t have the judgment to edit for that when I’m exhausted – as per lately.
Ninth Key: It would take me many years to actually test everything I’m proposing + I don’t want to wait that long to publish = this has always been hard to edit. There are many balances to strike re: too easy vs. too difficult, too open vs. too strict, etc. Still, initiation protocols here are getting close to “as best as I can offer at the current time.”
One Key of Praxis that is behind the others
I am mostly happy with the Eighth Key personally. Nonetheless, the fact is, it’s closer to first or second draft, whereas the others are more like third to fifth. The challenge, moreover, is that what would best refine the Eighth Key further is experimentation. This takes time, effort and will in a different way and to a different extent than just writing/editing does.
On one hand, the ritual magick operations in this chapter are more complex than elsewhere. I thus need to practice more with them myself, to determine what is/isn’t essential for success, clarify instructions, etc.
On the other hand, there’s the Nekalah gnosis part of the chapter. Because of how long the book as a whole is, this can’t be super extensive anyway. I get self-conscious, though, about how I am nonetheless significantly more acquainted with some of these entities than others. Spending more time with them would help ensure that I’m giving the best brief-summary I can – as opposed to the summary being brief primarily just because what I know of them is brief.
Content-wise, then, this is the Key that most justifies still having multiple months to go before actually publishing. Everything else is either just fine-detail refinement, or procrastinating on things that are nuisances. For example, assembling reasonably professional-looking front matter and back matter; bureaucratic / legal details that may need attending to; etc…
Since this process is now looking to become extended, I’ll ask again if anyone has thoughts on the following issues:
- If you are an author who has published using Amazon’s self-publishing system: things you wish you’d known earlier?
- Anyone active in Satanic or otherwise left-hand-path spaces: know any pages, groups, communities, blogs, etc. worth getting involved in for promotional purposes?
- If you run a page or group on Facebook that has a decent number of followers: any tips for growing a page audience besides just spending $ for ads?
Let me know in the comments if you have any constructive thoughts to share on these fronts.