It’s been about two months since I published the 1,400th post on Disaffected Musings. Of course, I control the flow of writing, but am genuinely surprised that this is “only” post number 1,440. Just like the “1,000” logo supplied by WordPress when I published my 1,000th post, I think they will make a “1,500” logo available when (if?) I reach 1,500. It just seems to me, somehow, that I should be closer to that “milestone.”
Speaking of posts, the Hall of Very Good Cars series is hanging by a thread. The combined number of views for the first installment on its day of publication and the day after was more than 50 percent below the average of the last ten posts. The only reasons I haven’t already written the series off are: 1) it was not the only post among the last ten with that two-day view total, and 2) DDM’s observation about the July 4th weekend having a negative impact on readership.
Slow progress is part of life and isn’t always a bad thing. In When Pride Still Mattered, David Maraniss’ excellent biography of Vince Lombardi, the author recounts how W.C. Heinz, who wrote the legendary Run To Daylight! with Coach Lombardi, struggled at first to crystallize an idea around which to write a book about Lombardi.
“On the night after his [Heinz’s] fourth halting interview session with Lombardi, he retired to the guest bedroom and struggled through a long bout of sleeplessness brought on by anxieties over the project. I’m getting out of this! he said to himself that night. This is impossible…”
Later the same night Heinz thought of a solution: a narrative about preparing for a specific game that would focus his effort (and Lombardi’s) and allow him to weave in background material. To say the book was successful is an understatement: Run to Daylight! has had at least 23 printings.
The second book I had published was written with a co-author, Rob. At one time we were very close, but have drifted apart. Anyway…our original idea was simply to write a series of articles and essays about baseball. We wanted to call the book A Hitchhiker’s Guide to Baseball or A Random Walk Through Baseball.
Without a clear direction we struggled to write the book. I don’t remember what the “light bulb” moment was, but we moved the book in another direction (a theme similar to the one I wrote that The Wall Street Journal called without a doubt the best book of its kind ever written) and produced it in fairly short order (for a book, that is) after that. It sold fairly well, easily reaching five figures in sales.
I guess the lesson I am trying to convey is that instant clarity is not the norm and is certainly not as common as impatient people like me would prefer. Maybe I need to relearn that lesson.
On this day in 1945, with World War II not yet over, Ford produced the first car since the government halted such production early in 1942. The War Production Board had announced on May 11, 1945 that it would permit automobile manufacturers to begin reconversion to civilian production on July 1. Obviously, Ford must have used leftover 1942 parts and tooling as it would have been impossible to convert its plants, primarily the River Rouge facility, in two days.
These were 1946 model year cars and Ford produced about 34,000 of them in calendar year 1945. I don’t remember where I saw this figure, and couldn’t seem to find it in my brief search, but the number that sticks in my head is that about 83,000 cars were produced by the US automobile industry in calendar year 1945. Most car companies were up and running by October, 1945 although Chrysler and Studebaker didn’t re-start production until December.
Ford’s early start helped it lead all makes in production/sales for model year 1946 at approximately 468,000 units. Overall industry production was 2.16 million or less than half the total from 1929.
Obviously from RM Sotheby’s is a photo of a 1946 Ford Super DeLuxe convertible. Ford produced 16,359 Super DeLuxe convertibles that year, or just 3.5 percent of its total output.
In the present day, I think companies would be more compliant with government edicts and decrees than individuals. I wasn’t alive during World War II, but I simply cannot imagine the US population being united by anything these days to the degree it was during that war. Please feel free to disagree with that assertion.
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8 thoughts on “Slow Progress Sunday”
“Slow progress is part of life.”
Isn’t that the truth. I have found that as I have aged, and life has become more “varied,” that progress sometimes seems to almost come to a stop. There are times that I think I need sideboards on my “plate” due to it being so full. It’s of my own doing most of the time, trying to squeeze in a bit more than I have time for. “I’ll get to it soon” had become more common over the years. Even though I’m trying to eliminate, or at least cut back, on some activities, it seems there still isn’t the time I wished I had. I still have our business to consider, project cars (my 69 Barracuda is crying for some time to be spend on it), and life in general sometimes (often?) gets in the way.
Another problem is the aging process and the effect it has on my productivity. The spirit is willing, sometimes the body isn’t; I just don’t have the energy I used to. I find I don’t operate on 4-5 hours of sleep like I used to, 5-7 is more likely these days.This morning I was in the shop at 6.30am to “restock” my dually (picked it up Friday, which is why I spent so much time on the road). Next I’ll be spending a few hours on my tractor as I had 3 truckloads of asphalt millings delivered yesterday to redo the driveway and some parking areas. I’m sure I could hire someone to do it, but if you want it done your way………
Tomorrow, barring storms, some friends and I have a yearly motorcycle ride we always plan for. It’s a “ride to eat, eat to ride” type of thing, always to a place one of us has tried and liked. This year it’s a trip into North Carolina to a BBQ joint that Stanley found.
More time “wasted” when I could be productive. 🙂
Growing older has its pitfalls, but it beats the alternative, or so it is said.
As you’ve noted, it can take time to develop a focus for a project, sometimes quite a bit different from the original plan. For my commercial writings, I had the help of an editor who, with an eye toward the publisher’s audience, really was able to redirect my original proposals to something that was marketable to their audience.
By the fourth book, I had figured out what they wanted and was able to tailor my proposals which were accepted with minimal adjustments.
Thanks for sharing, JS.
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Some passenger vehicles remained in limited production through the war as military staff cars (Ford, Chevrolet, Buick and Packard come to mind). This may be what allowed Ford to restart civilian production so quickly.
Thanks, Stumack. Yes, limited production of military staff cars continued, but it was Ford that was way ahead of the other companies in restarting production of cars for civilian use.
I have never written a book. My son has written two fiction novels part of a trilogy. My first cousin Bruce Wilson has written two historical fiction, based on family stories his father told him that he researched and found to be true.
Rules of Logic, you should think through the possibility of writing another book. You have the writing skills necessary and have successfully published before. You could use that as an outlet for yourself.
Please keep up the Hall of Very Good Cars themed posts. Don’t worry about the seemingly slow start. Sometimes the click count is slowed by things outside your control. I have been lax in my visiting your blog, because of needing to complete important things here.
As to focusing on projects, it is difficult when your project list is long and the priorities can become muddled. That is when you NEED to slow down and carefully think through the priorities and look at the calendar and see what needs to be done next. Especially when, there are things coming up which will prevent you from doing what you want to get done. Remember life intervenes when you don’t want it to. Work on what YOU can control and don’t worry about what you cannot control.
Happy INDEPENDENCE DAY! We are having home made clam chowder and watching the musical 1776. Prior to this we’ve been watching the Cowboy Channel broadcast of the Prescott Frontier Days Rodeo where our niece was Rodeo Queen in 2007. Brings back happy memories. Lots of Arizona girls competing in the Barrel Racing.
Many thanks for the kind words of encouragement, Philip.
I don’t think I have another book in me. What I would like to do is to crunch numbers and write for Barrett-Jackson or Mecum. If you or anyone else reading this comment wants to write a letter to either company, or both, on my behalf I wouldn’t object. 😉
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