The Love Our Life cover just had its eighteenth final revision. These covers are printed up on thick photo paper and look like professionally done book covers. Putting these covers into a final form and showing them to people reveals subtleties and innuendos that slip right past my personal observation. They slip past until they are seen and then they appear as glaring faults.
I want to get everything about this book just right because the ideas within it are desperately needed by billions of people. It is inevitable that there will be many kinds of flaws in the first drafts of a book and the second and the third and unfortunately even in the eighteenth attempt. Usually, my strategy with visual art is to make things good enough that I can’t see the flaws at half the viewing distance and twice the viewing distance that an audience would normally be viewing a picture. This cover has been put to that test and even more stringent ones too and it is very clean. It is the subtlety of the text that keeps slipping away. Something will look okay when reading it but when Debbie reads it aloud it just doesn’t flow very well, and she is an excellent reader. The important ideas are there and stated clearly enough, but they seem obvious, or trite, or repetitive, or boring.
Is “A Playful Approach to Happiness and Health” better than “A Playful Approach to Health and Happiness?” That word order doesn’t make much difference to what is printed in the book. Or does it? When I say those words out loud, the “Health and Happiness” flows more easily than “Happiness and Health.” I don’t know why, but it feels better to my ear.
I struggle on with tiny things that no one will see and will only feel.