Book Writing Notes and Thoughts

I’ve been writing a technical book now since October 1st.  I originally blogged about this with a post of the prospective index.  Since I’ve gotten the first two chapters done and have started on the 6th, 3rd, and 4th.  The reason I am doing these out of order is because of other related items I’ve had to work on related to presentations or the regular 9-5 job.  There are a few things that have hit me while writing the book so far.

  1. The writing for me isn’t all that hard, it’s presenting the how-to parts of the book in a way that work smoothly.  Directions are easy to write up, but making them fit into the larger idea of what is being accomplished is difficult.  Keeping all the steps, screen shots, and other material in order when they’re not in one single document adds to this.  I end up with a chapter directory, a word doc in that, another directory in that for images, and then another directory for edits from the editor and one inside that for final edits back to the editor.  Needless to say it is a growing file structure of stuff.
  2. Jeff Barr wrote in My AWS Book is Now Available! that two things he learned is to set aside time and stay focused and disciplined.  I’m learning that in spite of me already being aware that I needed to be focused and disciplined.  I wanted to set aside time from the beginning but have been hitting a few snags with daily life and community tech events.  I’m getting back on track now, but I’ve been a little behind on some segments.
  3. Be ready to write when you least want to.  It doesn’t matter if you have writer’s block or your head hurts or your drunk, you have to write and get things to progress in a timely manner or things start to unravel.  Be ready when writing a book to crunch late on some nights in order to get things back on track if a derailment occurs.

That’s my book update, for now, back to the writing.

4 thoughts on “Book Writing Notes and Thoughts

  1. Anthony Trollope wrote 3 hours a day, 7 days a week, 5:30 AM to 8:30 AM, before going to work at his “real job” as employee of the British Post Office. He was damned methodical about it: he kept his watch on the table by his writing tablet and timed the number of words written, demanding of himself 250 words every quarter hour.

    He kept the same schedule while travelling (he was a compulsive traveller, visiting countries all over the world).

    That discipline was rewarded by his becoming one of the best-paid and most notable novelists of his day.

  2. The only difference is, this is no novel, so I don’t need to go to that degree. I don’t intend to become a slave of the process, just produce a decent quality technical book.

    But I digress, if I ever manage to being a novel – I’ll be sure to keep that in mind.

    Also, as always, when I agree or do not agree, thanks for the comment Michael!

    1. Working on a Windows Azure book. Already have a publisher lined up too… I’ll have a few more blog entries about this too as I have a good few months of writing still.

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