We should be on the home straight now, and we are getting there, but this book writing is definitely hard going. Coping with the demands of clients, families and relationships while notching up the word count is taking its toll. Before the scars fade from our memories, we thought we’d share some of the things that have made the process of writing the Valuable Content Marketing book easier.
What we have learned about book writing
1. Writing with a partner is good. Aside from the obvious division of labour bonus, having someone else as interested as you in the ideas, shape and detail of the book is a definite plus. Writing it alone would have been a much harder slog. At times getting it right has felt like an obsession, so it’s been good to share it with someone who understands.
2. Taking time away works well. A writing trip to Aberdovey has been my highlight of the process so far. It’s much easier to think clearly when you’re away from everything. Even though a lot of what we wrote during the two days away has been edited out now, the thinking and planning we did far from the office has shaped the book. It also gave us a big burst of energy and inspiration that carried us a long way.
3. Deadlines focus the mind. We would never have got this far without a real life publisher’s deadline hanging over us.
4. Working with an editor helps. We’ve had invaluable support from Robert Watson. A critical eye during the process, at a time when you’ve still got room for maneuver will help you get it right. Be prepared to make big structural changes, as well as minor editorial ones.
5. Write at a time that suits you. I never thought I’d be a 6.30 am person, but there have been weeks when I’ve been getting up at that time to write, because it works for me. Sonja works better at night.
6. Come to terms with the fact you’ll have to say ‘no’ a lot. We’ve both had to turn down client work (scary), disappoint our kids (we’ll make it up to them! ) and generally not be around as much as people we care about would like. If you’re going to commit to writing a book, something else will have to give.
7. Printing it out and reading it on paper is part of the process We got so used to writing and reading on screen that we almost forgot it was a book we are writing, and not a website. Google Docs was really useful for online collaboration in the early stages but something happens when you see it on paper, and turn real pages. It’s much easier to see its failings when it’s in the right format. And it’s exciting too; it makes you feel like you’re getting somewhere – boosts like that are really welcome.
What works for you? We’d love to know.