This is an experiment to write a book in public. As and when I feel like I will be updating this page with the latest development. Or probably, full chapters – we will find out.
For the book, I am targeting anything above 50,000 words. And most probably, it will have 20 chapters.
At this point, I am not sure about the topic, I am going to write about. For you to follow along, I will insert a page break between the updates so you can follow along.
This is officially the start of the book in progress – as on 24.06.2019
Matter and Book Cover
Thinking about writing a book is one thing, and actually writing is another. I am not sure at this point what the topic of my book is going to be.
Also, I am not even clear on the genre or type of book I am going to write. For now, I am focusing on making a book which makes an impact. Also, I need to challenge myself to write a meaty book – so it has to be a topic where I can write about stories which would fill at least 100 pages.
Although, the number of pages isn’t an indicator of quality – that’s the bare minimum to have a book which you can hold and have a book feeling.
Otherwise, it would feel like some loosely glued pdf document.
An experience of the book is what I want to create. Also, since this will be the next chapter in my book writing, I want to make this special.
My previous book writing was limited to 10,000 to 15,000 words in the book. And I felt great about it. But now that I think about it, I write about that much in my blog per month. A book has to be more than just that.
Also, the cover of the book is something I want to work hard on. Maybe something like what Seth Godin does – here is a book cover which might be my inspiration.
The Main Theme Of Book
Big news – I have narrowed down the idea for my book – it’s going to be on Internet addiction and things around.
For now, I have noted down about 50 sub-ideas. If I can flesh out tangents, stories, and action for those in about 1000 words each then there will be a 50,000-word book at the end of it.
Of course, over time, I may add, edit, or remove some of those ideas. And not each can be stretched – even if I do, the editor will delete it later. So the ultimate goal is to have at least 70,000 words so even after edits, the book is concise with ideas which you can take and do something with it.
Coming up with 50 sub-ideas was tough, but if you keep at it and sit there, your brain will help you.
And after the process, all of it seems obvious. So if you are struggling with the idea in a book then write down the introduction and conclusion first.
Then you can try to come up with as many stories as you can so that the middle of the book is filled. Once you feel there is enough for the required length, you can start the critical process of writing.
Let’s see how this goes. If you are on the fence, start with introduction and conclusion and let your brain do the magic.
So I sat down and wrote 10 more ideas which I will develop in a later stage. And I saw the magic happening in front of my eyes.
When I wrote 50 ideas for the book, it seemed that there will be no more topics to write centered around the theme of the book. But today, my brain provided me more.
It shows how when you think that it is the end of your creativity and stretch, it is a false image. And you can stretch yourself to do more, achieve more and accomplish more. So, go ahead and challenge yourself to do more and not get satisfied with the initial attempt. Let’s see, if I can get some more ideas next time I sit and think about this book.
I didn’t imagine that I could write anything more. But again I got surprised for good. Now, I have 70 main themes I am going to explore in the book, and if I could manage to write on average 1000 words then the book would turn out to be meaty, interesting and a book you can hold with pride.
Now that all is done, it’s time for the messy part of actually starting writing – let’s see how much I can get it done every single day.
Ready, Steady and Go
Just wrote 200 words of the book and it felt awesome. Now that all the headings have been done, all that remains is to weave a narrative around each idea and fill it with my stories and ideas.
The first step is often difficult but then the flow sets in and you can write as you go along.
If I can write at this pace, it would take around 1 year to complete the writing and that would be a stressful job. So my focus is to get more writing done as and when possible. Either way, I will try to keep the average writing above 200 words because it will ensure in the worst-case scenario the book will get completed within a year.
Holidays and rain are amazing – but they take away your productivity too. No worries – just completed writing 1000 words in total of my first chapter. Remember, I have 70 such chapters. And at this rate, the book might end up as a 70,000-word non-fiction book.
But calling the book non-fiction isn’t a proper justice. In some chapters, I might use some fictional elements.
As the first step in anything new is challenging, the first chapter often seems like a stretch when writing your book. Glad, I finished it. Now, I can keep adding stories, narratives and the word count will keep on going up. Fingers crossed for now.
When you start writing, you will realize that some of the themes of your chapters are overlapping. And as such, you are bound to make the same point twice via different narratives.
The golden rule is not to think much about it. At this stage, your goal is to churn out as many words as you can.
Also, you are trying to include your authentic stories, ideas and anecdote. If the stories are repeating, boring or not required – it is the job of your editor to do. And she can do that job only when you have a substantial amount of writing. So keep writing and don’t worry much – your 70,000 words draft will contain 20,000 unnecessary words.
200 Words A Day
Once you start writing, it might feel like the progress isn’t being made. Or that it would take a long time for the book to materialize.
And that could be true. But remember, it takes time for something good to happen so don’t haste the process. Comparing the process of writing a book to do exercise – every day you might be lifting heavy weights, but the progress is evident only when you have done at least 6 months of exercise.
If you are struggling to write on a certain thing – or you want to develop a habit then start with 200 words per day.
The goal isn’t to have the best 200 words, just about anything is acceptable. Once you do this, slowly you will start producing better writing.
There will be times when you will miss the days of productivity. So, you won’t be able to write in your minimum of 200 words.
At such times, you have two choices – either go back and fill in the required words of missed days in one day. Or let the bygones be bygones and do the work of today and try to not miss many such days in future.
Either way, don’t think a lot about the missed days because it will make you feel like you are losing – focus on getting things done by having a positive attitude and thinking more about present and future.
Oh Ho Ho…
It’s been about 1 month and life has become roller- coaster. Major responsibilities shift happen in my work profile and it took a major part of my downtime.
It felt as if I won’t be able to come back up. But you know that when you down, you come up too. So here I am again in full swing to push and try to write more words to fill in that quota of mine. Just finished writing 400 words and now the total stands up to 3800 words.
And it feels like I haven’t even started. But the trick is to be at it. See you soon, hopefully with a major update.
Breaking The rules
When you start an audacious journey like creating your book on the go in public, there will be challenges. And one of that big one is that you will feel like a fraud. Because you aren’t going through the journey as you described it earlier.
And that’s okay. Maybe that’s the whole point. Each day is a new day for learning and changing your opinions. So you need to absorb the new ideas and do the best possible work within that. Next day will bring in some new light, the more ready you are for change, the more you will grow.
So going forward, I am going to write in free flow. Earlier I thought I would write 1000 words for each of the headlines. However, going forward I might write only 200 words for a headline or 2000 words for another headline.
I am giving permission to myself to flow. Maybe that’s how the best writing is born.
Motivation Doesn’t Last
Motivation might last for one day or week. But that isn’t enough to propel you to do the things in the larger picture. You need to allow yourself to get addicted to working because it is amazing. You can’t be imagining not doing it. Only then you can work on something every day and make it better.
Sure it is hard. And there are going to be ups and downs. But that’s the way. If you truly want to do something, you have to push yourself – in some cases literally – to get up and do the work.
For the record, I have written about 6000 words till now. Sure that seems like a small accomplishment. But nonetheless, that is a feat. It will add up. I don’t want to rush. I will keep on writing – for the love of putting down words. And because I want this subject matter to reach more people.
Till next time, keep working. And keep pushing. Remember the trick is to do the most of the work when you get a burst of energy.