In ‘How to Write an Edu-book – Part 1‘, I had the huge pleasure of sharing with everyone the approaches to writing an edu-book from two of the best edu-book writers around, Tom Sherrington and Mary Myatt.
In Part 2, I wanted to share my own edu-bookery. It is important to state that for me, regular blogging and writing separate to a book is an excellent mental work-bench for writing a book, offering me the discipline needed to write habitually and at length. Still, my book writing process is really quite specific and I have fell upon a helpful habit in writing my latest book.
- When I come to writing the edu-book, I first coin an over-arching idea. This last book has been vocabulary. I then break the book down into potential chapters that I can begin to note take for and research
- Once I have the core idea and chapter structure, I then delve into reading and researching for months and months – using my trusty moleskin note-book. I read, annotate, then copy up the most essential notes. Each reading session is about an hour in each evening, after I have finished my school work and have switched my email off (with weekend and holiday slots).
- Like ploughing a furrow over and over, I keep returning to my notes – adding to them – reading more and adding to them. Then I use a starring system with my bullet point notes so that my 4**** ideas don’t get lost and my 1* insights get eliminated.
- After I decide I have done enough research, I then transfer my notes into chapter-by-chapter Word files. Each act is a conscious repetition – reworking the ideas – re-reading the notes, so that the ideas are lodged deeply, ready to write.
- After such through-going planning, I then get to the act of actually writing. Happily, using my ample notes, it is very quick. My patient partner and family know that at least a half-term will be hit, before a longer summer-holiday spell is needed to get the job done.
- The editing and drafting….I hate that phase, but it has to be done. My draft typically doesn’t shift a great deal, but eliminating mistakes is pain-staking. I go back to an hour a night (often chocolate fuelled) until the book is done.
I’m not even going to mention the fresh hell that is indexing. Still, the act of writing a book – though difficult and downright masochistic at times – is massively rewarding when the book is opened in your hand, precious and real. When you can then share it with your loved ones – well, that makes it all feel worthwhile.
If any others edu-book writers wanted to share their experiences, I’d love to hear about it.