Episode 79: Book Writing Process Part 2
Are you clear on what your own unique writing process is? Have you ever gathered data on your own practices? I’ve learned a lot during the process of drafting my book.
I shared a little bit about my journey of writing a book on a previous episode. I’m bringing you up to date on my progress, and continuing to share the insights and takeaways I’ve gained through the process, including pivoting my strategy, and a couple of ah-ha moments.
Changing Strategy & Finding a Press
When I last checked in on my process, I was still navigating rejections and trying to decide if continuing to pursue academic presses for publication was the best course. Based on some of the very nice rejection feedback I got and some advice from the group I participate in, I decided to pursue independent presses. That slight change in direction produced results, and I’m happy to announce my book will be published by Morgan James Press!
Pinning Down Structure & Tackling Fear
My big fear about writing a book, as I’ve mentioned in the past, is whether I will really be able to carry the load of writing solo. I want my book to have 30-40,000 words, and have always been apprehensive about being able to pull it off.
Enter Dr. Jane Jones, academic book writing coach and a colleague of mine. When I showed her some of my proposal, she gleaned the structure right away. Pinning down this problem-solution-stories structure for my book has made all the difference in being able to write with confidence, and the word count issue immediately became less daunting.
I decided that enrolling in Jane’s Elevate program (yup, we both have writing coaching plans called Elevate!) was the best next step for me. The program includes coaching, training on book writing techniques, and developmental editing. Not to mention a community that is made up of my ideal audience! Knowing I will get feedback directly from my audience has also helped ease my fears around getting the words down on paper. (If you think an academic book writing coach would be helpful for you, I highly recommend Jane’s program! Learn more here: https://www.upinconsulting.com.)
“I knew that being part of a book coaching program was going to be good for me.”
Collecting Data & Creating a Plan
“In the process of writing this book I discovered my book-writing process.”
Now that the book has a publisher, it also has a deadline. To be able to create a reliable writing project plan, I needed to know how to plan my time. Jane’s coaching helped me come up with an outline to work from, but I decided to collect some data to figure out what my writing pace actually is so I could get really clear on how to fit the writing into my schedule. I love a good spreadsheet! So I started to track my writing sessions and how many words I wrote each time. Once I had an idea of my general speed, I could accurately add writing sessions (during soaring sessions of course!) to my calendar that will get me where I need to go when I need to get there.
Takeaway to Apply to Your Writing Projects
Confidence comes from knowing your practice! Get in there and get some data on yourself. Do some self reflection and analyze how you work best. Don’t get lost in the weeds of “shoulds” or comparisons to other people. There are so many things that affect how people work.. figure out how you work best, and lean into it!
“There’s a myriad of factors that affect how a person can get their work done.”
If you need a little help capturing that data, or coming up with your writing plan, or sticking to your writing sessions, join us in our Momentum co-writing community! We keep a monthly goals spreadsheet to give you structure for starting to observe your practice, as well as 6 daily scheduled writing sessions and an always-open link for you to gather with others anytime. Momentum is $27/month, cancel anytime. Click here to learn more: https://cathymazak.com/momentum.
Pulled in a thousand directions and can’t seem to carve out time to write? Download my 10 Ways to Make Time to Write cheat sheet for ideas to implement today!
Connect with me:
Follow me on Clubhouse: @cathymazak