Archives For HELP! I’M WRITING A BOOK!

About a year ago I wrote a few blogs posts about writing a new book. Then I secretly went underground.

Why? Well, I was busy.

But I still worked on the book. It was either that or blog about it, so I figured actually writing the book would be better.

So, one year and zero blog posts later I’ve now finished a draft of the book.

Stay tuned for more.

As a 19 year-old I was convinced that after submitting my comic strip to syndicates, I’d be able to quit my lawn care job within a year.

  • A couple years later, I was convinced a house-flipping business with my friends would take off.
  • Two years after that I was convinced my band would make it.
  • After college I was convinced my design business would work.
  • A few years later I was convinced it had all come full circle and writing pop songs for a pre-teen band during the height of the Jonas Brothers and Hannah Montana craze would pay off our mortgage.

And yet:

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As the writer of a book that’s sold 80 copies (and who’s been writing intentionally only 4 years), it feels pretentious to share my creative process.

It’s not like masses of people (or anyone, actually) are waiting for me to reveal hidden secrets. My mom’s never even asked.

But we’re in this together.

You create. I create. We share.

So, I’m sharing.

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My wife finds it highly attractive when I remember that “Freaky people are the beauty of the earth” was written on our neighbor’s van 4 years ago but forget to move dishes into the dishwasher.

My mind seems to work in small little phrases – movie quotes, commercial jingles, Proverbs, Twitter.

As I’ve thought about this book project, ideas seem to come in these short little phrases. Once they jump into my brain I have to write them down before they run off, so I email them to myself on my iPhone.

I then collect all these emails into a document, which currently has over 5,000 words of notes and short phrases.
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Growing older has led me to two conclusions:

1. Planning makes life work better

2. Yoda trumps Jar Jar Binks

The creative process of my first book was this:

Start writing.

So I did. Without much planning at all, I wrote, created out a rough outline, completely changed everything, and then tried to fit random thoughts into some kind of order. It ended up as a collection of random thoughts on creativity loosely tied together. The random-ness worked, but I think could be improved.

I’d like for this project to have a more cohesive and planned structure, so am trying to take the time at the beginning to outline my thoughts, giving them an “arc” from beginning to end. I know it will change as I jump into it, but am working to be more disciplined to see if the end result is clear and focused.

Editing the last book took about 9 revisions and sometimes felt like swimming upstream through maple syrup, but not sweet. So I’m trying to plan – even a little neurotically – hoping that outlining it up front should both smooth and speed up this process.
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Last December I self-published my first book.

I secretly pictured others saying “Wow! This book is a secret gem. I’ll share this with everyone I know, including Oprah and the girl from the Progressive commercials.” Then, I would sit back and watch my Amazon sales skyrocket, I quit my job, become a full-time author and then bask in wonderful wonderfulness.

The reality is I’ve sold 82 copies.

So, I’m not quitting my job. Despite pocketing $1.20 per hour, I LOVED writing Creative You and am ready to write a new book.

As noted earlier, I’m going behind-the-scenes in the process.

Here, in what I’m marking as Week 1*, I’m starting this book. Honestly, I’m extremely excited to jump in and see where this goes.
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Some people play sports. Some spend time with friends. Some do charity work.

I wrote a theme song for my blog. Don’t judge.

Go behind-the-scenes as I write a book. Or go do something worthwhile.

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Much like Alfred Hitchcock, Frankenstein and hair, some things in life are scary.

For those of us who find ourselves creating, sometimes the act of creating itself is frightening. Whether the looming weight of starting, the tedious work of finishing or the conflicting feelings of sharing your work with others, creating is scary.

Yet, creating is important. To you, to me, to others.

I’m writing a book.

I’m also blogging behind-the-scenes during the process.

Check for updates on my progress, creative process and maybe some awkward attempts at humor along the way. Hopefully watching my struggles, fears and process might help you do whatever it is you do.

WEEK 1 – A TENTATIVE PLAN

WEEK 2 – PLANNING VS. DOING

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Like Ethan Hunt, I’ve gone rogue to begin work on a new project. Except my going rogue involves taking a break from blogging and posting less on Twitter.

Check back soon for more info and obscure Star Wars references.