Yesterday I announced that I would write an eBook in one week and share the daily progress on Medium.
I have been procrastinating writing eBooks for three years now. The main reason for that was I thought anything that has the word ‘book’ in it should be written by an expert and it should be a unique and great idea.
In my daily meditation, I have been asking the universe to help me get over this hurdle. This morning I heard a tiny whisper, “Write the damn book. Start today, and do it fast.”
Startled, I opened my eyes.
The message was clear. I shouldn’t ignore it.
If there is one thing that I have learned in my creative life, it is to act while the idea is still hot. It may not amount to anything, but at least I would have tried. There would be no regrets later that I didn’t give it a go.
I opened my laptop and got to work.
I decided to use Reedsy’s Free Book Editor as my writing tool. It has a clean interface, has auto-save functionality, works well with Grammarly and takes care of the formatting and conversion to most publishing platforms.
Next was the structure of the book.
Luckily I have a structure that I use with most long-form writing, which I knew will work well with this book.
I spent an hour outlining the book. While doing that, I came up with an idea to keep a diary while doing the project. I had read a similar diary with one of the books and found it very interesting to read about the author’s struggles and the decisions he made while writing the book.
I wrote about 350 words in the diary. An outline and few paragraphs in the diary, that was all I could manage in an hour. But at least I made a start.
Time to attend to other important tasks, i.e., housework.
While washing dishes, I made a few decisions about the book.
- I will write this book as a fun project, which means no pressure for perfection, or spending money.
- The book will be 15,000 to 20,000 words long. That means 60 to 80 pages. No more than 100 pages with acknowledgments, references and other such pages. No one has time to read long books.
- I will self-edit using Grammarly and ProWritingAid. I already own both software.
- I will self-design the book cover. Later on, if needed, I can replace the cover with a professionally designed one.
- I will self-publish the book on Amazon.
I know from experience I will only get four clear days in a week. Some sort of chaos will happen on at least three days. So practically, I have four days to write the book. If I could do that in the first four days of the week, I will be able to use the last three days for editing.
That means I will have to write 5000 words a day for Day 1 — Day 4.
Bring it on.
In those four days, I will have to do the research as well. If I had planned the project properly, I would have done the research first and then would have started writing the book. But now I have to do both side-by-side.
Research is one thing that makes most of the writer give up their projects. Not because they don’t like it or are not good at it, but they get sucked into it. That is one thing I need to watch out for if I am to finish this project in time.
That is exactly what happened on the first day. I got sucked in research on the very first day. There is so much information on publishing on Amazon that my head spun.
But I manage to get enough information for one chapter. Then I wrote the Introduction and Chapter 1, basically information dumping without worrying about fluency or grammar.
By the end of the day, I had written 5543 words written. More than half of them will be edited out.
I worked on the Publishing chapter first to give me a roadmap of things I need to do in-between writing.
Three things I need to address straight away:
1) Book cover — Design it early so that I have time to share it and get a vote on it, leaving me enough time to tweak it if needed. As I have no experience in cover designs, the sooner I start better it is.
2) ISBN — see whether I need it or not. And how long it takes to arrive.
3) Kindle Direct Publishing — Start filling the form and see if there are any surprises there.
I will write about the progress on these tomorrow.