Diary of a non-fiction book: week 5 …

… Okay, so it’s not really week 5, but it’s the 5th week I’ve been able to allocate to the non-fiction book. I’ve honestly been so busy in the weeks since my last update.

This is what comes of living on a farm (it can take 10 minutes just to get on and off the land when all of the gates are closed – we have to close them again after ourselves and just lately we’ve been herding free-range cows out of the way as well), growing your own food, keeping chickens, visiting parents in Doncaster and Solihull, keeping house with 3 live-in pets, being part of a band, trying to earn a living and having a life too.

You can see some of the details over on the lifestyle blog. This blog is about writing.

So … NaNoWriMo starts tomorrow (eek!), and my target was to have finished most of the research on the non-fiction book and be in a position to start writing it for NaNoWriMo 2017 … and there endeth the plan. (Duh!)

BUT … I do have to do this, I have a contract, it has to be delivered at the beginning of March. So, for the next 30 days, my NaNo project is my first priority. Once that’s done, then I’ll do all of the other work in my in tray.

I’m going to be applying the Pomodoro technique. It should initially look something like this:

  • read/research for 25 minutes
  • have a 5-minute break
  • read/research for 25 minutes
  • have a 5-minute break
  • write for 25 minutes
  • have a 15-minute break
  • start again

Once my daily 1,667 words have been written (probably towards the end of the day!), then I can do my other editing and writing work.

I know I can write more than 500 words in one 25-minute session. That means I should be at target after 4½ hours. But once the reading/researching is done, I’ll be using the sections to just carry on writing, reducing my daily writing time to an hour-and-a-half.

Usually, the plan is to have 3 reading sessions and 1 writing session, then have a 15-minute break. But I’ve already done a lot of reading and research and should already have some knowledge I can write about. This is why I’m planning on just 2 reading sessions before the writing session.

My contracted book length is 50,000 words. By the end of the month, I should have 50,000 words.

Today, then, I’m tying up whatever loose ends I can and getting existing jobs back to the client. I have month-end admin to do today, and new-month admin to do tomorrow. Then it’s onwards and, erm, onwards.

Tomorrow … let the fun begin. And please welcome back our little friend:

4 thoughts on “Diary of a non-fiction book: week 5 …

  1. That sounds like a good technique. Must try and apply it to write book on Struggle & Suffrage in Wakefield. I’m in a similar position except my deadline’s 1st May. I’ve written diddly-squat so far, but have done heaps of research, which I now need to assemble into some kind of meaningful order. Still plenty of research to do, at least I don’t have to trail too far. Wakefield archives are a treasure trove.

    And book one’s published this month …

    1. Ooh, you must be thrilled!

      Day one has gone very well, but as I’d already started some of the research I applied a slightly different technique. Instead of the 25 reading + 25 reading + 25 writing, I just did chapter 1 reading + free-writing + fact-checking, chapter 2 reading + free-writing + fact-checking. There was much less to remember and I’ll get through the rest of the research much quicker that way, I think.

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