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r ranson
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I like writing.  I may not spell well thanks to my brain being miswired, but with technology and an editor, I think I can write a half decent book.  I've even had a few offers to help with the editing and one to help with the layout, images and getting in touch with the right publisher.  Considering these offers are from people who work in and around the publishing industry, I can almost imagine that I can write a book.

Writing large volumes of text is not daunting to me.  When I was at Uni, I used to write large papers.  But that's just it.  One large body of text, easily written in a few days with just a couple of weeks to edit them into legibility.  Even though the papers were related to each other, they were single units of work - do this, you have one month, finish and be done.  I have no idea if writing a book could be like that, but if it is, I'm game.  Maybe each chapter could be a 'paper' and I have a time limit to do it?

I also have all the research finished (it's a non-fiction book) and enough personal experience to fill in the gaps.  I'm also overly-opinionated on the subject which is the kind of author I like reading. 

How do I get from where I am to having written a book?

I've started writing it many times, but by the third chapter, I throw everything on the fire because by then I've convinced myself I am complete and utter crap and no one wants to deal with a dyslexic writer. 

Maybe I am utter crap.  But I still want to write this book and find out. 
 
Steven Kovacs
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I am not a writer, so take this with a grain of salt:

My writer friends say that 1) you just have to pour out a lot of words, most of which will be discarded eventually, in order to write anything; and 2) the writing and editing processes are entirely separate - write a volume of words, then come back to it later as an editor and edit it.  Don't edit as you write, or the creating and critiquing functions of your brain will fight each other and nothing will get done.
 
r ranson
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Steven Kovacs wrote:I am not a writer, so take this with a grain of salt:

My writer friends say that 1) you just have to pour out a lot of words, most of which will be discarded eventually, in order to write anything; and 2) the writing and editing processes are entirely separate - write a volume of words, then come back to it later as an editor and edit it.  Don't edit as you write, or the creating and critiquing functions of your brain will fight each other and nothing will get done.


If this is what book writing is, then I'm happy! 

I like writing far more than needed, then editing out the chaff, adding more to make things flow better, edit, add, edit, add.  After about the third revision, I get a bit board and find I need an outside person to read it for me, put a line through the chaff, circle the stuff that's good with green and make notes on what needs to be said clearer and what needs to be expanded on.  Maybe that's asking too much from an editor?
 
Todd Parr
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R Ranson wrote: ...read it for me, put a line through the chaff, circle the stuff that's good with green and make notes on what needs to be said clearer and what needs to be expanded on.  Maybe that's asking too much from an editor?


Far from asking too much from an editor, that is exactly what the editor is there for.

Edited to correct from "to" to "too".  Editors are also great for that.
 
Tracy Wandling
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Yes, as Todd says, that's what an editor is for. Editing your own stuff is way hard. I think having someone else do it is the best route. And having someone who has an eye for detail is what you need. I just finished reading a book that had a lot of great info, but was so riddled with typos and punctuation errors that it was distracting, and I feel it lessened the impact of the book.

I like the idea of writing each chapter as a separate 'paper'. That's a good way to make it a unit: a good intro, then the body of the work, then a good conclusion. And then you make it into a book by sewing all of the 'papers' together so they flow. I think this is a great way to approach it.

I would suggest that you write a chapter/paper, and then send it to the people who have said they would like to edit for you. You'll get a good idea of how these people work, how quickly they work, if you like their suggestions for changes, and whether you think you can work with them. Finding an editor that you work well with is going to be very important in actually getting the work finished. You need an editor to not only make your work shine, but to kick you in the butt now and again and say, "Send me pages! Where are my pages?!"

Can't wait to read the book!

Cheers
Tracy

 
Travis Johnson
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There are a few things in my life that I am proud of:

Marrying my wonderful wife Katie
Our 4 daughters
Being a 9th generational sheep farmer
Being a full time farmer
Being a Foster Parent
Having wrote "The End" on a few books

I do not pretend to know you R Ranson, but I have a LOT of respect for you of what little bit I do know. So many people say they want to write a book, and so few actually do, that to finally type out "the end" is gratifying. So if my words help at all, it is to encourage you to get that sense of fulfillment! Do it please, as much for yourself as anyone!

But I struggle too. I got a couple in the works now, not just that completed one (a fiction novel), but a book for small group studies regarding the bible, and a book for our county soil and water conservation district regarding quarries and mines in our county. They are a lot of work and definitely not worth doing on a pay basis. I think the hourly wage if deduced would be 3 cents per hour, but there is something nice about having the written word printed out.

My only advice is to write daily. I write from 3AM or so to 6 AM when my wife gets up. It is not always fiction, or books, but required farm bookkeeping too, but such is life on a farm. And my other advice is, to not feel you have to go from prelude to The End, you can pick your chapters in between and then fill-in as needed. I dislike football, but "keep kicking that ball down the field", is a good mantra in writing.

But I seriously hope that I have encouraged you (and others on Permies) to write. If I could not write...I am not sure what the outcome would be. I live to write...as this Permie forum knows!
 
Angelika Maier
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I am not a writer never wrote a book, but running a e-commerce website I have to write a lot. There are some awesome books about writing, read them all. I was reading them when I was still writing in Germand so I only read German books - the language doesn't really matter. I would say:
- have something to say. Know your subject inside out and from hands on experience not from reading the internet,
- write exact and say it short,
- tell stories, but get information straight with clear how to follow steps.
- mix theory with practical how - to's instead of boring the reader with 50 pages of theory and then comes the how -to
That said I would start writing a blog, and over time putting together an ebock. If people like what you write you will be sucessful.
 
Erwin Decoene
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I love to read, i love to observe, i would love to become a writer. What works for my thought process might not work for yours. I give my experience anyway.


Books are not on the horizon yet but i write articles on the geology and landscape formation of our region. I also wrote tons of reports on soil pollution etc....

For me, writing works best if i limit myself to small bits at a time. I break up the total task into smaller bits. For larger works, i make a list of things that i surely want to say in this work and then i subdivide.
It also works if you have a great example of what you want to say/show/illustrate. For example pictures. That sounds organised, like do this first, that second, .... but it actually is not. I may start to write stuff in one chapter, then i notice that the flow of the text forces me to ad something to the list or refine it or to research something.

In editing you must keep in mind who will read it. You may find that some ideas are in the wrong place or that you may have to repeat something in other words elsewhere. Ik keep a discarded text part at the end of each text. Good bits that don't fit or are in the wrong place. I often reuse such texts elsewhere.



I'm currently preparing an article on local hedges. Based on pictures, i describe what you see, how it formed, what it is good for and sometimes how to manage it. The limit of the picture makes it easier for me to focus.


Also this.

When i'm in good writing 'flow' i hate to stop - i find it takes more effort to 'load' the stuff i'm writing about than the actuall writing. Writing a little bit takes as much effort as preparing to write more.

When i'm tired my writing needs more editing but it tends to be more creative and offer more interconnections. So it is a trade off. I win writing but i loose editing time.

It takes time to get some distance between my writing self and my editing self. Typically 2 or 3 days. A trick to shorten this is editing on the printout in a different environment with different light.

Keep notes. Wasting a goed idea is stupid.


Editing is a goooood way to get into a good writing 'flow'. Ineventably, pieces you write early on, you edit most.











 
Maureen Atsali
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I love to write.  I don't even care if I am good or not, it is just one of those things that I need to do in order to feel fulfilled. 

I read somewhere that the secret of writing is to "apply ass to chair" and just do it.  If you can write a page a day, that's a book a year.

Write your book!  Don't worry overly about editing, or whether or not it will sell.  Write it for YOU.  Then clean it up for everybody else.  Whether it gets published or not, you'll never regret having finished what was on your heart.

And I, for one, can't wait to read it!
 
David Livingston
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What sort of book do you want to write ?
Fiction ? fictionish ? A how to book ?
Why dont you write it with someone ?
I'm game

David
 
Casie Becker
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As a reader, I would be interested in a non fiction book organized as separate informative papers. I imagine that would result in being able to quickly look up information when I needed to review without requiring extensive rereading to place it in the appropriate context. In fiction writing I'm also fond of well selected anthologies. It's useful to have units of information that are small enough to absorb during things like waiting in doctor's offices.

From following you on here, it's obvious that you have enough specialized knowledge in many diverse topics that you could fill several books. Is there a particular subject you're interested in sharing on?
 
r ranson
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The book I'm thinking is about fibre farming.  I know a lot more than I did two years ago - and maybe that's why I am so hesitant. 

At the moment there are a few books that touch on this topic, but none of them are the book I wanted to read 14 years ago.  That's when I started seriously gathering information and experience for this book.  I'm still learning new things everyday.  What if I wait one more year?  Imagine how much more I would know then!  This is one of my biggest stumbling blocks.

The book I want to write is about growing, processing and enjoying textiles in a holistic system.  It would involve small-scale methods that would be good for the apartment dweller all the way up to farm-based industry (small spinning mills).  It would be in-depth enough to be a reference for experienced farmers, but also include inspiration and introduction for people who are just getting started.

For example, the sheep chapter(s) would help explain what sheep are, what their uses are (stacking functions), basics on caring for them, how to incorporate them into a holistic system (permaculture system?).  Then there would be more in-depth topics like how to prevent parasites (ducks, minerals, &c), basics about breeding, lambing, shearing, medical emergencies, a bit about choosing the right breed, marketing sheep and their products and that sort of thing, and references list of books that cover these topics in more detail (lambing guide, Pat Colbe's books, &c).  Then there's the bit on how to process the fibre into cloth - But that's almost a second book on its own.
 
Susan Taylor Brown
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You motivation is right here, in your post: "none of them are the book I wanted to read."

Many of us writers start writing because we can't find the book we want to read so we have to write it ourselves.

Most of us writers hate what we write while we are writing it and many of us still want to pull published books off the shelves and change a sentence here and there.

You have the knowledge and a great niche market.

I, too, love your idea of a "paper" into a chapter. You work on one chunk, move on to the next, etc. You don't worry about the editing or what it sounds like until you are done because you will be a different, better writer by the time you get to the end of the book. One trick might be to find a buddy and email your paper/chapter to them when you are done. You can have them just hold it or you can ask for feedback. But they won't be tempted to toss it as you might because we are so very critical on ourselves. I would suggest not asking for feedback until you get to the end of the book.

Editing can be taught and there are many people who can do it. But knowledge such as yours takes much time to accumulate and you have a richness of material to share with readers. Go for it!
 
Maureen Atsali
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You have a unique expertise in a largely unexplored field.  Write!  The additional experience you garner over the course of writing will be fodder for the next volume or edition. 
 
Judith Browning
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R Ranson wrote:The book I'm thinking is about fibre farming.  I know a lot more than I did two years ago - and maybe that's why I am so hesitant. 

At the moment there are a few books that touch on this topic, but none of them are the book I wanted to read 14 years ago.  That's when I started seriously gathering information and experience for this book.  I'm still learning new things everyday.  What if I wait one more year?  Imagine how much more I would know then!  This is one of my biggest stumbling blocks.

The book I want to write is about growing, processing and enjoying textiles in a holistic system.  It would involve small-scale methods that would be good for the apartment dweller all the way up to farm-based industry (small spinning mills).  It would be in-depth enough to be a reference for experienced farmers, but also include inspiration and introduction for people who are just getting started.

For example, the sheep chapter(s) would help explain what sheep are, what their uses are (stacking functions), basics on caring for them, how to incorporate them into a holistic system (permaculture system?).  Then there would be more in-depth topics like how to prevent parasites (ducks, minerals, &c), basics about breeding, lambing, shearing, medical emergencies, a bit about choosing the right breed, marketing sheep and their products and that sort of thing, and references list of books that cover these topics in more detail (lambing guide, Pat Colbe's books, &c).  Then there's the bit on how to process the fibre into cloth - But that's almost a second book on its own.


When I first saw this thread, I was hoping that was the book that you were talking about writing   I wouldn't hesitate just because you know there is more that you don't know...chances are you will be at this for a few years (?) anyway and can always revise topics and then, there will still be things you discover later...I think that is when authors update the next printing or just write another book....

From your posts here, I know you have plenty of information to well fill a book.

My husband just self published a small haiku travel journal 16 years after writing it...for him, it took having a back injury and having to stop doing most of his woodworking, for him to finish editing and lining out the journal.  Now, it is done and very satisfying, enough so, that he's much more quickly getting at the next book of haiku....we all go at our own pace
 
r ranson
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One week on and where am I?  Have I started?  Nope.

I have three big writing based things to get done first.  These are all time sensitive for other people.  I got one out of the way.  Two left to do this week.

I've also been thinking about this a lot.  What is the book I wanted to read all those years ago when I first started?

I'm also thinking about false facts that get regurgitated - "it's too much work" is one of the biggest ones.  It's not too much work.  It's that someone tried it and it and they didn't like how much work it was, so they said "it's too much work" and this just keeps getting repeated.  I think this, more than anything else, is why I need to write this book.  I want to battle the "it's too much work" myth. 

 
Tracy Wandling
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I think that there are so many topics that need that same sort of 'myth busting'. I stopped searching for 'permaculture' topics online because it turns out that so much of the information is just a rewrite of what someone else said - probably to fill a blog post and get advertising income. And that's how these myths circulate.

I think your book is very important. I think a lot of books need to be written to dispel myths, circulate new and accurate information, and show real-life situations where someone is really doing it. That's what people want/need to see. Someone actually doing it. That's what will make your book so successful - real-life stuff, not just theory and regurgitated stuff.

Personally, I can't wait for your book to come out!
 
Travis Johnson
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Its not too much work, really nothing is. Some have said, "Oh but you are so busy Travis"...that is pure nonsense. I am no busier than any other person on the planet, including some guy languishing in prison for the rest of their life. EVERYONE has 24 hours in a day, so the question really is...what to fill those hours with. I chose to set aside doing other things that I feel is literally meaningless drivel and focus on daily writing. I chose to write daily between 3 AM and 6 AM which is when my wife gets up. That is my daily writing time.

As for sheep R Ranson, if you have any questions, or just wish to discuss some aspects of it, feel free to contact me. I am more than glad to help you. I am just a dumb sheep farmer, but a sheep farmer nonetheless!
 
r ranson
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1,286 words written.

It's probably all crap and going to get tossed.  But I had to start somewhere so I started with a Statement of Intent.  I might get a few sentences out of it for an introduction. 

More importantly, it's a start. 

But starting is easy for me.  Getting past chapter 3 without tossing the whole lot is my biggest challenge. 

Edit to add: Travis, I'll be taking you up on that offer when I get to that section.  There are some questions I have that I'm not sure my experience is enough to cover in detail.  But first I need to get my thoughts in order. 
 
Joylynn Hardesty
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Congrats on the progress!
 
Maureen Atsali
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A start is a start!  I am also the queen of unfinished manuscripts... I get in knee deep and then convince myself that its worthless and no one is interested, and into the burn pile it goes.

As a complete newby to fibers, I think i have also fallen into the "too much work" trap.  I am rather in love with the idea of it, but when it comes down to the practical I am overwhelmed by the new information and skill set I would have to acquire.  If you could break that down, as a writer and teacher, well that would be HUGE.  Lots of writers can regurgitate information, but to make it practical, accessible, and achievable by the common housewife like me... Now that would be an awesome book.
 
Travis Johnson
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No problem, though I am sure I will be taking in more information than I give out if I read your book. Raising sheep...yeah we got that figured out pretty well, but wool is where we slack off.

We do very little with our wool, well unless you call composting it or giving it away as little or big. As we expand we will have to get a little better at managing it, and may 3+ years down the road can incorporate a better plan for the wool. Right now we don't produce enough (less than a ton) to really bother with. I only get 29 cents a pound for dirty wool, and a dollar for clean wool, but the time and effort to get it to clean is pretty exhaustive and expensive. That is the area we need to fix, but right now we got bigger fish to fry. But wool quality...it is on the radar for us for sure. SO WRITE THAT BOOK! (Not really yelling at you R. Ranson, just teasing and mean no disrespect).

Oh and congratulations on the start!!
 
Tracy Wandling
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YAY! Starting is so exciting. We'll help you keep going!
 
Roberto pokachinni
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I read the first few posts in this thread but not everybody's as my time is limited on Permies these days. 

Congratulations R Ranson on this endeavor.  It is also something that I would like to do, and hope to do, and will do. 

One of my favorite writers, Robert A Heinlein wrote a guest editorial in Analog magazine in 1974 in which he outlined the 5 Rules For Success In Writing.

Here they are:

1.You Must Write.
2.You Must Finish What You Write.
3.You Must Refrain From Re-Writing Except To Editorial Order.
4.You Must Place It On The Market
5.You Must Keep It On The Market Until It Is Sold.

My only experience with writing besides one story I sent away to a short fiction contest (that was rejected but received a nice letter), has been newspaper editorials.  As such, knowing that I have one shot at the newspaper and very limited time (and not much chance of getting someone else involved in editing... and not trusting that the newspaper will edit it well...), I pound it out and edit it several times (usually condensing for size while keeping as much clear info as possible) in one evening and then let it sit an hour and then I carefully go through it sentence by sentence, and paragraph by paragraph for errors.  I think that Heinlein's Rule Number 3 is primarily there so that a person does not get stuck in the trap of never being satisfied, never being done, never feeling confident enough to send it onwards... you have to let it go.  At some point it is someone else's puzzle to play with.  That was a huge thing for me to get over when I sent that one story off years ago, or for my first few letters to the editor.

It is super important to get other people's eyes on the pages, or at least to take a decent break from writing before sending it, before you re-read it for your own sense that you are sending out a clear product.  Pound through it till it's done, then take a break, like a couple weeks.  Then, with the break allowing your memory of each sentence to fade a bit, read it once for clarity and making suggestion to yourself.  Write those corrections in.  Send it. 

If you have people who are interested in helping you with your work already, you are miles ahead of most people who are trying to write.

If in the end you are having trouble with getting it published, perhaps there is a earth centered fabric/textile magazine which you could serialize your work in?

Good Luck!!!  
 
r ranson
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Today I did some reading of publisher websites.  Many of them do not want finished manuscripts.  This is good because quite frankly, I don't know what the public wants.  A publisher knows this stuff.  I can write so much on this topic that it's difficult to know where to stop.  I need help with focusing my attention on the vital bits.

Of the publishers I like, they all want an annotated table of contents.  So today I wrote a first draft annotated table of contents.  2,537 words.  My head hurts.  I'm missing a big chunk of the last section, but that really depends on what the publisher wants.  Do they want me to write what other books cover but in a new and interesting way (with pictures) or is a basic overview that the rest of the book can reference enough?  Everything else in the book is pretty new to the ... what's the word for "collection of books that is the body of knowledge"?  Corpus? 

I'm off to do my writing obligations for today, then the computer is turning off and I'm going to go get some dirt under my fingernails (off to the garden to plant seeds).

Later this week, I'll work on "In 300-500 words, what is the book about?" and polishing up the table of contents to something closer to 900 words.
 
Roberto pokachinni
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2,537 words.  My head hurts.
holy guacomole that's some serious table of contents!  And annotated at that!   
 
r ranson
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Roberto pokachinni wrote:
2,537 words.  My head hurts.
holy guacomole that's some serious table of contents!  And annotated at that!   


There are gaps, but it's enough to edit into something useable.  I knew mostly what I wanted to write.  But it took a whole hour because I kept getting interrupted with phone calls and such. 

I figure 900 words is the usual attention span of a reader, so I'll try to condense it the best I can.  A job for another day. 
 
Karen Donnachaidh
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R, I think this is so cool. You seem driven enough to actually make this happen. I hope so. The book (fiction) that I started is in rough draft in a drawer. I was lost on how to move forward with it. I wish you lots of luck!
 
r ranson
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This morning I wrote 600+ words and immediately deleted them.

At first, I felt awful, but now I'm glad.  What I wrote was just too negative. 

The inspiration for writing this book starts in the negative.  Too many people say "it's too hard" or "there is one right way"; I know they mean well when they say these things, but it's so debilitating to people just starting out.  It seems like I spend half my time online fighting this battle.  I want to show people that it's not too hard, that there are many ways of doing it.  You just need to find the one that is right for you. 

This is why I love permies so much - it's the one place on the internet where one seldom encounters the cult of "too hard" and the dogma of "one right way". 

When I do battle against the negativity, I come across too negative myself.  This "defence of..." kind of writing is not what I want.  I hate reading it.  I find it dull and the uninspiring.  So it's gone now.  I got the icky out of my system, and now I can focus on what is positive about my topic.


Two things are on my mind today.

1.  How to improve my spelling, grammar, and general writing skills?

the answer to this is Grammarly.  This is the only spellcheck that my dyslexic brain hasn't destroyed.  Generally, a spell check system gives up after 25 words with the statement "well, we thought you were going to write in English, but obviously you aren't interested in the English language, you stupid dyslexic person you.  We can't figure out what language you are writing in, so we are shutting down for the rest of the day."

Grammarly doesn't do this to me.  I have used the free Grammarly program for over a year, and it has improved my spelling tremendously.  I have never before encountered a spell check that didn't accuse me of being an inadequate human for not being able to spell.  Grammarly is friendly to me.  It feels like someone gently nudging me instead of hammering me over the head with a sledgehammer. 

The important thing is that a dyslexic can learn to spell words.  I'm an example of dyslexia at it's strongest.  But we experience so much conflict with language that there are these emotional blocks that are built between us and the thing we want to learn.  There is something about the gentle colour of the squiggly line and the perfect delay that Grammarly gives me, that helps me learn how to spell words better than I ever imagined possible.  I'm learning two or three words a week - a tremendous rate as my usual is one word every four months. 

So I bought the paid program.  This has advanced spelling and grammar suggestions.  It not only tells me how I can improve but also why.  The money to purchase this subscription is a significant investment for me.  I am amazed at what I've seen of it so far.  The premium version seems to be worth the expense and I am glad to support a program that does so much good for people with language disabilities. 


2. The other thing on my mind today is publishers.

It's been suggested that I don't use a publisher.  I've given this some serious thought.  I think I want a publisher.  I don't have the self-confidence to write this book on my own; I need to know that what I'm writing is interesting to others. 

When writing academic papers, I know what's expected.  When writing for a magazine, I can get feedback on how to improve.  When writing on a forum, the feedback is almost instant, and I can see where I am clear and where I need to phrase things better.  Writing something as big as a book, I understand why I falter so early on.  A big challenge is a lack of feedback.  I imagine a publisher knows what kind of things readers like and can help point me in the right direction with my writing. 

I'm at my danger zone right now.  If I can get past it, then I know I can write this book.

So this is what I'm going to do.

I'm going to choose one publisher.  One publisher that publishes books like the one I'm writing.  I'm going to go to their website and extract their list of desires.  What they want from an author.  This is usually a table of contents, sample chapter or two, and a justification of why I am the person to write this book.  I am going to focus my attention on their questions, and I am going to write the best answers I can.  I'm going to edit the hell out of it and try to get my five thousand word answers down to twelve hundred words or less. 

If I can do this, then I am ready to write this book. 

I think I can do it. 

I hope.

The point is, I feel that I need to show the publisher that I'm willing to put the work in.  The publisher isn't going to write the book for me.  I'm going to do that.  I need to show myself and the publisher that I will do that.  I can do that.  I am doing that. 

Once I can prove this, then I am ready to face a publisher. 


 
r ranson
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I'm feeling really good about this today.

Yesterday I turned off my computer and spent some time at the typewriter.  I love the typewriter because it slows me down.  Everything I've written on the computer so far has just been mind dumping because my typing speed is so fast, I just write a jumble of stuff.  Sorting through that is such a pain, but what it does do is to clean out the blocked channels so now when I go to the typewriter the words flow in a more logical order. 

The thing I'm hung up on today is that I don't think the title "fibre farming" covers enough.  Farming to me is too specific and the book I am writing covers so much more than that.  So I guess my question for you today is: if you lived in an apartment and grew cotton on the windowsill with the intention of making your own socks, would you still think of this as farming?  If not, what would you call it?
 
Tracy Wandling
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Ooooo, naming! I love trying to think up names. I'll see what I can conjure up for ideas.

I do like Fibre Farming for a title, but I can see how it could be a bit intimidating for some.
 
Travis Johnson
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Fiber Frolic
(for Fun and Profit)

In the real world the upper title would be bigger, and the two lines would be centered instead of justified, but you get the idea.

Feel free to nix it, I get carried away with alliteration sometimes.
 
Joylynn Hardesty
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Travis Johnson wrote:Fiber Frolic
(for Fun and Profit)


Oooh! I like it.
 
Rus Williams
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For me finding a way to write, rather than writing, was the problem. Then I came across this lovely, free programme

http://www.spacejock.com/yWriter5_Download.html

It's called yWriter and I found it to be an excellent way of organising, dumping, cutting, pasting, outlining, shuffling etc etc all those words. It's all offline too, which I like very much.
The programme is written for a novel structure, but can easily be made to work for a non-fiction.

there i a video review here



I haven't watched it, so I can't say how fairly in my opinion she reviews it.

Anyway good luck, I hope this helps you, or someone else. Also, from the little interaction we've had here on permies, I could easily imagine that your book would be thoughtful, useful, practical and interesting.

Title suggestion:

Growing and using fibres from your garden, or small farm

Also if you can pre-sell even a small number of books here on permies, you will be able to show a publisher there is a market for your book.


Rus
 
r ranson
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I sat down today and calculated how many words I write about textiles and fibre farming.  About 4 to 6 thousand words per day, or which, I publish about 2 to 4 thousand words on various forums (mostly premies).  Imagine if I took that energy and put it towards a book?  Pretty darn awesome.

I've decided that on days when I don't want to write anything new, I'm going to go around collecting these words and putting them in one place.  That place is fibre farming for the permaculture curious.

  

It's a pretty crappy name and I'll change it later.  But basically, I'm the permaculture curious and I like fibre farming.  I also need to sit down and do something about the design of the blog as I took the most boring template I could find which is really getting me down as the text is difficult for me to read on a white background like that. 

The goal of this blog is to help build my confidence.  I want to show myself that I know my topic well and can write about it.  I know I sound confident when I talk about this stuff, but I'm really not. 
 
r ranson
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Things are going slow but still moving forward.

I'm focusing my attention on typing (on the typewriter) out the expanded table of contents, again, from scratch.  It's very different than the one I did before which all came tumbling out at once.  The typewriter requires I plan the end of the sentence before I begin and that that sentence be strong enough to remember for the time it takes to type it.  This gives me great structure, but it lacks the passion of the mind-dump.  What I'll do when it's done is to print out the earlier version, sit down with a glass of wine and some coloured pencils, then take the best from each and use it to make a polished outline for my book.

It's difficult to describe.  Doing this table of contents twice like this has transformed the whole nature of the book.  I don't want to re-write what others have done, but I do need to get the foundations down so that they can build on it.  I'm really happy with where this is going and it's building my confidence. 

I'm also feeling a huge sense of urgency to write this book because there is so much interest in this subject right now and that interest keeps growing. 


The other thing I'm doing is my market research.  The publishers want to know what books are like the one I'm writing and how mine is different.  In many ways, I'm very glad to learn that there still isn't a book like this out there.  I've got my heart set on writing this now, I want to be the one to do it!
 
r ranson
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Also, I got my weekly report from Grammarly a couple of days ago.  It says I've written 75751 words in 7 days.  That doesn't include the stuff I wrote offline but I did check a few hundred words for someone else, so I think it's pretty close to accurate.  At 10,000 words a day (of which, I published about 4 to 6 thousand words a day on various forums and blogs), it makes me wonder what a normal writer's daily word count is.  Am I anywhere close?  Maybe I should be writing more.  But alas, my insomnia is on the decline and sleep keeps getting in the way of writing time. 
 
Gurkan Yeniceri
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I wrote 3 books and published them as ebooks by myself. Writing is good but these days audience want more pictures, 3D plans and videos if possible.
Getting an ISBN may also help but I've never spent money on these.

I am using MS Word (TM) with proper language tools to check my spelling. Word does all the table of contents, citing, foot notes, index automatically.
I do all the editing, layout, pictures etc.
I can then convert it to PDF using Word and sell it.

Sigil PC software also good for epub formats.

In my humble opinion self publishing and selling is better than going through amazon or other similar stores. I know most of my readers and keep in contact with them to answer questions.

There are companies who print your book hardcopy in China. But these days many people are using a computer or a tablet that they can read the online books.
 
r ranson
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Where am I now?  Overwhelmed, that's where.

There seems to be an overwhelming demand on my time right now.  Today, I'm teaching spinning lessons, next weekend, I've dedicated to the local flax to linen movement, and I have a lot of work to prepare before that happens.  My regular commitments seem to be taking even more of my time as I'm helping out at a textile tool related place while people go on vacation.  On top of that, spring is hammering away at me in fits and starts - like an uneven baseline in a rock ballad.  I feel that I need to get out there and get the garden ready and enough organic matter in the soil before the rains stop.  If I don't trap enough moisture in the ground now, then I'm doomed to irrigate again this summer (I HATE IRRIGATING! my biggest goal around the farm is to eliminate that need through soil and earthworks.  We are getting there)

I have to take one of my goats to the expert so I can learn how to repair her feet before they get infected (along with the lecture I'll get for letting them get that bad).  I also need to get on top of looking for a new ram for my flock before everyone castrates their lambs - too late for most of the farms I contacted.  You see, most farmers around here eat the animals that aren't the right colour for their breed - perfectly good sheep, often better than the perfect ones, but the wrong colour, so they get a quick trip to freezer land, but first castrated so that they don't contaminate the breeding stock.  Many of my animals are last minute rescues on the way to the abattoir.  But I need to be more careful with a ram as personality is hugely important to me.

Then there is getting ready for shearing the sheep.  Which means before that happens, I want to finish spinning the fleece I have, which means digging in my savings jar to see if I have enough for a larger drum carder. 

I've got another eight paragraphs of things demanding my attention.  But you know what?  They are all directly related to the book I'm writing.  This helps me feel better.

My original goal is to get my book proposal to the publisher by the end of the month.  Even if I only have the first half ready.  I may have to put my foot down and say no to some things so I can dedicate some proper writing time.  I wonder if I can get by on less than four hours sleep a night?
 
Michael Newby
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I'm just going to chime in with my two cents here:

First, I think it's great that you're looking at tackling a book, not to mention what seems to be a major reference book.  Committing to a project like that is a daunting task. I must say that while I have no reference at all I think that 10000 words a day is a pretty good amount of writing.  I've been toying with the idea of writing a much less in-depth book and I still don't have any idea if I'd be able to finish something like that in a year, much less a month or two.  That being said, I feel like from what I've seen on the forums you're a little bit more focused than I am.

One of the great little nuggets of wisdom that I've gotten from permaculture is the idea of hodgepodge growth:  due to the social complexities and rythmic, cyclical nature of our lives projects will sometimes move forward with great progress and will sometimes not progress at all.  This isn't a bad thing since the slow growth times allow for study, adaptation and improvements to the design while the fast growth times allow you to utilize labor and resourses efficiently.  The great thing about writing is that your manuscript will wait for you, while our plant and animal systems might not.  Don't beat yourself up if your writing is in a slow growth phase while other areas of your life are demanding your attention.

 
Don't touch me. And dont' touch this tiny ad:
2017 Rocket Mass Heater Workshop Jamboree - 15 workshops in one event
https://permies.com/wiki/63312/permaculture-projects/Rocket-Mass-Heater-Workshop-Jamboree
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