How to write a book, one chunk at a time
How to write a book, one chunk at a time

How to write a book, one chunk at a time

When you think about how to write a book, what comes to mind? A huge insurmountable project? Something that is achievable, if only you knew how? Yeah, it’s easy to write a book? What?

Just take a few moments to think about what it means to you to write a book and how you feel about that question.

If you have been reading my recent blog articles, you’ll know that I recently received a bit of a shock when I was told that I had osteoporosis and a couple of compression fractures. After spending 16 days in bed, with 11 of them without my precious doggies, I started to think about how could I help other people who learn about this to understand how it is manifested and how to sort through the mass of information to make some informed conscious choices.

My core mission is inspiring people to find themselves and have the courage to write a book so that they can encourage others to know what is possible for them. Was the Universe having a laugh with me I wondered? I certainly found a different way to end the book that I am currently editing – Rude Awakenings. It was supposed to have a happy ending… Although I have changed the ending, I do see it as a new beginning, albeit painful right now.

The dietary changes are playing havoc with my system, but hey whats not to love about detoxing and rebalancing your body? Like the book, I’m dealing with my health, one chunk at a time.

As I was journaling it became so apparent to me that I had to write a book. I have a working title which is Osteoporosis and Me. I’ve already fleshed out a few chapters and actually quite excited.

So what about you and the book you want to write?

Writing a book may seem a purely creative endeavour, however, to get to the writing bit you have to plan it and to get to the publishing bit you have to edit and do lots of other stuff like book covers and marketing. All of these aspects of getting your book published require that you use your brain in entirely different ways.

The first thing to consider is how to make any ‘task’ easier.

Write a book by chunking it

I’m a project person, so I break all of my big projects down into mini projects with milestones. As I get a part done, I can congratulate myself, and I can take myself off to do something else to take me away from the project. This means for me that when I come back, it feels fresh new and exciting.

We naturally chunk information up, down or laterally so that we can make sense of it. Some of us by the nature of how we like to learn, need to have a big picture before tackling the detail, while others hate the big picture and want lots of detail.

This also applies to your ideal reader. When your reader is searching for meaning in your words, they will chunk up, chunk down and chunk laterally.

  • Chunked up – where it becomes more vague and big picture.
  • Chunked down – where it becomes more specific and detailed.
  • Chunk laterally – move across to find other examples (metaphor, analogy).

By chunking up, you can distract the conscious mind and speak directly to the unconscious mind. Your unconscious mind has all of the answers just waiting to be unlocked. If your book is designed to get your reader thinking and to reflect this is a good technique to employ.

Back to you and how to write a book in chunks

The chunks of a book are:-

  • Planning
  • Writing
  • Editing to the final manuscript – before you send it off to your proofreader

The planning chunk

Here you are looking at creating a detailed outline. An outline by its very nature is a long list of stuff that makes up your book, broken into smaller pieces, with milestones which makes it easier for you to write around them.

Book planner

The writing chunk

Using a chapter framework means that each chapter is subdivided into sections, which guess what makes it easier to write. You will write your first, draft usually in chapter chunks and then leave it before you start on your edit in earnest. Here’s a video here where I talk about one part of that process.

The editing chunk

In this chunk, we also create an editing plan which gives us smaller tasks to do. Also in the editing phase as mentioned above, you are looking at how you can chunk your writing (up, down and across) so that you can connect to your reader’s learning style.

Some final thoughts

  • The truth is it is always easier to look at how you like to work and use your preferences to ensure that you tackle this project in a way that will work for you.
  • If you are struggling, make it easy on yourself and do things in chunks.
  • Make sure you have a plan.
  • Set time aside and take action.
  • Find yourself a buddy or a book coach.

Let me leave you with this if you have tried chunking and it is still not producing the right book, or you find yourself procrastinating, check first if this is the right book. If it is, then, consider what else is getting in the way? If it is not the right book, go back to the planning stage and consider what your core message is and who you want to read it and why? There are more questions and if you want to explore, connect with me and let’s chat.

101 days of being me

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Dale Darley

Strategist, Coach, writer and author. Helping you to make sense of your ideas and personal stories so that you can create simple strategic direction and design the right products and services for your business. Mum to three dogs and a family of swallows. Life without cake is a life unlived.