Category

Book

Category

My Book Project: The Tools

When I first started writing my book, I wrote individual pieces of it in Word. And that was fine. Except that I kept having to open multiple documents and copy and paste. Pretty soon I had way too many documents, and I could not remember what was where.

What a mess.

I also had these interviews to do. I needed a place for the recordings and the transcripts.

And what about all my ideas?! I needed a place for those, too!

As with anything new, it takes getting started and trying a couple of different things to find tools that work for me. Here’s what I’m using to write my book:

Scrivener

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scrivener 1

What was I thinking before Scrivener? I wasn’t. Of course you can write a book any way you want. And using Scrivener is the way I want to do it.

Scrivener is great because all my files are in one place. As I’m writing the book, I start new “documents.” Then, I can simply drag and drop those different pieces into place as I’m writing the book. As I’m reading the book through, and I think, hmm…actually, this piece goes before this piece, all I do is click it and drag it up.

I can also quickly switch between pieces, copying and pasting and deleting as needed.

I also keep the transcripts for my interviews in a folder in Scrivener, so I can easily pull pieces from the interviews into my book. There’s also a Research tab, so I can put all my notes and research into that folder. Scrivener is also great for creating outlines and storyboards. Basically, it’s the best.

Digital Voice Recorder

I voice record all my interviews. There’s just no way I could write down what my source is saying fast enough. I also want to be able to stay present in the interview and really take in what’s being said instead of furiously writing down notes.

Before I record, I tell my source I’m recording (they have all agreed to be recorded). Then I hit record on both my digital voice recorder AND the voice recording app on my iPhone. I use both gadgets to record because I like having backups. If, my digital voice recorder fails, then my iPhone will capture the interview. And visa versa.

I have been transcribing these interviews myself. And it takes me HOURS because I can only work in two to five minute increments thanks to my children. So I’m considering outsourcing this job.

Large Post Its

I use the Research folder in Scrivener to keep lots of my ideas and notes. But I also wanted something more visual and a place where I could write down things and draw lines.

I love Post Its and index cards, so I was writing down ideas on those and shuffling them around. But they were just too small. So I ordered giant pads of Post Its. These are huge. I write down anything and everything that comes to my mind. One liners, words, concepts, drawings. Anything. I capture them on the giant Post Its and hang them all over my office. It’s a great way to see visually what I’m working with.

It’s exciting to share this project! Writing is such a lonely and slow going job! I have yet to find a tool to solve that issue. πŸ˜‰ But if you’re writing a book or thinking about writing a book, I encourage you to check out these tools! Happy writing!

Faith, Meaning, and Purpose

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For the past several years, I’ve been working on a book. It would have moved a lot faster if I didn’t keep getting pregnant and then having needy babies. But, turns out that my slow pace ended up being the exact right pace, given the topic of my book.

It turned out that there were just a few life lessons I needed to learn before I could fully embrace this book.

So, what is this book about? It’s an exploration into faith, meaning, and purpose throughΒ  a mix of personal narrative pieces and interviews I’ve done with religious leaders, ranging from a Catholic Priest to a Hindu Priest. I’m interested in how we can cultivate faith, meaning, and purpose in our everyday lives regardless of our religious or spiritual backgrounds.

Why? Why care about those things?

Because I believe those are the building blocks for our lives. A firm foundation in meaning, purpose, and faith sets the tone for happiness, love, compassion, and worth. It’s what makes us better parents, educators, leaders, and people. It’s what makes the world go round – and we have the ability to make it a better place.

So what did these religious leaders say about the meaning of life? Shockingly similar things. And, really, what they had to say had little – if anything – to do with a specific higher power.

I already have over 50,000 words written. But there’s still work to to do. Here are my next steps:

+I have two more interviews to do. And I also need to have the last two interviews transcribed. I think I will use a service for this because the process is painfully slow.

+After the interviews are completed, I need to do the hard work of weaving in my stories with the interviews. This is not a Q & A book. I’m working all these pieces together into a narrative.

+I am writing this book without a book deal or an agent. I wanted to write the entire book before shopping for an agent. Why? Because that’s how I wanted to do it. It’s not the right way. Or the wrong way. It’s just a way, and that’s the way I chose. My goal is to have an entire draft of the book done by December, and then I will shop it.

That’s where I’m at! I’ve felt such a shift lately in my life, and I know it’s through working on this book. In so many ways, writing this book has changed my life. And, to me, that’s worth everything.