Writing a non-fiction book is a completely different experience than writing a novel.
With a novel, I live within a fictional dream bubble for days at a time. My whole focus is on incubating that bubble, keeping it afloat, and writing within it.
With non-fiction, I just pick a subject and sit down and write it. I'm basically relying on my 35 years of mulling over my business. Small business is probably the only subject that I could write about authoritatively.
It doesn't take much to get started. I set out on my walk with a subject in mind and it comes spilling out.
I've got 8 chapters left in the first draft. All 8 subjects lined up. Each chapter is about 1000 words. Short and pithy. It wouldn't hurt to make them even shorter and pithier--but I also want to create an attractive author's voice. The tone is actually something I have to decide on. I can be folksy or blunt or trollish or modest or stern or whatever.
I don't want to force the voice, I want it to be natural. It will probably end up being like my blog posts only more polished. I feel prepared to re-write, which is not something I usually look forward to. Non-fiction seems to be different that way.
I don't know if this Small Business Survivalist Handbook is going anywhere, but I always wanted to do it anyway. So now I've done it.
My editor wants to include illustrations, and that's a great idea, but as always the problem is with the artists. Hard to find anyone reliable that I can afford and does quality work. One of the reasons I'm a book writer not a comic or graphic novel writer is because working with artists is really hard. Artists have their own agenda.
Better to just do my own thing.
As soon as I'm done with the first draft, I'm going to dip into my years of notes and see what I can find. I'm sure more subjects will come up, that I'll find more to say. It's always a little fascinating and little cringe-worthy to read over old diary posts.
I'm feeling pretty upbeat because I'm almost done with the first draft, which means this thing is happening, one way or another.
16 hours ago