The Process of Writing a Book

December 4, 2012 — 6 Comments


What Non-Writers Think The Process of Writing a Book Involves:

  • Secluding oneself in a remote cabin.
  • Sitting down with your MacBook Pro at a desk in aforementioned cabin.
  • Writing from early in the morning until late at night until the book is completed.
  • Book is published, becomes a best-seller, and huge checks begin arriving within a week.

What Writing a Book Really Involves (at least for this author):

  • Setting the alarm for 3 am so as to get up and start writing.
  • Hit snooze bar on alarm for 1.45 hours because you’re just too tired.
  • Finally sit down to write at 4:45 at desk in office/guest bedroom, where you find…unexpectedly, that your 9-yr-old son is sleeping.
  • Quietly begin to set up laptop on desk with headphones so you can listen to your “Writing” playlist on Spotify.
  • Spend about 22 minutes listening to Mumford and Sons on Spotify because you heard someone say that they are pretty good.
  • Spend a few minutes counting up how many cuss words you just heard.
  • Realize that you need coffee.
  • Make coffee.
  • Prepare coffee in cup.
  • Bring cup to office/guest bedroom/son’s 2nd bedroom.
  • Spread out writing resources on desk: yellow notepad, pen, Bible, and copy of The War of Art.
  • Spend about 31 minutes checking Facebook, the upcoming Weather, reading articles on the DrudgeReport, and pinning ideas for hanging Christmas lights on Pinterest.
  • Say, “Oh, crap! I need to start writing about Jesus!”
  • Wonder if you just said “crap” because of the recent negative influence of Mumford and Sons on your life.
  • Close Facebook, then decide to just minimize Facebook…just in case.
  • Open Word file that has latest version of manuscript.
  • Stare at flashing cursor wondering what to write.
  • Hear dogs scratching at garage door.
  • Let in dogs, feed them, and then look outside for a while and wonder how the neighbors keep their yard so green in the winter.
  • Hurry back to desk and Google “keeping your yard green in the winter.”
  • While you’re online you decide to check your Fantasy Football scores.
  • Your wife’s alarm goes off and you realize it’s time to get the kids up for school.
  • Help wife get kids ready for school and then take them to school because that’s what good authors like Donald Miller would do if they had wives and kids.
  • Work from 8-5ish.
  • Head to gym and workout so you don’t continue to become a larger and softer version of your previous self.
  • As you’re driving home realize that you need to write.
  • Ask your wife’s permission to head to local library so you can write without distractions.
  • Talk to your wife and kids about the day, their homework, and why Mad is such a good TV show but was an even better magazine.
  • After dinner, head to library to write.
  • Stop at door and head back in to say “goodnight” to kids since you’ll be gone when they go to bed.
  • Head out the door, but then stop to turn on Christmas lights.
  • Check mailbox unconvinced that the mail-carrier brought nothing today and must just be running late.
  • Head to library.
  • Wander around library in awe of the new layout, new coffee area, and overall new “wonder” all around me.
  • Start singing “I wonder as I wander” and laugh out loud to myself.
  • Find table in study area, set up MacBook Pro, spread out writing resources on desk: yellow notepad, pen, and Bible.
  • Put in headphones so you can listen to your “Writing” playlist on Spotify.
  • Spend about 12 minutes deciding on which playlist on Spotify to listen to by sampling songs from various and sundry Spotify playlists in the appropriate writing genre.
  • Realize that time is quickly fleeing, so you utter a word you learned from Mumford and Sons earlier in the day.
  • Realize that you need coffee.
  • Realize it’s too late for coffee.
  • Start thinking about how much you love your wife.
  • Text your wife, “I love you.”
  • Read her text back that reads, “Writer’s block? :)”
  • Text her back, “Yes :)”
  • She texts back, “I knew it.”
  • Resolve to get to work.
  • Open Evernote since working in Word wasn’t productive this morning and it seems that Evernote will provide a better platform for organizing your chaotic thoughts.
  • Notice file in Evernote entitled, “Blog Ideas” and decide that this experience might be the makings of a good post on my blog.
  • Spend entire time at library writing a blog post entitled, “The Process of Writing a Book.”
  • Check the mailbox again and find that it’s full of mail!
  • Walk in the front door of your house and your wife asks, “Did you get anything done?”
  • You sheepishly reply, “No.”
  • Her reply to your reply suggests that she’s recently heard Mumford and Sons, too.
  • Both laugh because you both understand this is often what it’s like to write a book.
  • Decide that you’ll try again tomorrow.
  • Plop down on the couch next to your wife, check the list on the DVR, and decide to close the day with last week’s episode of The Office and one episode of The Mentalist
  • Setting the alarm for 4 am tomorrow morning, since 3 am obviously wasn’t conducive to writing.



6 responses to The Process of Writing a Book


    So it’s pretty much the same as writing sermons?


    Love it Arron! I write that way too – except for the getting up at 3 (or 4) in the morning…


    Oh, yeah. This is it. Exactly!


    Wow! What a compelling testimoney of why everyone should write a book! Yikes. I’ll stick to fantasy football and middle schoolers… and they occassional Carcassone game, thank you very much….and maybe a little Bean game, too.

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