Birth of a Book

It’s not easy to write a book. I know. I’ve written two-and-a-half. Yes, there’s a half book in there. Many years ago I took a stab at writing a romance book called The Girl with the Kelly Green Scarf. From start to finish it was about eighty pages. Clearly, that’s not enough. So I put the pen away for a while…years actually. And then I found my writing groove.

In my early forties I went back to school and got a master’s degree in nutritional science. I became a registered dietitian and work as a health educator, speaker and author. I love it. And one of my most favorite things to do is to write nutrition books. This includes my latest one, the bestselling book Stop The Diet, I Want To Get Off! From start to finish it took about a year-and-a-half. I can’t seem to get away from the half. To be fair, there’s a lot to writing a book.

The first thing I do when fleshing out a new book is prepare an outline. It’s absolutely essential. An outline is the writing navigation path and is important in making sure a book has a solid beginning, middle and end. It’s also a great tool to use for determining which topics belong in and out of a book.

After I prepare the outline, I start my research. Since I write nonfiction nutrition books, this can be quite time consuming. I certainly use my own knowledge and expertise, but I also look to other experts through medical books, science journals, study papers and more. I usually research one chapter at a time. Once I finish the chapter in question, I start researching for the next one. But I always keep my eye out for any news pertaining to my topic and I keep a binder for articles I might use later on.

The fun part for me is the actual writing. What I strive to do is not only write a book that will help, educate and inspire people, but to do so in a way that is similar to how I teach my classes and perform my speaking engagements.

I verbally speak to people in a down-to-earth, informal and nonjudgmental manner. I like to pepper my classes and speeches with humor. That’s my personality. So I make a great effort to infuse my books with that same tone. I do this by visualizing myself speaking while I’m writing. It’s really helpful and enables me to create the tone I want. And, of course, I add in funny stories, primarily about my husband. He’s a great comic foil.

So I do all of the above and in a bit more than a year I have a brand new spanking book. It feels great. And there’s nothing better than knowing you have created something that can help so many people live longer healthier lives.

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