Cherry Picked Ideas

Steven Silberman has an interesting post today, entitled “Practical Tips on Writing a Book from 23 Brilliant Authors.” The authors are responding to Silberman’s prompt, “What do you wish you’d known about the process of writing a book that you didn’t know before you did it?”

While each author has their own great tips, here are the ones I liked best:

  • Be ready to amputate entire chapters. It will be painful. – Carl Zimmer
  • There’s no such thing as too many drafts. There’s no such thing as too much time spent. – David Shenk
  • Obsessive-compulsive organizational habits are your bestfriend. – Geoff Manaugh
  • Develop a very serious plan for dealing with internet distractions. – Ben Casnocha
  • Develop a very, very, very serious plan for dealing with internet distractions. – Ben Casnocha
  • This is your time to be completely and justifiably obsessed. So go ahead – bask in the madness. – Peter Conners
  • Just start working and you keep working til it’s done. That’s all there is to it; no mystery. – Nancy Cooper
  • Take the due date for the first draft EXTREMELY seriously, like everything depends on that day. – Sylvia Boorstein
  • Have the courage to write badly. – Josh Shenk
  • Be good to your spouse/partner and protect time for them. They’re in this with you, but unlike you, they didn’t choose it. – Maryn McKenna

You can read all of the tips (and get links to books by all these authors) on Steve’s original post. Find it here.