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Mar 25

How to Write a Great Non-Fiction Book, Probably

diary writing by freddie boy, on Flickr; how to write a book

Original Photo © Fredrik Rubensson, froderik on Flickr.
CC BY-SA 2.0

Instead of my usual musing about anxiety & brains & life & things, today I’m going to answer some questions I got sent about how to write a book.

Specifically, my correspondent wanted to know how to write a great non-fiction book.

Before you say it… god knows why they came to me.

I certainly don’t claim to be a world expert in writing non-fiction. At best, I’m probably the world’s foremost humorously custard-based mental health writer.

Even so, my comedy book about anxiety has been surprisingly successful, so perhaps something in my experience might be useful to somebody.

As I started replying to the email, I realised this might benefit from being more widely shared. So here we are.


How to Write a Book, A Bit:

Read more…

Dec 30

The Awards: Or How I Review My Year

favourite new person

[ORIGINALLY POSTED December 2015.]
[UPDATED January 2017 with a few new awards.]

I’m legitimately shocked.

I just wondered how far back my annual tradition for reviewing the year with awards went, so I looked it up…

And it turns out I’ve been handing out yearly awards since 2003. TWO THOUSAND AND THREE!

I thought the ten-year anniversary might be coming up, but apparently I missed that two years ago. *gulp*

Anyway. Since 2003 (!) I have handed out an evolving series of end-of-year awards, which I call “The Awards”, because apparently I am not very imaginative.

Read more…

Apr 02

Book Release: Immediate Aftermath

Tired lemur by Tambako the Jaguar, on Flickr

Releasing a book is hard work.

Original Photo © Tambako The Jaguar, Tambako The Jaguar on Flickr.
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 2.0 Generic License

The book is out!

Honestly, it was actually out two days ago. But somehow, amidst the madness, I never actually posted anything on the actual site.

Inner critic: You know it said “Pre-order” on here for two days after it was out? Good god, this is embarrassing.

Well, maybe. I’m not sure the consequences are quite as bad as I imagine them to be.

Reaction has been positive so far – I’ve had some lovely enthusiastic comments from a few keen early readers. I’m looking forward to more people getting through it and letting me know what they think.

Anyway, I’m all tired out so will continue the online series on anxiety soon after recharging my batteries a bit.

In the meantime, I will reshare any news (like the awesome podcast I did with Anxiety United) as it comes up, and after a brief rest I’ll be back with more explorations of anxiety for the site.

Meanwhile, do consider sharing the book around, encouraging people to check it out, and – of course – have a read of it yourself!

I can’t wait to hear what you all think of it.

Inner critic: Oh good. Well, I have a LOT of opinions, actually…

Not you, inner critic. Everyone else.

Talk to you all soon, and thanks so much for all the support and kind words you’ve sent on Facebook, Twitter, and everywhere else. You’re lovely.

Mar 25

Occasionally Asked Questions #1

A confused human

A confused human, possibly wondering what happened to their leg.

Is this site just excerpts from the book?

The short answer is “no”.

The long answer is also no. But it has more detail:

Currently the site has zero excerpts from the book, and I intend to keep it that way.

I want to make the book and the site complementary to one another by producing all-new content for the site.

This also allows me to go beyond the scope of the book. Sometime after release I plan to start posting ideas that go further than the discovery of the Meaning of Life at the end of the book*.

* Sorry for spoilers, but it IS in the title…

Eventually, this site should provide both a gentle introduction to the initial steps of tackling anxiety, and also explore more advanced topics.

In the long term, I expect to solve the problems of World Peace and create a happy utopia for all humans.*

* (though this might take a while, and probably won’t realistically happen.)

I hope that clears everything up, and thanks for your questions, nameless readers!

Dec 31

First!

It’s traditional* for the first post on a new blog to be solely about the first post itself, and who am I to ignore Tradition?

* Well, probably traditional, though honestly I just made this up. It certainly sounds traditional enough for me.

At the time of writing this site is artistically unfinished and somewhat unattractive, but it is at least functional and I can continue to beautify it while hefting the book over the finish line.

Regarding the book, I’m optimistically hoping it will be out sometime in January. The current status is: Final proof-reading needs to be finished, the blurb needs to be finalised and added to the cover, and then I’ve got to prepare the formatting for both the print and e-book versions. Plus marketing and ISBN handling and all that delightful business.

think my Master To Do List contains everything, but I have been fooled into thinking that several times already, only to find that there is yet another step required.

I pessimistically expect to discover there are yet more forms I must send to mysterious companies for arcane reasons I barely understand.

Someday I’ll write a post explaining my experiences navigating the minefield of publishing, but today is not yet that day.

Today is only the day I write a “First!” post before going out to celebrate New Year.

Hope you all have a great end to 2014.