Category: Writing

How to Choose the Right Path When There are SO MANY POSSIBILITIES

[This post was originally written for puttylike.com]

To my great surprise, I’ve written two books.

The first was non-fiction, and I spent the entire process worrying about making factual errors. I checked and rechecked (and rechecked) everything obsessively. At the very least, I wanted to be able to honestly say that I’d done my best to make sure any information I was sharing was reasonably accurate.

As a means of handling this anxiety, occasionally I mixed in a chapter of flash fiction. This was such a relief! These random chapters about wizards and aliens and talking flowers didn’t have the same obligation to be correct – in fiction, I could make up anything I liked.

Idly, I dreamed of someday writing an entire novel… a whole project free from this pressure, a project where there were no rules.

Be Careful What You Wish For

Of course, it turned out that having no rules was also horrible… just differently horrible.

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What Am I Doing?!

I rarely talk about my actual life on this site. So today, an update.

In short, it’s fine.

But, in long, there are two big projects to update you on:

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A Jar of Human Traits!

There’s a proper update coming soon but someone made me this and I couldn’t resist giving you a sneak peek!

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:

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The One Answer to All Our Problems

Potash Road, Near Moab, Utah by Ken Lund, on Flickr

The end of the road is around the NEXT bend. For sure.

Original Photo © Ken Lund, kenlund on Flickr.
CC BY-SA 2.0

I want the answer.

The one, single answer which will solve all my problems.

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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.

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