Diary of a non-fiction book: week 4 – day 1

My first day back on the non-fiction book was yesterday.

First of all I reviewed the list of storage material I’d compiled the last time I visited the company archives two weeks ago. I’d made a list of all the things I thought might be useful, but I’d have to give the staff there notice to retrieve it for me. There are literally pages and pages of references I made, so I’m having to be choosy about what I request and when. The photographs and slides I’ll leave until I’m closer to the end.

I fired off an email to the staff, telling them I was looking forward to seeing them this week and here was my first list of storage material, if they had time to get it for me.

The email bounced back with an out-of-office auto-reply saying my contact there was off at the moment and wouldn’t be back until 24 August. There was another contact email address for emergencies, and so I forwarded the message to make sure they were still expecting me and asking who to ask for.

Again, an email came straight back – all was well, they were looking forward to seeing me as well, and should have no problem retrieving the storage material for me. Phew!

Then I sat down and started to draft a rough timetable to organise my work. We’re already four weeks into this project and I don’t seem to have made much impact. So, to stop me feeling overwhelmed, I wrote down an organisational workflow.

This included things like research weeks (not to overdo the research), using the Pomodoro Tomato technique for reading/note-taking, writing weeks, using the Pomodoro Tomato technique for writing bursts, a calculation of how long it might take me to write the first draft, and finally the revision process.

In other work, I wrote three other blogs, a news story for the website, and I published a book on Smashwords.

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