Some writers are accused of having “The World’s Greatest Unpublished Novel” lurking in their computer. I’ve got something like “The World’s Most Plausible Unpublished Technical Writing Book” in mine. I’m in the home stretch on the writing portion, so with any luck I’ll get the darn thing into the online publishing world sometime this year. Below is a more detailed update for those of you curious about such things.
A retired general I reported to in the contracting world once told me, “Don’t give excuses. Just say, ‘There’s no excuse, sir,’ and then fix it.” Well, I don’t report to that general anymore, so yes, I have excuses for my tardiness.
In case you folks weren’t aware, there’s been a bit of a pandemic on. That’s the primary excuse, so I’ll use that. I’ve been agitated, unfocused, and not terribly interested in doing non-essential tasks–which reminds me, I should probably vacuum my apartment at some point.
I have, in fact, been working for pay, which absorbs a lot of mental bandwidth.
There are other things I’d rather be doing, which is probably a good reason why I haven’t been published in book form (journalism and paper writing are another matter).
I’ve had moments of depression now and then related to all of the above, which drains the energy and does not lend itself well to writing or editing things that are supposed to be “fun.” I still summon up the energy to work because I like to eat.
All that said, I am in the home stretch with the actual writing of the book. I’m down to the final copyediting phase after paying my ace editor buddy Betty to assert some literary law and order on my prose. Betty’s done her thing. I just need to do one more read-through, add an index, and maybe add a back cover for a potential paper text, not just electronic (it’s rather difficult to sign autographs on a PDF). I’m also starting to reach out to reviewers for back-of-the-book endorsements.
Next: I need to get my Word document “translated” (formatted) into documents suitable for Amazon Kindle and Barnes & Noble Nook. I might end up paying someone to do that if the required computer programming/coding exceeds my skills.
Writing is one thing; marketing is something else. I’ll have my various “channels” for promoting this book (Twitter, Facebook, this blog). I’m also about 50% of the way through an author’s “media kit” should anyone want facts about me or the book.
This is the home stretch, really. I just need to push myself through to the finish line. If you’ve been waiting on me to share my tech writing wisdom crystallized in book form, I apologize. The text will still be useful, I promise. Still aiming for publication this year.