Good non-fiction revolves around a story. Even a cookbook, as evidenced by Lindsay Nixon’s Everyday Happy Herbivore: “Shortly after I finished my first cookbook . . . my husband and I were transferred to St. Maarten for a year. While the prospect of living in paradise was quite exciting, the realization that I’d have to cook three meals a day, everyday was daunting. . .”
Don’t you want to know how that year in paradise turned out and why it was daunting?
If you’ve already started writing your book, go back to see if you used the “once upon a time” magical story beginning. If you’re just beginning, what’s the story?
One of my love note (AKA newsletter) subscribers sent me an email telling me that an Anne Lamott quote had really hit her hard. The quote reads:
Oh my God, what if you wake up some day and you’re 65, or 75, and you never got your memoir or novel written; or you didn’t go swimming in warm pools and oceans all those years because your thighs were jiggly and you had a nice big comfortable tummy; or you were just so strung out on perfectionism and people-pleasing that you forgot to have a big juicy creative life, of imagination and radical silliness and staring off into space like when you were a kid? It’s going to break your heart. Don’t let this happen.
Today’s message – what are you waiting for to live your big juicy creative life?
When I received an email from Udey Johnson, thanking me for my How to Write for Kindle book, I was thrilled that I’d been able to help someone with the structure of their book. I asked Udey if I could interview him and he graciously accepted. He’s a first-time Kindle author and his book is The Montreal Plateau: A traveler’s guide.
Nancy: Could you tell me a little about how my Kindle book helped you? i.e. inspiration, structure, outline, etc?
Udey: Actually, your book gave me inspiration because it provided such a clear and practical structure. The fact that you presented a definitely proven path to completion – and then reinforced the importance of following the steps systematically made all the difference.
This structure and systematic approach is all stuff we already know – or actually already think we know. But most of us – well, me at least – are unable to get it done all the way to the finish, for a host of reasons. . . . keep reading
From 30,000 feet No, this isn’t a post about writing while flying. Rather, it’s a post about the BIG PICTURE of a non-fiction book structure. How Many Topics Does Your Book Need? Once you’ve hit upon the basic idea for your book, break it down into topics. Think of the book’s structure in the same way […]
Sometimes a #writerslife requires watering the tomatoes http://t.co/oA2kARyNA3 http://ift.tt/1n4OWKq — Nancy Hendrickson (@nhendrickson1) June 16, 2014 Need a creative boost? Try the 30-Day Challenge. It’s free and it will make your brain tingle!
Thanks to Chris Bell for offering me a guest interview spot on the Writers Rebellion Podcast. It was great fun – and filled with tips for writers. Need a creative boost? Try the 30-Day Challenge. It’s free and it will make your brain tingle!
When I first started writing for magazines I managed to collect my (not) fair share of rejection letters. However, I persisted in writing queries and improving my pitch. One day, the dam broke open and I was faced with a choice I was happy to make: Quit my job and jump full force into being […]