I spent the second half of my work week drafting my chapter for the upcoming book Person-Centered Management. I threw a proposal out on a whim and was shocked to find that it was accepted. My topic - asking five specific questions regularly of your employees - is nothing groundbreaking. The chapter is more reflective and less theoretical or research-based. That's why I found it hard to write.
The outline I developed and received feedback on was extensive. Normally, this makes things easier to write. I simply extend my outline's bullet points into complete sentences with examples scattered throughout. That was not the case here. I found myself stuck in a quagmire of tone and word choice. Was I being to personal or not personal enough? Did I need a specific example or would generalizations do? Was my writing too vague? Did I repeat my points too much?
I also second-guessed the entire premise of the chapter. (That was just imposter syndrome rearing it's ugly head.) Finally, I decided to write what felt good in the moment. That's what ultimately led me to "complete" my draft. It's 500 hundred words over the max limit, but it's done.
I'm going to let this brain dump of writing sit for a few days before I start slicing and dicing in editing. I relish a good red pen session to make writing better. (I expect a lot of red penning with this one.)
The editorial process for the book is extensive. The first draft is due Friday, there is an optional peer-review I signed up for, there is a second draft, and then there is the final draft. I'm going to be wrestling with this 3,000 - well, 3,500 at the moment - words for awhile.
How do you write?