On Writing Your Way INTO Your Book (Part 2)

A revelation hath...revealed itself. (It's 7:17pm, and my brain cells have stopped firing almost entirely.)

Last week, I posted about this revelation: that the process of writing a book is very much like a reverse hourglass (or, say, a stomach, if you're a "Grey's Anatomy" fan). 

[If you missed that post on figuring out what your book is about, you can read all about it here.]

It stinks that most writers don't realize where the starting place actually is (and that it's often important to spend more time there than one thinks).

I didn't understand this myself for many years! 

And the bottleneck this creates causes them to think they're doing something wrong when, in fact, they're just like everyone else writing a book! 

But today, let's talk about Part 2: What Do I Want to Say?

This is the BIG part of the reverse hourglass, or stomach, and it's where the bulk of the work/writing takes place. 

(Who's dying to hire me to illustrate their children's book. Anyone? Hello?). 

You know you've moved into Part 2 when...

🎉 you're "in the zone" or the writing is easily flowing on a regular basis (not every day, perhaps, but more regularly than not).

🎉 you start writing and seemingly can't stop. One idea turns into two turns into six. You might even sit down to write about one thing that quickly goes by the wayside as a new idea takes on a life of its own.

🎉 you realize you are getting quite high with your word count (80,000+ for nonfiction or memoir) and recognize that you might actually have two books instead of one or 10-20% of your content is repetitive, meaning that you've told the same story or given the same example in multiple chapters.

For the most part (no pun intended), Part 2 is a supremely fun place to be (minus the moments when you wonder, "Did I already talk about this?" or "Is this a necessary scene?" or "I'd rather not relive this particular experience right now!").

To be clear, there is no across-the-board answer when it comes to "How much time SHOULD I spend in Part 1 versus Part 2?"

It's different for everyone.

If you nail your "What's it about?" quickly, you'll advance into "What do I want to say?" quickly.

And if it takes time to hone your "What's it about?" (which it does, quite often, and it's time well spent!), you'll still spend a solid amount of time in "What do I want to say?" because writing a whole book takes time!


The words will likely flow more easily than they would've if you hadn't spent that extra time in Part 1.   

Plus, if you get into Part 2 and realize you need to revisit Part 1 to get a more thorough understand of "What's it about?" you can absolutely do that!

The BIGGEST bottleneck, regardless of how much time you spend in Part 1 versus Part 2, happens when you think you're doing something wrong because you're "stuck" wherever you're stuck. 

I promise, you're not.

This is just part of the process.

For all of us!

So Just. Keep. Going.

And, if you'd like extra support with this (and to be part of an author community where we're all navigating it together), we'd love for you to join us in the Book Writers Collective: the accountability guidance, support and strategy-filled community you need to bring your book to life and keep it selling for years to come!