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Hardest part about writing a book?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by WaylonJennings, Apr 6, 2009.

  1. Wondering what some of my fellow authors remember being the biggest grind in the process?

    Me? I think it's trying to track people down for interviews, some of whom, depending on what sort of book you're writing, might not have talked to a reporter for decades. It's such an effort to, first of all, find dozens of people, and then to get a hold of them and convince them to share anywhere from 10 minutes to a couple hours of their time with you. It can be draining.

    Other elements of authorship that just wore you out? (And didn't Jones say he talked to like 50 people for a single magazine piece? Amazing).
  2. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    Hell, the chasing/gathering/interviewing was the fun part for me.
    Sitting down and actually writing it was a pain in the ass. My gather-sort-write method worked fine even for longer newspaper stories. For a book? Lesson learned.

    Speaking of which, I had a book idea slap me in the face over the weekend and I need to get working. Some of you agents out there, take a chance on me here. Get in touch.
  3. How would you do it different if you wrote another one?
  4. friend of the friendless

    friend of the friendless Active Member

    Sirs, Madames,

    Separating publishers from their money.

    Selling a book is the hardest (from conception to pitch to negotiation to racks). Nothing else is hard.

  5. Barsuk

    Barsuk Active Member

    I haven't written a book (though I've written several small excerpts of the book I'll one day write) but I think the hardest thing for me, being a newspaperman, would be the lack of a daily deadline. I find it hard enough to focus on stuff that won't run for a week or two, so if the light at the end of the tunnel is months or even years ahead, I think I would struggle.
  6. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    I'd write it in chunks. Gather/organize/write, gather some more/organize some more/write some more.
    I busted ass on research, interviews, whatever and then sat starting at a pile of notes and a TON of writing to do. Got it done, sure, but damn.
  7. pseudo

    pseudo Well-Known Member

    If you're referring to "The Things That Carried Him," I think it was over 100.

    (checking) Yup. 101.
  8. for me, the hardest part has always been the gathering of info -- waiting for call backs, trying to track down phone numbers for forgotten people, hours glaring at microfilm in the library looking for that one quote you know is there somewhere ..

    writing is the dessert after a meal you didn't really like
  9. We are kindred spirits then.
  10. dixiehack

    dixiehack Well-Known Member

    I have a naive question. Is there any sort of market for people who specialize in the research end of book writing? Because that would be my favorite part of the process.
  11. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    Yeah - big name authors are always on the lookout for researchers. I believe a big to-do was made over Woodward's search for a researcher for his last book.
  12. I'd like to know this, from the author's standpoint. I was reading Seth Davis's acknowledgements at the end of "When March Went Mad," and like most major authors, he thanked his reasearchers, including a guy who had conducted some interviews for him. But I've tried to use the Google to find the market for these people, get them to do some digging for me, but there doesn't seem to be a big industry out there.
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