Jumping In: Book Revisions

EditHow do you revise a non-fiction book? I have pondered this question over the last several months.

Writing my book proposal helped me figure out what stories and information I want to include in my book AMERICA’S FIRST GATEWAY. However, my book proposal did not lay out a clear plan for how I should revise my manuscript.

I finished my book proposal in late September 2013 and since that time I have worked on freelance articles, blog posts, and an academic journal article.

I finished the journal article 2 weeks ago, which means that I finally have to start revising my book, not just talk about it.

Last week I willed myself to start revising.

I opened my book proposal, read through my Chapter 1 description, and dissected it.

I outlined all of the major topics and subtopics for the chapter. Under my subtopics I listed all of the books and article titles that I need to read/skim to write about that subtopic.

This week, I began reading books and articles that will help me find the information I need to revise Chapter 1.



I do not know how long it will take me to revise my book. I do know I want to work smarter than when I wrote my dissertation.

I am trying 3 new techniques to ensure that I write and make progress every day. (Okay, maybe not every day, but most days).

Zemanta Related Posts ThumbnailExperiment 1: Early Morning Reading

Each morning I read.

I read an article or part of a book before I sit at my computer.

I love my computer, but it is a major source of distraction.

I used to start my day by checking e-mail, Twitter, and blog feeds. Inevitably, one or more of these items would distract me from the work I needed to do.

Now, I begin with reading, which helps me focus on work before I get distracted.


Experiment 2: Active Note Taking

After I read, I enter my notes into DEVONthink.

The process of typing my notes helps me consider the information I read. After this deliberation, I open Scrivener, click on the book/article card I created, and summarize the reading in my own words.

The act of summarizing ensures that I write every day.

I plan to use my summaries as reference material when I write each subsection.


SuccessExperiment 3: Increased Accountability

Progress requires action. It also commands accountability.

I will make myself accountable to others.

I will make weekly progress reports to my writing coach and update my writing group during our bi-weekly meetings.

I will also blog about my revisions work.



I am not sure if my revisions plan is the best plan, but it is one that will help me make steady progress.


time-to-shareWhat Do You Suggest?

How have you (do you) approach your long-term writing projects?

Do you have a system or technique that allows you to make steady progress?