I'm going to try something a little different today.
I've gotten to the point where I'm actually excited to write these blog posts each day. Shocker, because when I tried this the first time, I hated it and failed after 7 days. Persistance really does lead to a better outcome.
I woke up at 5:30am on my day off, without an alarm, ready to get this done and to then start my day. It feels good. I've decided to try to use these blog posts to tackle something I've been struggling with for a while.
I've been having a hard time progressing with my book. I have so much info and ideas and just haven't taken the time to work out the structure and to actually put it together. So I thought I'd work out what I can in this post and in turn, give you all a little sneak peek too!
Yesterday, I posted one of the interviews I did last year with Vanessa Goncalves, a young entrepreneur who started her own cooking school in Bangkok, Thailand. She's amazing and I'm so excited to have her advice in this book for young people to read.
The interviews I've done have taken up most of my time thus far with this project. Now, I've got to figure out how to organize it all. I think I've finally decided what the structure of my book will look like. I've gone back and forth on this for a while and have been conflicted for two similar reasons.
1. I don't have a transcript from every person I interviewed
In the beginning, when I didn't know what I was doing, I was too scared to record. I didn't think it was necessary and I didn't know how important it would be later on. For probably 1/3 of my interviews, no transcript exists. Just random notes and a few quotes. Definitely learned my lesson there, maybe I should include that as a piece of advice in the book, hah.
2. Some of the transcripts are hard to understand
Many of the people I spoke with have heavy accents, especially from when I was in Asia. Combined with a noisy cafe, it was hard for the transcriber to hear what they were actually saying. The transcripts are so broken up that it's tough to edit while still making sure I keep the original sentiments of the interviewee.
Because not all of my transcripts are clear and complete, I've been telling myself this story that I can't include the transcripts in the book. If I don't have them all, should I include any?
Now, I'm thinking that doesn't make much sense. I'm thinking that I can use the ones I do have, and for the others I can include a little write up of their story from what I remember or a quote list. Both are valuable, right?
I've been avoiding deciding on the structure for so long because I've been overwhelmed by the task. I decided to just start with baby steps and to actually practice what I preach. So yesterday I came up with a mini little outline that looks like this:
Mini Little Outline
Foreword (guest writer, someone important)
Intro / Preface about who I am and how this project originated
How to read this book (could be switched with the previous)
7 chapters of lessons I learned
Individual transcripts of interviews and more information about each person
Lists of books / recommendations
It's not much, but it's something. And everything starts with something. I slept on it and came up with a few more ideas on how to flesh this out to make it better. Here's what I'm thinking. . .
Lil' Simple Outline
Copyright (does copyright or title page come first? I have a lot to learn)
Foreword (guest writer, someone important)
Intro / Preface about who I am and how this project originated (what's the difference between an intro vs a preface?)
How to read this book explaining the structure and how you can skip around as you please, read part one with the 7 pieces of advice if you just want to get the overview, read part two with the individual transcripts if you want to dive deeper
Part 1 - Top 7 pieces of advice I gleaned from these successful people around the world (still a rough draft) This will be kept simple with the key points, easy to read with personal anecdotes to help get the points across
Believe In Yourself
Develop Self Awareness
Be Authentically You
Part 2 - Individual sections for each interviewee, with either their transcript, top quotes, summary of interview, or their story told by me. Something about how we connected / where we met? Would likely be 1 / 2 pages per person
Conclusion/Note from author? Final thoughts about what to do now, how to take everything you've learned and to go make change. Include option to join online community on socials
Resource List - books, podcasts, or any recommendations these people gave, in list format
Woo, now I've got a little bit more involved outline than what I had yesterday. Baby steps, but that's what works best for me. Next I'll work on building this out even more and getting all of my transcripts in order. One step at a time!
Thanks for joining me on this journey as I figure out how to write a book. Whatever you're working on, just keep going. Even if it feels useless and confusing and hard. Show up. Take step today, no matter how small it seems. You got this.