A lot of people want to know how to write a book. I am not a prolific author, per se, but I have written a number of books. Some of them were big, fat books, too. We call these the For Dummies titles. Writing For Dummies taught me a lot about the process and the mechanics of being an author. It wasn’t easy.
Right now I am working on another book. I’ve kept it pretty under wraps because I don’t want anyone knowing about it. I will tell you (however) that I am retaining creative control this time and will be authoring the damn thing in my usual, almost child-like writing style. People seem to get a kick out of the way I write and I only know this because one guy said it sounds almost like someone who has a condition is writing to him. He meant it as a compliment, I think.
Writing style is something you have to let come through years of practice. It can only emerge when you have control of your technique. Having a good flow is not something you find by just relaxing. It is actually very strenuous to make your writing sound natural. It is actually very unnatural, to do that.
Many notice how I switch my style or tone depending on the project. This is done not on accident. Some pieces demand a more serious approach. Sounding like a third grader is good for non-sequiturs and getting people to laugh at you. It is not all that great for sales copy. Same with my books. This new one I want to be lighthearted and a little bit funny. So I have given myself a pass to write in a way that is somewhat nonsensical. This is a challenge to me, and I find it a good one. It is very hard to write nonsensically on purpose.
I remember reading a book from, I forget who it was, but what they said was one of the most important things an author sometimes forgets before beginning a project is the voice they want to assume as the narrator. Unity, obviously, is important. So you don’t want to start out sounding like somebody’s incoherent, rambling, dementia-ridden grandfather and finish a professor of economics. Either stay the grandfather or start as the professor.
PS – You may like being part of my Action Insider because I teach people how to write books there.