The Creative Process of Creating a “How To” Book – Violet Ivy

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“How to” books are fun to write and a great little money earner. You may think that you have no skills or qualifications to create a book like this but everyone has a special thing that they can share with the world. Have you been a kindergarten or mathematics teacher for twenty years? Do you grow the best tomatoes in your town? Can you knit a jumper in a day? Sit down and think about what life experiences or expertise you possess and put pen to paper. It’s like going to the gym. The hardest part is putting one foot in front of the other and getting started. Once the process is underway it all just flows naturally and easily.

Here is a simple, tried and true formula that I use to compose a “how to” book.

Step 1.

Take eleven pieces of blank photocopy paper and lay them out on the kitchen table / lounge room floor / spare bed. Think about eleven topics within your given subject. For example if growing tomatoes is your passion then you might have; best homemade compost, retrieving and storing seeds, when to plant different varieties, how to keep the bugs from devouring your plants, or tomato recipes. Write each of these on the top of a separate piece of paper. These will be your chapter headings.

Step 2.

Then on each piece, under the title, bullet point ten subheadings. For example, with the recipe chapter you might have; tomato relishes, tomato flans, tomato soups, tomato sauces etc.

You now have your book structure set out. The reason I say eleven pieces of paper is that you will no doubt have one subject for which you are unable to think of sufficient subtitles or it just doesn’t take your fancy as a chapter in your book anymore. You can then discard this one and still have your ten chapters good to go.

Step 3.

Take your time and write about each of your subtitles. Don’t rush. This is a creative process. You can always come back to each and add more as your mind has had time to process the information and new ideas come to the forefront. Nothing is set in stone. You might be halfway through writing your book and be shocked that you didn’t include a chapter about watering requirements of different species or positioning the plants for best sunlight exposure depending on the season. You can always get out another piece of photocopy paper and plan another chapter. It’s your project. If it’s not fun you are doing something wrong! You can start today. Imagine you are chatting to a niece or nephew or a neighbour down the road. Explain the depth to plant seedlings or what the taste or colour of the sauce should be like. I use a Dictaphone. You can also used voice recognition software, like Dragon Naturally Speaking. This allows the thought process to flow far more freely. Most of us can speak much more rapidly than we can type. No one hears the voice recording so it doesn’t matter if it is filled with “ummms” and repeated information. When I am ready I type up the voice file (or edit the file created by Dragon Naturally Speaking), and edit to my heart’s content.

Add pictures, diagrams, handy hints and so forth. Interview your friends and associates for their thoughts. You might even dedicate a chapter to him or her, with written permission of course.

“How to” books are not lengthy novels. The word count may be as short as sixty to seventy thousand words – many fewer if your subject relies on myriad diagrams or photographs.

Type it up. Edit and then edit again. Choose a fantastic picture or photograph for the front cover and you are away! One book written. Once you realise how quick and easy this process is it’s likely you”ll come up with more subjects. And, that translates to more books. Welcome to being an author.

Violet Ivy came from a small wheat and sheep farm in outback Western Australia. Having risen through the ranks of the s*x industry from dubious ‘massage’ halls to elite bordellos she now works as an independent, international, elite escort for the rich, famous and infamous. Violet has decided to share her story and those of her friends by putting pen to paper. Be aware that her stories, whilst one hundred percent authentic, are not for the faint hearted. If you are moralistic or overly judgmental, please do not read her writings.