Writing my first book….

…Wasn’t that difficult.

After years of talking the writer’s talk, I needed to put finger to keyboard. There was a yawning chasm between authorial ambition and writerly action.

I was all talk, no action, behatted but cattle-less, mouthy but no trousers — a beef free burger bun.

Like every aspiring writer, I just needed a trigger to get me going. In the absence of massive self-discipline, the trigger came out of left-field.

My Mum was diagnosed with agressive cancer. The prognosis was short.

Mortality suddenly became “in my face” rather than a distant speck on the horizon. The diem needed siezing, and siezing hard.

Time was of the essence. The stopwatch was ticking loudly. The book needed to be finished before the cancer progressed.

I committed to my mum that she would have a copy. She told me that her uncle, from whom her family was estranged, had written more than 10 books. She gave me a copy of one that was published in 1933.

So I started in early September 2018. I researched. I divided the proposed contents into chapters. I then wrote. A 1000–2000 words a day, day in and day out, until I finished.

The words came easy. My writing took between an hour and two hours a day. Time flew by when writing. My writing time was precious time.

<shameless self-promotion starts>

The book is here. It’s a practical guide to managing redundancies. It’s aimed at HR Practitioners and Junior Solicitors.

It’s not a turgid recital of the law — the market is saturated with that genre.

It’s a distillation of 25 years of experience in advising on redundancy situations and claims, at the sharp end.

The book shows you what works. And why. Non-lawyers enjoyed reading the proof. Or so they told me.

<shameless self-promotion ends>

What I learnt during the writing and pre-publication phase was the following:

  1. I enjoyed writing.
  2. I enjoyed researching.
  3. I want to write my novel.
  4. I appreciate the value of a good editor (thanks Garry at Law Brief Publishing).

For too long I have been a frustrated writer, filling many a notebook up with ideas, thoughts, outlines and character names.

The book’s publication showed me I can write — a big step forward. My next step is to finish my next book for Law Brief Publishing and then complete the novel.

Cancer in a loved one spurred me into action. It triggered the leap from ideas to action.

What will be your trigger?