I’m in the final stages of writing my book, FOCUS, which Pearson will publish in May 2008. I guess it’s appropriate that I’ve had to focus a lot this month to be able to get it done! One tip: leave the first chapter (the introduction) until last. Inevitably, the book has changed somewhat, including finding that two of the proposed chapters work better when combined into one, and that it made sense to switch the order of some of the chapters. Since the introduction includes a guided tour of the rest of the book, it’s best to do that last.
The second tip is don’t panic if you start to doubt whether your book actually works. This is my sixth one and on every one I’ve had a point at which I was sure it was all falling apart, didn’t make any sense, wouldn’t interest any readers, etc. I think it’s part of the natural process once you get so deeply into it that you lose perspective (it happens with screenplays, too). Yesterday I wrote what will be the final chapter, “Putting It All Together,” in which I set out a program for applying all the material in the book in a structured way, and was happy to find it does all make sense. Whew!