Monday, March 24, 2014

How to choose what to write on?

Each author is unique and each one has their own way, not only of writing, but of approaching the whole writing thing. There are some who decide on the title first and then start on the book. Others write the book and then put in a title that makes sense. Still others keep changing both their initial title and the body of the text itself.

And there are probably as many different ways of writing as there are authors out there. I am therefore going to tell you how I chose what to write on because that's the only thing that I can talk about.

Actually the decision for me to write my own book was not a difficult one to make. I've been writing for more than 5 years, although what I concentrated on was on website content. Here and there I did take up book writing projects, mostly for sale on Amazon. One of the unfortunate things with being a ghostwriter is that you don't retain any rights to your book and the buyer can pretty much do anything he or she wants with it. And so the title that I put in them may not be the same ones under which they are sold, nor can I even say that the body of the book will remain the same. It could very well have gone through innumerable edits/changes. I just didn't know.

So for a long time I really didn't know how good or bad a writer I was.

And then I wrote a book for a person who actually gave me feedback. He was a publisher and after I finished my book, he came back to me with just one request for edit, and that was to shorten my introduction a bit. Beyond that he was very happy with the book and told me that he has never had an author edit and proof their work so well that he did not have to do it himself.

Now this kind of feedback will obviously lift you up somewhat. I was on cloud 9 for a couple of days until I came back to Earth with a bump. And the bump was that I may be the very best writer out there, but it's not going to do me a bit of good till such a time as I write and publish under my own name.

And this is what prompted me to start writing a book. At this stage, there were a number of thoughts running in my mind on what to write on, and I hadn't decided on anything till I got an inquiry for a ghostwriting project to write a book on Diabetes. I did some research on the subject first before responding and what I found was fascinating.

The contract did not come through, but I had all the notes that I had made, and the subject also fascinated me. I've never been very interested in diabetes although there's been a history of the disease on both my parents' side. My first brush with reality came with my first child when I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes. It wasn't very high, but I had a tough time managing my sugar levels just with diet and exercise.

Now, I'm having my second child, and I've once again been diagnosed with gestational diabetes. This time however, it's much easier because I know more about the problem. Also I started being careful 5 yrs ago when I had my first child and this is paying me rich dividends now.

And unlike the last time, I still do have sugar, I have ice creams, chocolates and everything else that I want to eat. I just ensure that I manage my sugar intake in such a manner that my blood sugar does not spike to dangerous levels. And as of now (I'm in my 7th month) I've been fairly successful.

Anyway, that's beside the point. My decision to write the book was made at a time when my second child was not even a thought in either mine or my husband's minds. And the reason why I decided to write it is because so many people in my family have high blood sugar.

They all take medication as though it's a sort of panacea for their disease. You know, there's a world of difference between taking a pill because you feel a fever coming on, and you taking a pill because you feel that you blood sugar is going up. All of them know the dangers of having disease, including the long term effects, but for some reason the math just doesn't add up in their heads.

It's come to a point where they pop a pill when their blood sugar levels increase. And if it increases some more, that's no problem, there's the insulin pump which solves all problems. In fact these days people prefer the insulin pump to pills because it helps them manage their problem quite well. It's like technology is a replacement for good old fashioned common sense, and that technology solves all problems, including health related ones.

And this attitude isn't strange, nor is it rare. And I thought that the reason for this attitude is a lack of knowledge on the subject. And my idea is that if I can explain the why's and the what's of the disease, and if it helps even 10 people, I'd be happy.

I'm not saying that I don't want my book to be successful. Not at all. I'd be really thrilled if it became a best seller. But that is not in my hands. What is, is writing the best book on diabetes that I possibly can, and that's what I'm concentrating on doing right now.

If any of you have any questions, either on writing or on diabetes in general, please do leave a comment and I'll answer to the best of my ability. Maybe it will also help me identify a few more chapters that I need to include in my book. 

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