I write about IT and web development from the business, sales and marketing angle.
written by Višnja Željeznjak on May 24, 2012
It's was my pleasure to talk to Everett Bogue, who is one of my favorite writers.
Ev is the author of Minimalist Business, a dangerous ebook that just might talk you into that thing you want to do anyway: to ditch your crappy day job and go live and work your dream from anywhere in the world.
Ev is interesting in many ways, one in particular: he publishes books the way software developers ship software. He publishes updated versions of his ebooks.
Ev was kind to answer a few questions burning inside me: about his writing process, and about building an internet marketing platform for your writing business (part II of this interview).
You'll enjoy this interview if you want to write your first book, or are currently working on it. Sometimes we all need a little encouragement and help with the writing process and the marketing part.
I didn't want to make the interview too long, so I split it in two parts. This first part is about the way Everett writes books.
Me: I believe every writer must come up with a writing process that is working for her personally. Sometimes it helps to hear about other successful writers and their processes, so let's talk about yours. How long does it take you to publish a 100 pages book, from writing the first draft of your first chapter, to having your book ready to download online?
Ev: Somewhere between 27 years and two weeks. I write non-fiction books with the intention of befitting people who are living and working in the world right now, so a lot of the content comes from experiences I’ve had in my own life. If I don’t have experiences, I can’t write the book.
Most of my books have taken around 2 weeks to write from scratch. I hide myself away, and just bang it out. However, it has to be the right time for the book to be written.
My experience in writing and publishing a book has shifted over the past three years. I no longer think of books as bricked objects. Instead, they’re more like software for me. I write and publish them, then I rewrite and publish them, then I rewrite and publish them. Every time what I’m attempting to transmit from me to you gets clearer.
I have never published a book on paper, I don’t intend to. It would be horribly irrelevant by the time it came out.
It’s important to note: whenever I say ‘book’ in this interview, I’m referring to the digital updated-like software kind. Not the dead tree irrelevant kind.
Me: How much time do you spend on rewriting, relative to the time you spend on writing your first draft?
Ev: My creative brain and my editing brain are very different. I keep them as separate as possible. Initially when I’m trying to write a book, I’ll not edit at all. Then I’ll go back over and read the entire book from start to finish and delete anything I hate, or that doesn’t work. I’ll fix almost all grammar problems later. If I do it while I’m writing, I’m interrupting my creative process, which always ends in disaster for me.
I use a writing editor called Scrivener. It gives me superhuman writerly abilities. Anyone who’s a writer without Scrivener is suffering (until something better comes along.)
Me: What's the hardest part of the whole writing process for you?
Ev: Figuring out what people will benefit from, then doing experiments to learn enough about a subject to communicate it in a way that will benefit readers. I have to constantly challenge myself, or I’m not evolving as a human being. No one wants to read a book written by a stagnant person.
Me: What one advice about the writing process would you give to a writer who hasn't published a book yet?
Ev: Stop thinking about books as dead tree bricks. They’ve changed. Books are digital now, meaning their content can evolve now.
The last full length book I wrote is called Minimalist Business. It’s also the same name as the book I wrote two years ago by the same title. The subject is the same, but the content has completely changed. I reworked it from scratch. I had to rewrite it for the book to be relevant for the modern age of right now.
If I’d published Minimalist Business to paper, it would be coming out in bookstores right now, and it’d be irrelevant. Printed books are out of date the moment they’re published. Digital books have an opportunity to be incredibly relevant and evolve through time. We’ve been updating software for decades now. Why not treat books the same way?
Read the second half of this interview, the one dealing with marketing your online writing business. If you're writing anything, you're a business person, you know that, do you?
Everett Bogue is a young author who, at the time of publishing the first part of this interview, was living and working in Singapore. He is now living and working from Tokyo, Japan.
If you'd like to hang out with Ev, you can find him on Google+.
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