We are now more than half way through writing our book, and I thought this might be a good time to reflect on the process and how it’s evolved as we’ve gone on.
Having already gone through several iterations of writing introductions and sample chapters while trying to get a publication deal, and put down tens of thousands of words that will never see the light of day, I don’t think either of us had any great sense of trepidation when time came to do things ‘for real’. We knew we could hit the word count, although a hard deadline would now dictate the pace rather than our ability to free up time.
What has been more surprising is the extent to which the writing has become quicker. Early chapters each felt like a new experience, breaking new ground and understanding better how the book would work. We advanced paragraph by paragraph, checking everything with one another and discussing extensively. Our overarching theme – that taking a turn through a natural setting is all very well, but slowing down to connect more deeply yields far greater rewards – is a powerful one I hope, but teasing out the different facets of it was a challenge.
It’s now a lot easier to see how each chapter fits into the whole, however. Along with the multitude of sketches we’ve both been doing, the sense of building a larger piece of work is invigorating. The book is like completing a puzzle, and it feels like we’ve got the edges in place now.
A lot of people ask how we can be joint authors, and whether we step on one another’s toes. We were conscious of this early on, but it never manifested itself as a problem. Now our style is established, and a good few chapters written, we are both writing sizeable passages before swapping over to add our own take to the other’s work. After a few iterations it’s often impossible to say who wrote a particular sentence. Being able to work in parallel in this way, I am sure we’re writing at least as quickly as a single author would do under the same circumstances, and it’s naturally a much more sociable task.
We’ve enjoyed it immensely so far, and are very much looking forward to getting the rest done and sharing it with the world.