Books Culture

What it’s like writing a book

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So I should probably be writing my book right now but I’m doing this instead. I’m writing about writing a book. Meta.

So it’s been about a week since I announced I’m writing a bookDoing It, and a week and a half since I actually started putting words to paper (or computer screen). I actually found out I had the book deal back in February – so long ago! But there was a lot of back and forth over contracts, I had to find a literary agent and then we worked on the topics, themes, tone, outline and structure and then I was out of the country, but now I’m here and I’m not budging from my kitchen table until this book is written.

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On my first day of writing I felt like a wizard, I wrote 2,700 words! That’s more than a university essay – in one day! I’ve had on and off days from writing but so far I’ve written 10,000+ words. My dissertation was 12,000 and that took me 9 months! I’m not sure if this means I’m writing absolute crap or that I am genuinely passionate about the topic. Maybe it’s both.

So far on my book writing journey I have:

  • Found a website that helps me track my progress
  • Written 10,000 words
  • Emailed 18 people people about contributing to the book and heard back from 17 of them
  • Interviewed my grandma and great-grandma about their sex education and typed up the transcripts
  • Arranged a trip to Manchester this weekend to interview my mum about her sex education
  • Collected stories from friends on Facebook about their masturbation routines and techniques
  • Learnt that pregnancy tests in the 1960s involved injecting a frog with a woman’s urine
  • Had flash-backs of what underwear I was wearing when I lost my virginity

I am genuinely having the best time writing Doing It. Although, I did help myself out by starting easy and writing about my personal experiences. That stuff is all in my head already so it’s easy to write about. I’m expecting the more serious topics and proper factual, advice-giving parts to be the biggest challenge of writing this book. And like a responsible adult, I’m avoiding writing those parts for as long as I can!

I’m planning on doing a video about the book writing process in a few weeks when I’m further along. If you have any questions you’d like me to answer in the video please leave them in the comments of this blog post!

Wish me luck!

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12 Comments

  1. That’s amazing you are writing a book, I would love to, I think you need to be at a point in your life where you are totally focused and motivated! Errrr gross about pregancy tests in the 60’s, the poor frogs!
    What made you choose your topic you wanted to focus on for your book and is it difficult to stay within that topic boundary? X
    http://www.sopherina.co.uk

  2. Hey Hannah!!!

    So proud that you are writing a book!!! I am in the process of writing one as well (in addition to making the process of making a comic book)!!

    So I have one question about the book: Why did you decide to write a book? What was the inspiration behind it?

    Hope I can get the book here in the United States and hopefully meet you at a book signing here

    Love, your #1 fan
    Ian

  3. Hi Hannah! I so love that you are writing about something you are incredibly passionate about. Seeing you get all excited about your book and watching your videos makes me more excited to read it! I have a fun question! I was wondering what you do when you have writers block or what do you do to take breaks when you’re trying to do nothing but write all day. I look forward to watching your progress! Keep up the great work, xoxo -Kayla <3

  4. ” My dissertation was 12,000 and that took me 9 months! I’m not sure if this means I’m writing absolute crap or that I am genuinely passionate about the topic. Maybe it’s both.”

    I think it’s because your dissertation was on a very specific topic that required more research than the broad topic of sex ed. It may also be because you’re interviewing people and getting their information as well instead of just working with your own. You should give yourself a little credit every now and again.

  5. Good luck on finishing your book, Hannah! I’m really looking forward to reading it. I’m currently writing a novel myself, well, I say writing, but I’m mostly just putting it off and writing literally anything else. Writing and staying focused is hard! Btw: What website are you using to track your progress?

  6. Hi Hannah! You’re truly one of my favorite Youtubers and I’m so stoked on this book! My question for you is what got you in to the path of choosing to write a book and especially a book about sex? And how did you realise you found topics like feminism, sex ed etc. this interesting? Were there because of any books, people or movies? These are topics I find very interesting myself and you’re one of the reasons why/how I found out about this, I’m very grateful. Good luck on the book! 🙂

  7. i would like to write a book i always have ideas but i get stuck in the middle of the process do you have any tips, for that? thank you and good luck with your book i hope it gets to Argentina.

  8. What advice would you give to someone who wanted to write a book but was not as well known as you are? In terms of contracts, a publisher, copyright etc. Thank you!

  9. Are people in the US going to be able to purchase the book? I’m really looking forward to it!! Also I love you Hannah you’re amazing

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