Over the last couple of months I have received lots of questions about the book and how I have gone about writing it. So today I thought I would share a little bit about the story behind the Planning With Kids Book.
I’m wondering if you’ve thought about putting together a parenting book from your ideas – something really practical on wrangling families mixed with the fun elements such as helpful top-10s and recipes? You’d have a huge reserve of content already written through the blog, I’m sure!
Mary Masters from Wiley had come across my blog via twitter and then sent me the above in a very exciting email back in late August 2010. Naturally I replied that I would love to chat more about this and I met up with Mary in early September. I had collated what I thought was some of my best content from the blog and created a broad outline to discuss. It wasn’t quite right, but Mary still believed there was definitely a book in the blog. We talked about ways of bringing it together. I needed to go away, come back with a new table of contents and a completed chapter in a pretty quick time frame.
Getting The Green Light
Taking on board the feedback I received from Mary, I created a new outline for the book. It was much more detailed and told more of a story of family life rather than being a collection of blog posts. It also included many topics that I hadn’t written about on the blog. We worked on this until we felt we had a robust structure that genuinely offered readers a complete book.
From there I set about writing my first chapter. Having the detailed outline made this so much easier to do. Before starting writing I planned further under each heading what I wanted to include. Once completed I revised and edited until it was ready to go to the manuscript submissions committee for approval. In the hope that the manuscript would be approved, I continued on to the subsequent chapters.
It was approved and the contract for the manuscript was signed in late October. This was a hugely exciting day for me and my family. Incredibly scary too, as I had just committed to delivering a manuscript to Wiley by 29th December 2010 – a meagre two months away!
I probably don’t need to state this, but before I started writing the rest of the book I wrote a plan :). I worked out roughly how many words I thought each chapter would be, how long I would need to write the chapter and the due date that I wanted to finish each chapter by.
My plan also incorporated a timeline of every single day from the end of Oct until the due date of the manuscript. I worked on a pattern of re-reading and editing during the week nights and writing on the weekends. I made the weekends my writing time as I was fresher and my husband was around to care for the children. Some days had no book writing activity at all, as I found I need to have breaks away from writing as well.
Other days though were just all writing! My husband took a number of days off work, so I could spend the entire day writing. There was no way I could have finished the manuscript if I didn’t have these full days. I managed to deliver the manuscript a couple of days before the due date – just before Christmas!
I then had a few weeks where I didn’t have any writing or editing to do. It was perfect timing as it fell over the school holidays and helped me recharge and spend more time with the kids. I had a great editor who took me through how the editing process would work – I had absolutely no idea! The initial editing process took about four weeks and was done entirely via email.
I would have a deadline by which I had to return the edited chapters with my comments and feedback. So I could focus solely on the chapters, for the editing process I would actually leave the house and head off to the local library or a cafe. I made sure I had no internet access so I couldn’t be distracted!
When the final pages arrived in hard copy in the mail, I think that was when the whole book thing started to feel very real. Last weekend, I used time out of the house and time in the house on my own (my husband took the kids out) to do my final read through.
It was a very strange feeling to deliver the manuscript back to Wiley, knowing it will soon be turned into my book!
The book will be making its way into book stores by the end of April. I will give more info on this as it gets closer. I am planning to offer my loyal readers of the blog a special pre-order deal. If you would like to hear about this first and to be kept up to date on where the book and I will be over the next few months, please fill in the email sign up form below and join the Planning With Kids Book Newsletter.
Thanks for being part of this journey with me – it has been great to have had your support and good wishes.