I could get used to this

“This” being writing non-fiction. I just spent the weekend ploughing through a beginners’ handbook on choosing and caring for a reptile.

Part of it is basic information that applies to all reptiles, with a little stuff that applies to each of the three groups you’re likely to find in the pet trade (snakes, lizards, turtles-and-tortoises). The other part – the longest chapter in the whole book – is a troubleshooting guide.

That chapter, most of which I bulled my way through yesterday, looks like it’s going to be about half of the book. I’m not quite done it yet, but I hope to finish it today. I have a few other things to do – pull words for the glossary and the index, make a recommended reading list and ask someone impressive to write a foreword for me – but I’m within hailing distance of done.

The great thing about doing non-fiction – or at least this piece of non-fiction – is that I already knew most of the information. I’ve been doing my research for the last five years, answering questions in the pet store. It’s taught me the correct answers, how to explain them to someone who’s new to keeping reptiles, and what is Too Much Information.

It’s also given me one very valuable insight – many people simply don’t have the experience to know what is normal, and they get anxious when they don’t understand what’s happening with their pet. Quite a lot of the troubleshooting section is reassurance.

I ripped through 27,000 words this weekend, stopping for meals and sleep, and dinner out with my husband on Friday because it was our anniversary, and breakfast with him on Sunday because he stopped by on his way in to work. It was a very relaxed weekend, unlike the first time I did 27,000 words in one three-day binge.

That weekend I was writing fiction. I had to do plot, character development, dialogue, style. This weekend I just had to say what I knew, clearly and concisely. Much easier.

I’m still at heart a storyteller, a fiction writer, but there’s a part of me that enjoys what I was doing this weekend. I like to teach, and that’s what this weekend’s work was about.

Yup, I could definitely get used to this.

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2 Responses to I could get used to this

  1. Angie Gallop says:

    Just had a lovely time reading your last few posts. I love this blog Elizabeth. It is such a gift to know and write with you.


    P.S. Finished a scene this morning. Onward and upward!

  2. I’m so glad you like it! And hooray for the scene-a-day method!

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