My current book-writing process

Nela Dunato, Rijeka, Croatia·Posted Mon, January 30

[excerpt from full article in Athena Village]

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I’m working on my second book, so I wanted to share a few points from my journey so far. I’m always keen to learn about other people’s creative processes, and I’ll gladly share what I can, warts and all ☺

In 2020, two years after self-publishing my first book The Human Centered Brand, I found myself in a bit of a funk. Actually, my personal funk started way before the lockdown, but the circumstances certainly didn’t help. My client list dried up, I was too exhausted to teach workshops, so I turned to journaling to pass the time and ride out the storm. This is how it started:

For the past year I’ve been resting and incubating. I minimized my obligations, put all personal projects on hold, and dedicated most of my free time to creative fun. I allowed myself to be lazy, though that was really hard because I have a lot of guilt about it.

A few days ago I decided to write a question that was weighing on me for a while.

“What do I want to teach?”

And then I wrote all the things I don’t want to teach. After that, I wrote:

“What’s left?
Teaching by example”

And I started writing the truths I live by. I saw some interesting patterns and connected it to some other ideas I’ve been thinking about, one thing led to another, and now I have a concept of a book that I’m really excited about! All that took less than an hour.

photo of a handwritten page of a journal.

A photo of the journal page where I started writing out the outline for my book. It’s mostly in Croatian, though I switch between English and Croatian all the time when I’m writing.

Since then, I’ve been working on it bit by bit at all hours of the day. I’ve already made the outline, sketched the cover design, and researched the perfect publisher… I’m super glad to have a heart project to work on while my client work is slow, and I have as much time as I need.

I’m using my main sketchbook for notes because I think it will be more practical for what I plan on doing. (For my first book I used a separate thin blank notebook as my book journal since it was a longer book.)

One of the things I’m doing to develop content is dedicating one spread to each chapter and writing associations, ideas, and quotes that come to mind about the chapter topics. I know I could fill many more pages, but I’m limiting space so I can see what’s most important at a glance. (I prefer typing longer sections.)

Here’s one chapter spread that’s entirely in English.

Here’s one chapter spread that’s entirely in English.

Here’s another spread in English:

Here’s another spread in English:

[To read the full article in the Village, click here]

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