THIS IS HOW IT STARTED – Step 6 on the path to my next book – writing the book.
I’ve written 7 books; I covered this in one of my newsletters. With my career books I write from my head. I don’t need to research, I’m sharing what works with my clients, adding in some depersonalised case studies, and voila, a first draft in 3 weeks.
This time I was writing a book based on my academic research, and with the reader in mind. Someone who wants to consider retirement, and what retirement means to them. Who wants to go beyond financial planning to consider their health, relationships, what will give them meaning and more.
I could not just take my thesis and cut and paste. It needed to be adapted for the reader. It was important to me that it was evidence based and I include many references – there are over 250 within the book for anyone who wants to explore things further.
These references are part of my word count and they came in at over 5,500 words. With a 60,000 word count it meant that my writing needed to be ‘tight’ and it needed to be structured. I followed a style I’d used on my last book – Find Work at 50+ which was to include an intro paragraph on why read the book and a final paragraph – before you move on.
At times I wanted to cry … it was getting hard; I was getting lost in the detail. I was attempting to take a complex argument and write it simpler.  I’d also moved and although I thought I’d have a great working space – I had a big office, but I no longer had a view of trees. I was on the top floor with velux windows. I needed to be in touch with nature. But I had to press on.
I write books like I talk with people and I’ve had people who know me tell me that as they read the book, they can hear me in their head. They say that it’s an engaging style, and I hope you agree when you read the book. I include activities to get you to stop, reflect and be able to move forward, I don’t want people to be passive readers.
Routledge is a major publisher, bringing out 2000 books a year. They have a slick process but I missed having an editor I could have a conversation with, it was all done online. And dates were fixed. I had a change of editor, and felt very much alone. I kept going and met my deadline by pulling some ‘all-nighters’ – well not really but I was working most of my waking hours for the last week or so. I had to meet my deadline as other people had fixed dates for copy editing, typesetting etc.
I’d had feedback on 3 chapters but had to then wait till the full book was submitted. I then had tight deadlines, but they were all in my diary.
The reader experience is important, I’ve included a lot of activities. I like to do this, it is not a book you read, but a work book. I carefully chose exercises that would work and even went through them myself.

Book is out on Wednesday, I hope you are finding these updates interesting, I’m always fascinated by how other people reached a particular stage in life.