Something came in the mail today, which has made this whole “book” thing very, very real. No, not money, the book! I won’t even get to hold it in my hot little hands for a few hours yet, but that’s not what this post is about. While I was writing Create Your Own Blog it struck me how hard it is to write a tech book and make sure that everything is right. I would sit down with my chapter outline, start writing and stop. “Wait, is that really correct?”
So I’d go look it up. Sure I had researched various things ahead of time, and when you’re writing about blogging, as a blogger you do have a lot of stuff in your head already, but I wasn’t satisfied with my gut feeling. I tried everything I wrote. Did it work? Was it the most current thinking on a topic?
In the process I learned a lot about blogging, writing, WordPress, SEO, pretty much everything the book covers (here is the official listing from the publisher that has the TOC for Create Your Own Blog). Which, I think, has made me a better teacher, blogger, and writer. So when I started Using WordPress I knew I’d be forcing myself to learn more WP than I had need to learn before. Have I?
I’m about 1/3 through the book at this point, and even just writing about plugins (like my list of 45 WordPress plugins from over the weekend) I’ve gotten into install issues, security, and how to choose plugins wisely. Working through issues about video plugins or security plugins, I have delved into areas of blogging and technology that I knew about but didn’t know in great detail.
Now I do.
And it’s a very humbling experience. Realizing that you don’t know everything can throw many authors for a loop. How you handle that realization is what separates good writers and bloggers from bad. I sat back, did my research, asked people I knew, and followed new and interesting tacts through the process. So as I’m working on my second book, with a third in planning stages, I can say that each book I write, even each column for the Observer, I learn something I didn’t know before.
I’m looking forward to having a book launch for Create Your Own Blog soon, and am also hoping the book will give me the opportunity to teach and speak more. To that end, I am available to teach WordPress, blogging, social media, and writing for the web workshops. I am also happy to lecture or speak at conferences or meetings on those topics as well. If you’re interested, just zap me a line on my spiffy new Contact Me page.