Non-fiction has its own distinct writing process. There’s that stellar outline, for one. And the signed contract — always a bonus. But there are other differences as well. Here’s what I’ve come up with for the basic cycle:
1. Research until my brain falls apart and I have masses of mainly unorganized information.
2. Panic, because nothing is written.
3. Begin writing.
4. Panic, because I don’t have enough research.
5. Actually organize research.
6. Write more.
7. Research more.
8. Write more.
9. Panic, because research-to-page transition has made everything excruciatingly boring.
It’s possible my projects would go more quickly if I skipped stages 2, 4, and 9. I’ll have to experiment…