The Whisky Book Status

For those of you paying attention to the book progress meter there in the left column, you likely have noticed that the second draft of the book has reached 100%…well, 102% actually, as I am a bit verbose. In keeping with tradition, I marked the completion of this draft with a shot of 15 year old Glenrothes (casked in 1991) and with this here post to let y’all know the things I’ve learned thus far.

  • In regard to the book itself, it’s still crap, but at least now I can see the two different stories within it, and it should not be much work to make either of them entertaining or educational. This also means that I should have no problem in reaching the deadline set by the publisher. This makes me happy, as it guarantees the second half of my advance. Yay money!!
  • Anyone who tells you that writing is a solitary effort has never written a non-fiction book. The amount of people I’ve had to talk to has been surprising to me, more so than any other aspect surrounding this process.
  • Anyone who tells you that writing is a linear process (meaning that one only needs to start at the start and then write until the end) either is a genius or has never written a book. There has been many times where I have written the middle portion of a chapter days, if not weeks after the beginning and end have already been ‘completed’. I can’t see how I could do this any other way.
  • My agent and my publisher have stayed almost completely out of my way. I do not know if this is a good thing or a bad.
  • I’m upset that many parts I wanted to include in the book simply won’t fit. There will be many distilleries that I visited that won’t be in the book, not because they weren’t deserving, but because I couldn’t make them work in the context of the book. This was and is one of the more frustrating aspect of writing.
  • Writing requires reading. Reading leads to more writing.
  • There are days when I feel I have no idea what I am doing, and hate the book because of this. There are other days when everything falls into place, and I feel like I actually have a future in writing. The latter experience is the best high on the planet. The former is the worst.
  • My cynical attitude towards Diageo is matched by my love for Bushmills 21 year old Single Malt. Bushmills is owned by Diageo, making me quite conflicted.
  • One of my favorite Bourbons – Woodford Reserve – may not make it into the book.
  • My favorite Tennessee Whiskey – George Dickel – will not make it into the book. (George Dickel is also owned by Diageo, BTW)
  • Trying to juggle the whisky/whiskey spellings is annoying and pointless. Yet if I don’t address it properly, I’m gonna piss off a fair amount of people.
  • Canada is a perfect microcosm of the whisky industry as a whole, with faceless corporations, passionate small distillers, and the Scotch Whisky Association suing someone.
  • It’s amazing to me how many people don’t realize that Bourbon is a whiskey. It’s even more amazing to me when folks don’t realize Scotch is as well.

When the third draft is completed later in June/early July, I’ll give another update. Thanks for all of your support!