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!