Stuff that actually happened.



How to Research for Your Book

My favorite part is of the writing process isn’t crafting the perfect sentence, making a brilliant point, or polishing words. No, it’s research. That’s a good thing, because as a nonfiction author, I spend a great deal of time actively researching, even when not at work on another book.

Sometimes that work doesn’t look like traditional research (the kind that happens in a library). It may include creating blog posts on a topic, freewriting to clarify thoughts, looking for data, interviewing experts, or talking with others. It’s any activity involved in gathering thoughts, data, and insights on a topic.

Research is the fun part.

The writing recipe outlined in The Writer’s Process lists research as the first, discrete step in a multi-phase writing process. That’s true for small, self-contained projects.

But research doesn’t fit in a single box when you’re embarking on major projects like nonfiction books. ...

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Face your fears, shake them off and move on—with a slightly quicker pace

In a moment of courage, or fear, or madness, I spun around, and in a single moment, stutter-stepped in the direction of my attacker, shook my fist in a display of dominance and screamed at the dog in the most Alpha voice I could muster, "Git the hell outta here, dog!"

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ParaFAIL: How I got jerked 450 feet in the air via giant wedgy

This is the story of how I went cursing, hurling and hurdling toward a horrified group of tourists at about 30 miles per hour—then belly-flopped on a speedboat and swore off water sports for good.

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We had a pet alligator named Larry, and the cat ate him

So I was in a staff meeting, and the topic of alligators came up. (No, I don’t remember how. Yes, …

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