I’m learning a lot about my own writing process. Headphones and isolation work nicely. But other than that…

Process drives both word count and quality.

I’ve tried dictating and transcribing. I like it, and can generate tons of text very quickly. It requires a lot of editing before it’s even up to first draft quality. My spoken humor is different from my written humor, so it often requires rewriting, and speaking the punctuation screws with my ability to improvise.

I’ve tried composing directly at the keyboard. This gives me the happiest first drafts, but it’s much slower than dictating.

Humor is hard to do consistently.

Depending on my mood (and probably the levels of various neurotransmitters), my humor levels vary widely. Some of my tips are, in my humble opinion, brilliant and funny. Others read like an encyclopedia.

At this point, I’m concentrating on getting through the rest of my first draft, and humor levels are dropping. I’m much more information-oriented. I’m hoping—really hoping—that on my first cleanup rewrite, my humor kicks back in.

I always wondered why famous comedians had staffs of writers. Now I know. It’s hard to generate that much humor consistently.

Writing a tips book is like writing many small 1-or-2-page books.

Writing a tips book is tricky. Since each tip is basically standalone, with a loose overarching structure holding the whole book together, it’s like my mind sees only one tip at a time. Today, I discovered I’d done essentially the same tip three times without noticing. I spent this morning trying to merge the three into one coherent whole. If you buy the final book, the tip about “Manage Relationships in all the Right Media” is the final version.

Thanks to everyone on Twitter who has been helping out with my pleas for feedback and assistance. I appreciate the support!

Observations about my writing process.

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