I've now completed chapter seven of my book, and started on chapter eight. Writing for 30 minutes each weekday morning seems to be working: so far, I haven't needed to force the words to come out, although some days are less productive than others. Similarly, I don't feel like I'm interrupting myself mid-flow when I finish.

Chapter seven was fairly simple in terms of plot, and was set in a single, familiar location - a big London trade tasting. It all came quite easily, but what surprised me was how much descriptive prose and additional detail came about spontaneously. 

When I write wine articles, they are almost always tightly structured: I bullet-point every issue to cover, and arrange them into paragraphs and sections in a way that builds the argument most effectively. I also highlight all the most important quotes from any interviews or other source materials so they are ready to pick out and use. Finally, I plan how many words to write for each section and then I'm ready to start writing.

With non-fiction - and I realise how well, duh this sounds - you can just make it up on the spot. So I found myself including all sorts of observations that were totally unplanned and I had never thought much about before the point of actually writing them down. It's hugely satisfying and enjoyable to have complete control over how you create the world in the book - especially when the words you use seem to convey your meaning with exactly the right tone.

Mind, I haven't re-read any of it yet, so it might turn out to be awful rubbish, of course. The temptation to re-read is huge, but I'm determined not to. If I did, I wouldn't be able to resist tinkering with every sentence, and will get interminably snarled up in the editing process - whereas I want to write as much of it as possible - the whole book, preferably - before I go back to any of it.

So I've already started chapter eight - but next week will be fallow, as I'm heading to Rust in Austria tomorrow to help lead an MW seminar week for level one students, which will be all-consuming. And I'm not talking about volume of wine!

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