Cariad Eccleston

Just a gin-filled dork.

Kicking off The Year of Non-Fiction

06 January 2019

Happy 2019, folks!

A change of (a few) plans

One of the goals I set for myself last week was to start building out with some articles.

Now, in the heat of the moment, that made complete sense to me. I’m planning to use to promote my non-fiction books, so getting it up, running and receiving traffic sounded like the way to go.

But then I thought about it again, and – this time – the plan felt upside down.

See, the blog posts I’ve drafted up are a scatter-shot of “stuff I know”, and not really related to any of the books I’m drafting up. So, where’s the marketing angle? There isn’t one. I totally missed the point.

On second thought, I’ve decided to focus first and foremost on the books I’m going to promote, rather than the blog that will promote them. Content is king, right? Well, let’s get it done.

And then – when the content is done – I’ll write blog posts that directly relate to and promote the content.

Obvious, right? Ah, we live and learn.

Non-Fiction writing progress

Last weekend, I was dithering between three topics. I started planning and outlining all three to see where my motivation lead me, and they were pretty much in a dead heat.

Then, late on Friday, I was chatting to a friend at my day-job about these plans, and he said “Hey, if you ever published some training on this secret fourth idea then there are people I’d send it to immediately.”

Well, hell yeah I pivoted on that!

So this weekend, I started a deep-dive plan on this new topic. It was – and is – going really well, but I realised that a huge chunk of the introduction is covering some foundational mathematics.

It’s good content, but there’s a 50/50 chance that my target audience will know it already. Those who know don’t know it will really benefit from a deep-dive. Those who do know it will skip that section, and likely be pissed that the book they paid for has a ton of content irrelevant to them.

So, I decided to take all this foundational stuff out and write a free ebook to cover it instead. This feels like an awesome idea that’ll solve a few problems:

  • Folks who don’t need to read it, won’t read it.
  • Folks who buy the first book and realise they need help with the foundations won’t feel ripped off, because they’re getting that help for free.
  • Folks who want to sample my non-fiction writing style before handing over cash can fill their boots.
  • I can work on getting over my Imposter Syndrome by at least not asking for money this first time.

1,540 words written for my mysterious book.

1,540 words written for my mysterious book.

I’m 1,540 words into this free book, with a rough target of 10k. I’m very likely going to knock that down to around 5k, to keep it short and sweet.

And damn, I love writing non-fiction. I love the challenge of finding an interesting way to teach a concept, and keeping it entertaining while still entirely accurate. Without access to the drawing tools I use for my day-job, I’ve discovered the joy of OmniGraffle and I’m blown away by the quality of the diagrams I’m building now.

And speaking of teaching…

I’m planning a return to YouTube

This most certainly won’t happen until July, but I’ve started pulling together some plans and equipment for a new YouTube channel.

Panasonic G7 camera & RØDE VideoMicro microphone on a Neewer 18-inch ring light

Panasonic G7 camera & RØDE VideoMicro microphone on a Neewer 18-inch ring light

I’ve already picked up:

Panasonic G7 camera & RØDE VideoMicro microphone on a Joby TelePod Pro

Panasonic G7 camera & RØDE VideoMicro microphone on a Joby TelePod Pro

The lens – the LEICA DG SUMMILUX 15mm / F1.7 – along with some spare batteries and memory cards should be arriving early next week. I also picked up a ScreenFlow licence in their end-of-year sale, so I can start working on some awesome training videos.

Like I said up at the top; the ball is rolling on this, but I don’t expect I’ll be uploading anything until July. But – having said that – I have found myself with a little extra time during the week…


The most life-changing thing this week has been the deal I’ve negotiated with my day-job employer to start a four-day working week.

This is absolutely perfect for me! Of course my day-job is still my highest priority, but getting some time back for myself is exactly what I need. It means I won’t be taking any long vacations this year, but that’s easy for me to compromise on.

So, this Thursday – and all upcoming Thursdays – will be spent in the library, with my noise-cancelling headphones on, and – hopefully – punching out some good words.

Awesome stuff you need to know

Michael La Ronn of the Author Level Up channel has just launched a new crazy project which will definitely be of interest to any urban fantasy authors!

I’ve signed up, and I’m already a bit behind with my reading, but I’ll get there…

Plan for next week

Basically, my plan is to carry on drafting the free non-fiction ebook. I’m leaving any blog posts for now, while I focus on this first.

I hope you all have an awesome week!