How I Wrote a Book on Medium
A semi-methodical approach to creating a work of nonfiction, article by article, chapter by chapter
Wow, oh wow. Am I ever excited to finally hold the paperback version of this book, written by some guy who used to work in a sawmill and eventually got a college degree then spent 30 years reporting on science and health before finding the inspiration to pen 300 pages he hopes will inspire others to find better physical, mental and emotional health and greater happiness.
I could not have done it without Medium.
Since Jan. 1, 2019 I’ve been writing about health and wellness on this ad-free platform, where I retain copyright to my articles and am free to reuse them as I wish. Then suddenly one day I realized I had a book on my hands. Well, not literally on my hands yet, but right there in front of me, a bunch of “chapters” already written, amid the more than 300 news and feature stories I’d published. In truth, the epiphany was not a total accident. Instead, it was the half-ass planned result of nearly four years pursuing a wide range of subjects that interested me and generated interest among readers.
The lesson learned: If you are a talented blogger, a solid journalist, or any sort of topical expert able to pen informative, engaging articles, then you can develop a nonfiction book.
All you need is a heavy dose of discipline, and, of course, a book idea.
Not sure exactly what the book idea is yet? That’s OK. By writing about a topic regularly, in bits and pieces published as articles, the book idea will come to you, perhaps as an epiphany like the one I experienced.
Your path to publishing a non-fiction book will be a unique experience, and nobody can offer a formula for getting there. But this is a story about how my book happened, followed by some concrete suggestions for latching onto a topic, beating it to death on Medium, then wringing a book out of it, article by article, chapter by chapter.
Part 1: The epiphany
My epiphany came unexpectedly, on the one hand, but it was also part of the plan.