Monday, October 03, 2011

guest post by Tessa Woodward, author of Thinking in the EFL Class

Recently, I asked Tessa Woodward (author of Planning Lessons and Courses, and editor of The Teacher Trainer) to submit a blog post about her new book, Thinking in the EFL Class (Helbling Languages). She responded with this wonderful piece on the writing process:

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People often ask of a writer, ’How long did it take you to write your book?’ It’s a tricky question to answer because it just depends when you start the counting.

Do you start with the day you do something different in class and the students love it and start laughing and talking? Or with the thinking up of other ideas and trying them out? The doing of the background reading? The realising you are in an ’area’ of work which is building up quite a mass of paper in your study? Or with the conversations with friends that you have as you struggle to tell them, clearly, what you are up to at the moment professionally. Or with the writing of proposals to publishers and the discussions to see if what they want and what you think you can give are the same? Or with the actual first day of sitting down and planning out chapters for the publisher who IS interested in what you think you can provide? Oh and then there is the writing or typing. Do you count the conferences you go to where you search in vain in the programme for something that looks like what you are into? Do you include the desk editing of hundreds of pages to make them lean and fit? And choosing colours for the cover and writing artwork briefs for the cartoonist? Yes, you have to include all that. But do you also count the exploratory self-published book on a similar subject brought out some years ago? Hmm. Should really.

So I guess the shortest possible time I could say, if you mean the actual sitting down and scribbling and then re-scribbling would be ‘18 months’ and the longest would be, ‘About 9 years!’

What I CAN say though is ……’I enjoyed every last bit of it. I really like making things!

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For more information about Tessa's new book, visit the Helbling Languages website.