The great news is that I am on track to completing the book I wanted to write. Equally great news - there are many ways I can make it better and I still have a lot of work to do.
Reviewing multi-source feedback feels like the role Tom Cruise played in Minority Report; your job is to look for patterns across multiple pieces of information. The challenge is to keep everything in your head while you find the connections. I wonder if Tom got headaches while he was filming these scenes.
Speaking with my reviewers to clarify points and test solutions has been a great help. Halfway through these discussions, here are the changes I am making:
- Audience: clarify who the book is written for
- Navigation: be more directive on how best to use the book
- Structure: categorize chapters by theme - results, the plan, resources, and communication
- Format: add graphic elements to help the reader find the information they need
- Content: open each chapter with one or two quotes and remove the 'Words of Wisdom' section
- Content: Delete the stories that don't illustrate 'What works/What doesn't work' sections
- Writing Style: Make it more personal, more 'Phil' - some parts read like a text book
Reviewing feedback is like searching for constellations. The stars are in full view, but you need to look hard to find the patterns. Having a team of generous astronomers helps a lot.