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Blog: A Most Unusual Course

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I was on a course all day yesterday, and it was Quite Good. The title was "How To Write A Book" and I had gone on it for THREE (3) reasons. Firstly I thought it might give me some guidance about how to construct my PhD, which it did, although due to the nature of the course I had to pretend I was thinking of writing a BOOK rather than a THESIS. However, the more I PRETENDED the more I thought "Hey! This COULD be a book!" My main source of this thought was the way that everyone ALWAYS says "A PhD about Doctor Doom? That sounds REALLY INTERESTING!" They may, of course, be being polite but a) most PhDs are REALLY BORING and the rule is that you don't have to pretend otherwise and b) it REALLY IS interesting, come on, it's about Doctor Doom, who wouldn't want to read a book about that? I predict a MILLION SELLER. Elsevier: CALL ME!

My second reason was that I thought it might tell me whether, when I wrote my NOVEL last year, I had done it right. As I say, the course was meant to be about Academic Books, so not everything applied, but I was DELIGHTED to hear the course leader recommending "Seven Minute Moments Of Writing" i.e. finding seven minutes to do some writing rather than waiting until you had a whole DAY free. This is pretty much exactly what I did - rather than looking at TWITTER or something when I was BORED I did five minutes of WRITING instead. All right, it took me nearly a year, and I had to do a TONNE of re-writes, but it did turn into a book in the end. I nodded VIGOROUSLY throughout that bit!

The final reason was that I'd been told I have to do some TRAINING for my Continuing Professional Development, and this one looked like it would be a LOT more interesting than the Database Stuff courses I usually go on. It definitely was! The chap running it reminded me A LOT of Larry Lamb, and had many Interesting Opinions and FACTOIDS to share. He seemed to be able to tell you how long a book was designed to last just by looking at the SPINE and could say how many pieces of PAPER had been used to make it too. He ALSO claimed that books have SHRUNK in the past few years, because now people mostly buy from Amazon, where you see the FRONT of the book, rather than bookshops where you see them lined up on a shelf with the SPINE showing. Now that you don't need the Spine to be thick enough to read the title, you don't need the book to be so long. I have no idea if this is true but, as a FACTOID, I LIKED it!

THUS, much to my surprise, I actually ENJOYED a course at work - maybe Continuing Professional Development isn't so bad AFTER all?!?

posted 5/5/2017 by MJ Hibbett

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