Writing my first book

I've mentioned it a couple of times in my /now updates, this post gives a bit more background around the writing of my first book.

The name of the book is "The Interface Project Manager" and it is a non-fiction book describing the activities involved with my dayjob as (you've guessed it!) Interface Project Manager in various hospitals.

I've had the idea more or less since starting my own company in January 2015, but had explicitly put the project on the Someday/Maybe list in order to focus on some of my other side projects. However, after watching Chandler Bolt's "How Self-Publishing a Book Can Transform Your Career" video from the Peak Work Performance Summit I decided to make the best use of my daily commute to write my first book. With one hour in the train in the morning and another in the afternoon, I figured there had to be a way to make this work without negatively impact my family time.

My expectations have to be realistic: I won't be selling millions of copies of this book and reach the writer's coveted "New York Times best seller" honor badge. But that is completely fine: I'm envisioning this book to be the visit card that I give to my prospects when meeting with new hospitals. I actually already did so with a draft of my book, the surprised and amused looks I got when handing over the typed "manuscript" were indeed worth it!

The book has 41 chapters divided in 6 sections, with each section chronologically representing the different phases in an EMR implementation project.

Following the process laid out in the previously mentioned video, I did brainstorm over Easter 2016 over all the possible topics related to the specificities of project management related to interfaces as part of the implementation of a new EMR. This is the resulting mind map:


I then proceeded to arrange the different topics into sections, which I decided would follow the stages of an EMR implementation. This is what came out of that process:


I then installed a copy of the Booktype software in a VM on my laptop and created the structure of the book divided in the previously determined sections and chapters. At that point I was done with the planning, and the writing could start:


It might seem weird, but the writing itself wasn't all that challenging. I placed myself in the mental framework that as soon as I'd be sitting in the train, it was time to start writing a chapter of my book. I either picked up the last chapter that wasn't finished, or started writing the next untouched chapter. Once I knew which chapter I was going to write, it was "just" a matter of dumping what is in my brain about this topic into Booktype.

I was done writing the 41 chapters in the last week of May 2016, roughly two months after starting brainstorming and mind mapping about the subject. I got a great feeling of accomplishment out of reaching that milestone under such a relatively small time frame. The book (prior to editing) is currently about 19.000 words, without any page breaks between chapters or sections it fills 47 A4 pages.

Current status

Steps left



Book cover

Launch team