20 days into the book

I’m now 20 days into writing my book on the 19th Century Barrys. Here is a quick recap on the pros and cons of the process so far.


  • In some ways writing has been easier than I thought once my thoughts are clear.
  • I’ve enjoyed the process. Unlike commuting into the office I don’t consider it a daily grind.
  • Starting to write while finishing off my regular employment has helped, as well as writing content for this website on John Wolfe Barry over the last year and a half.
  • Setting yourself weekly and longer goals helps to motivate and break down into achievable targets of word counts.


  • It is still easy to be distracted wherever you write. I’ve tried a few places and none of them is ideal. The photo is of a seafront which inspires me occasionally. But switching around probably helps me.
  • I still tend to dip into research material both to remind myself of the facts and to see if I can find previously undiscovered angles. This can hold me up.
  • I get comments like ‘how’s the holiday?’ which infuriate me, or ‘how’s the job search going?’ which merely irritate. Most people still won’t accept that you can spend most of your time writing unless you have a contract or are in employment. It’s some kind of luxury.

That’s all for now, got to get back to the drafting ….

Author: Nick von Behr

I've been blogging since 2012 under different guises and on a range of topics mainly linked to education, but more recently focusing on the history of civil engineering and architecture as well as writing more generally. I have written a book on the 19th-century Brunel and Barry families of successful architects and civil engineers who built the Houses of Parliament, Tower Bridge, Paddington Station and the Royal Opera House in London and the Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol. www.buildingpassions.co.uk

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