I have often been asked my goal when I write—how do I put together a book (or article).
My response is invariably, “I write to myself.”
What the heck does that mean?
It means, when writing a book, I do my best to write the book I would have wanted when I first started in the activity that is the book’s topic. For example, when I wrote “Cable Restraints—The Art of Live-Catch Snares,” I pulled together everything I could which would have been of value to me when I began to set cable restraints. Some of these might be considered tricks or secrets, sure. But just as important to a new snareman, just as important to the book, were the little details which might be called common sense.
You set the cable loop directly in the path of a fox or coyote. That’s certainly common sense, but is still needs said. Once this obvious fact was stated, I then looked at it from every angle and addressed every possibility I could conceive of to help a beginner. The little tweaks which increase a cable restraint’s effectiveness are explained. The end result is an A-to-Z treatment—going from basics to really finely honed details. This is how a book is of value to everyone from a know-nothing-at-all beginner to a seasoned pro who is continually seeking to up his game.
I have never regretted taking extra pains to give a more complete book. Yet, if I had thought, “Well, I can hold back and write a second book later,” I’d have been disappointed in the first book—as would many who would pay their hard-earned cash for it. In this Information Age, you don’t hold back. The Information Age demands we give it all—and more!
That’s my philosophy when writing. I write each book so completely, just the sight of it would have made me salivate when I was a beginner. Make each volume THE bible on that topic. •