Good Eats, Bad Eats and How to Handle Both – Author Style


Eating chocolate is in Innovative Editing’s official list of ways to get past writer’s block.

That’s partially because, sometimes, a little bit of comfort food can put you in a happy place. It relaxes your creative or nonfiction-specific brain tissue, thus un-kinking the flow of functional, book-writing ideas from your brain to your fingertips.

It’s like authorial Draino.

No really. It genuinely can work that well.

With that said, let’s get real here. I know this particular writer's block-taming tactic because I eat my fair share of chocolate. I love the stuff.

I don’t think I love chocolate as much as pizza of the pepperoni-with-onions variety. But I still really enjoy it, particularly when it comes mixed with peanut butter. Or hazelnut.

Have you tried those new hazelnut Snickers bars? They’re really pretty good.

Considering my last six sentences, which have nothing to do with writing, I might possibly think about food a bit too much. Moreover, now that I’m no longer a delightfully clueless little college student with a metabolism made specifically for gobbling down soft-baked chocolate chip cookies, I can’t eat the way I want to think I can eat.

So I might just possibly be your kind of target audience if you’re:

  • Writing a health book

  • Writing a fitness book

  • Writing a nutrition book

  • Writing a dieting book.

All of which are the topic of this week’s Definition and beyond…

Health/Fitness/Nutrition/Diet Nonfiction:

Technically, there are some minute differences between health nonfiction, fitness nonfiction, nutrition nonfiction and dieting books, with dieting books standing out the most from the cluster. But overall, the four blend into each other quite well.

Why?

The simple answer is this: They all have the same exact focus, which is fine-tuning the human body so that it looks and works as good as it should.

Besides, inevitably, if you’re writing a health book, it’s going to mention fitness. If you’re writing a fitness book, it’s going to mention nutrition. If you’re writing a nutrition book, it’s going to mention dieting. And if you’re writing a dieting book, it’s going to mention health.

The four topics just don’t exist very well apart from each other.

The Western World especially has a tendency to go gaga over all of them anyway, though dieting books probably sell the best of the four. Everyone these days either seems to be overweight or consider themselves overweight thanks to everything from genetic considerations to emotional factors, time constraints, meds, and all the odd chemicals and food sources our over-regulated consumption bureaus encourage thanks to various lobbying efforts and backhanded bribery.

(Yup, I’m one of those people.)

There’s also the issue of Hollywood convincing women that they’re not attractive unless they’re a size 0. Size 4 tops. And while men are given a bit more of a free pass, they’re still given their own list of looks to conform to in order to be worthwhile.

We’ll deal with the ethics all of that entails on Thursday. Then, on Friday, we’ll tackle your biggest challenge if you’re writing a dieting book.

For now, suffice it to say that there’s plenty to talk about when it comes to this nonfiction genre. And it’s not all easy to digest.

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