These few days I have been bashing away writing a new book.

I am doing this with my co-author. I am on draft two which bears some resemblance to draft one, and it will probably bear some resemblance to the final book, due out next January. I have often wondered how ELT authors write. What inspires them? Do they spend as long as me staring out of the window? And what did we do before the Internet?

Last week I wrote my bi-monthly business English e–lesson in record time. Barney Barrett, co-conspirator, suggested the topic of ‘Electric cars’ and the words came tumbling out.

How long does it take to write an e-lesson? How long is a piece of string? I once sat at the computer hunched for three days. Another one popped out fully formed. Everything depends on the inspiration.  Standing looking out over Rio de Janeiro in front of the Corcovada is pretty inspiring. That led straight to the lesson ‘The New Seven Wonders of the world’. I saw my M.Ed tutor Twittering at a conference recently, rushed out to find out about Twitter, wrote a lesson about it and it was then sent out – all in a matter of a few days!

The process of writing the lesson is fascinating. Those interested should dip into ‘Designing Language Teaching Tasks’ (Keith Johnson). For me, it is very circular, coming back again and again to the same thing, re-shaping it until it is finished. The exact opposite of the messages I send on Twitter….