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  • Writer's pictureDrs Schuster & Oxley

Croissants, Berries, and Writing a New Book!

Updated: Jul 1



In June 2022, two friends, former work colleagues, and budding writers had a fateful breakfast.


In June 2024, two friends, former work colleagues, and authors of A Career Carol: Professional Nightmares and How to Navigate Them met for breakfast.


“So, do you feel different? Has the experience of writing our first book changed us?”


“Well, I do feel I understand the publishing world much better; I certainly think my confidence has grown as a writer, but mainly I am more convinced than ever that there is a need for practical, relevant, accessible, career advice aimed at a much more modern audience.”


“I agree, Ja. It feels like the right time to take the next step. The world needed A Career Carol, but I think it needs A Groundhog Career more.”


The two writers allowed a moment of silence to pass between them. Then, with the grace of synchronized swimmers, and the deceptive power of super-hero alter-egos, they reached for the last croissant. They held it between them in the tradition of a Christmas Cracker.


“By the power of the Ghostly Society of Commencement Speakers, and begging the blessing of St. Francis de Sales, as we break this croissant, let it give life to a second book!” 


…KAPOW….


A brilliant light engulfed the restaurant. This was unfortunate because the RAC Club takes a dim view of flash photography, most forms of fun, and any vestiges of the 21st century.


Three things followed…. The first was the magical materialization of a fully formed, completely edited and illustrated second manuscript. This emerged from the middle of the croissant along with a limerick, a cheesy joke, and a miniature card game.


The second was Drs Schuster and Oxley finding themselves covered in croissant debris, and the third was the restaurant manager approaching.


“Drs Schuster & Oxley… no more croissants for you two. I told you both last time… croissants are not to be used as magical book writing metaphors!”


After the delicate flaky pastry had settled and the manager had retreated.


“You know Dr Schuster… this book writing business is fun and nothing like what I imagined it would be. I don’t think I’ll look at a book or another author the same way ever again.”


“Ja…surprising isn’t it…. I certainly never guessed that the creative process would be quite so… explosive.”


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Writing book(s) is simultaneously incredibly rewarding, frustrating, painstaking, tedious, and revelatory. We’ve talked before about why we write. It starts with purpose, with a mission (if that’s not too grand). The starting point is a desire to tackle a problem, convey something important to an audience.


But it is also about self-discovery. The process of writing seems to connect neurons and synapses in our brains in marvelous and sometimes surprising ways. Perhaps this is simply what invention, creativity feels like. We would probably debate that though, as the experience of writing feels different than the creative process experienced in other domains.


We mentioned in last month’s newsletter than we had inked the publishing contract with Practical Inspiration to publish our second book. We had outlined the book and discussed it many times over the last 12 months. We had even written sections of the book in between promoting A Career Carol… however, it wasn’t finished.


This past 6 weeks we have been busy putting the book together. Some of it has come really quickly… like the proverbial flow of consciousness. Other aspects have caused little roadblocks.


We think our superpower (beyond furtive imaginations about breakfast meetings) is that we are a writing partnership. We share every aspect of the concept, outline, intended approach, and writing style. Based on what we’ve heard, this seems quite unusual. However, for us, when we hit a snag, we can often unlock a new idea, a way around the problem by simply debating it.


Our little story about the croissant Christmas Cracker materializing a manuscript doesn’t do justice to all the really hard work that you need to invest in writing a book. However, on a couple of levels we think it does. There is something truly magical and mysterious about how the finished manuscript emerges. It has also been a source of entertainment and shared joy. Humor is central to our lives and our style of writing. Despite what some people may think, this is something that bonds us... our shared sense of humor and fun.


Anyhow… enough musing on how these things happen… time to do some editing. After that... more editing. Then tomorrow… editing. Next week… editing.

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