drawnonwords - A Writers Tale

My own views, posts, musings, stories and the odd picture for all to enjoy and let others know.

Category: education

Zen – A year on

Zen – A year on

Dear Reader

I am surprised a year has passed so quickly since I first published Zen and The Art of Timetabling. It taught me much about my success as a writer and how satisfying it felt to hold my book.

It is one of those fixed moments in time, that obviously, will never go away. Nor in this instance would I want it too. It was a tough process in some respects, going from what was a simple concept to publication but it was an enjoyable one. Hindsight is a wonderful thing and I would have done some of this differently of course. The interesting part is what bits?

As I think about it now, I am unsure just what I would change. The content is fine however, as a writer I would more than likely wish to rewrite parts or add to bits. This I feel, is the one bane for all writers. We can see how to improve and always thing we should improve that one line. It is almost an addiction to perfect the words. But that would mean never finishing or publishing and then publishing again.

The cycle might never stop, hence the timetable would indeed fail. There is that word again, timetable. It is always with us. It guided me in being able to complete my book. But is it in itself open-ended? There is one way all writers eventually stop writing. So, should I like others publish edition two?

Since completing my book, I have undertaken other projects and another book (not timetabling) is heading for publication. It is completely different, as some might say, combining photography and writing two of my passions.

Yet I can never forget Zen and The Art of Timetabling, I am really proud of the fact I wrote it and what I consider the rules for all timetablers around the world. It’s a bold statement but many have agreed they are true.

So what next? Maybe there is a second edition waiting to emerge.

Mark ODonnell is the author of

Zen and The Art of Timetabling – available from all good e-book sellers

Zen and The Art of Timetabling

Hello Dear Reader

Zen and The Art of Timetabling

It started off as a small paper all about what I thought should be the rules regarding timetabling. As a writer, or at the time I would say amateur one, I had could have just stopped there, the rules. Something made me write more. I wanted to explain, understand and I suppose help others in the same field.

To write a book is not easy. It takes a lot of time, effort and the beating of many demons. You do have to have a lot of self-belief because no-one can really help you. They can support you, they can listen and often ignore the annoying rants. You can ask for help. People will read your work and then there comes that odd moment when the possible book has that chance to be a real book.


That in itself brings expectations from many sources. But just writing the book is not the be all or end of it all. Many can write, but how many can actual push to that final line and publish? To consider that part, to let your work become subjected to all can be very daunting.

I had to make the decision not only to complete the first part of finishing the book but to then expose my work to the world. I don’t think any author really finishes a book. Each time I re-read it, I found something else I might have wanted to change. I then had to find a way to publish it. I could have easily just pushed it out using a simple rough document style. But I decided to go that one step further.

It was a long process with a very rewarding conclusion. I published my first book. Not only is it published but it also sits in the British Library. I am very proud of what I have achieved. To be perfectly honest I was excited once I saw the finished product. Now I can say I have written the book on timetabling.

Zen and The Art of Timetabling has been published and is available from many outlets. (Even that is exciting as one of them is Amazon). Will I be the next Wil Shakespeare or Douglas Adams (my favourite), I have no idea and to be honest at this point I am not sure it has bothered me. I just know I have done it.

Zen and The Art of Timetabling the ebook available to buy here.

Tagline: ‘Publish and be happy’

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