Saturday, April 14, 2007

April 2007 Reflections on Writing the ENS book

Writing a book is a lengthy, time-consuming process but it is also very rewarding, and I cannot wait to craft this ENS book into a finished product. Not only do I hope the book will help others, I also find writing to be a therapeutic process for myself as I have come to understand ENS on a deep level which,in turn, has enabled me to better understand and treat my own condition.

My primary hours of working on this book have been between 9 PM and 2 AM so I can spend time with family during the day. In the meantime, I also work a full-time job as a school psychologist.

I recall reading that the average author of a non-fiction book spends about 480 hours, or 2 years, writing it and I believe it. There is more to writing a book than just writing itself. In my book experiences, I have come upon various challenges and opportunities: researching and fully understanding scientific issues (particularly unfamiliar ones), securing copyrights for quotes of more than one word, having artists develop quality sketches, researching publishing options, numerous phone conversations, and then having it reviewed from medical and lay edit perspectives; and the book is revised numerous times to incorporate this ongoing feedback. In retrospect, I think the hardest part of writing this book was explaining the medical details, which took NUMEROUS revisions. I found myself even late in the editing stages revising medical details. In addition to being a layperson, which I made clear in the disclaimer, compounding the issue is explaining a medical topic like ENS that is complex and not well-understood. Thankfully, feedback from various doctors has helped me write a book that I believe is medically accurate. I have certainly strived for the highest level of accuracy, and patience has been to this book’s benefit.

I have had ENS for 10 years now. I first thought about writing this book 3 years ago, when I first discovered I had ENS. I started to write, but little came out as I still didn’t understand my condition that well. It was not until the past year, through the help of Dr. Houser, the empty nose website and discussions with fellow ENS sufferers, when I finally put A-B-C-D together and was able to write the book from start-to-finish. When all is said and done, this book will have been a 1-year project. It is 41,581 words in length, which means it will likely be between 150-200 pages. It will come in paperback form.

As much as I am going to work hard to promote it once it is out -- and I have been assured it will be listed on numerous high-traffic websites (Dr. Grossan believes sales are assured)-- I am also thankful to be bringing it to a close so I can focus on family and friends more.

Thus far, I have had my book reviewed by 4 ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialists and 3 lay persons. My chief editor, a good friend of mine with an English degree, spent nearly 2 months editing it to a "t" and he did an amazing job; his efforts will significantly enhance the finished product.

*Dr. Eugene Kern, Past President of the American Rhinologic Society and International Rhinologic Society who coined the term "empty nose syndrome," read my book and was quite positive about it. He remarked that my story was "compelling." Like the other doctors, he gave me many ideas on how I could improve the medical aspect of it and considerations to address.

*Dr. Murray Grossan also offered numerous ideas on how to enhance the book and his contribution has been invaluable. He is a true champion of the ENS cause and it has been a great pleasure corresponding with him regularly about the book. He also has a great sense of humor. His revised and updated version of The Sinus Cure just came out on April 10. Page 269 has a nice summary of empty nose syndrome.

*And of course, Dr. Steven Houser was the doctor who gave me the ambition to write it and has offered immense support as well.

In attempt to raise awareness for the ENS book, Walt Ballenberger, founder of the Postnasal Drip Website, has offered book commentary on the following links (interestingly, my book managed to get onto "women's fitness" links);,-ENS,-and-Other-Sinus-Issues--A-Discussion--Part-1&id=466841">


Walt has not read the book yet, but he plans to buy it once it is out. In these comments, he remarked I am a "driving force" behind the ENS symposium at, but I have informed him I am not, just an ENS sufferer who wants to help others suffering from the same condition. I just do not wish to take credit where it is not due.