Knowing the field, When patent searching it is important to remember only the claims and drawings mater.
Writing the prior art section and the first draft of the claims.
Write the body of the patent with drawings. Remember every thing in the claims must be evident in the drawings. A provisional patent can be reworded but the drawings can not be changed.
How to write your claims so the that when some claims are rejected your patent is not rejected. (This is the most important thing.)
Why not to submit a provisional patent. Countries outside the WPIO agreement must be submitted at the same time. For example Taiwan.
Why Canada is a good country to submit the initial patent. Why you want to submit your patent to several countries at once when the wpio agreement does not require you to do so.
Do NOT wait to one year after your provitional patent to submit your final patent. 6 months is a good time to submit your finial patent.
Translation: Europe does not require it when filing epo. Dealing with EPO directly is painfully slow, but they are honest.
Do NOT trust lawyers you or people you have no recourse against. Use people in other countries you can trust.
Writing claims by yourself is foolish, but as an expert in the field of the patent your are submitting you should be very much involved in the claim writing process. Writing claims is best not done by any single individual. Here is an example of a friend who wrote his own patents. http://www.patentarcade.com/
He first started out using a lawyer but stopped after he was completely dissatisfied with the claims.
My presentation is not a substitute for advanced training, but real experiences.