Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Writing a business book: 10 essential rules

  1. Start your book:. I have no official statistics but my informal research tells me that the ratio of would be writers to actual starters is 10:1. 
  2. Write something every day.  Even if you only manage half a page in Word, that's better than going a week then exhausting yourself by writing 50 pages.  Writing is like other activites, the more often you do it the easier it gets.  Try for 15 minutes every day.
  3. Be disciplined. When you write make sure that's your time.  Ignore the phone, the email and everything else.  Even if you only allocate that 15 minutes, ring fence it.  Get up early.  Stay up late.  Do whatever it takes to create that space.
  4. Send your internal critic on holiday. One of the commonest problems for new writers is to review their work as they go along.  That's the worst thing to do because writing is a seaparate activity from editing.  Confusing the two will stop you putting anything down on paper.  When you write, only write.
  5. Find your best time to write. Morning or evening?   Short bursts or lengthy sessions?  When and how are you most efficient at anything?  Writing is no different in requiring your concentration and focus. 
  6. Do your research - before you write.  You may need to do a substantial amount of research for your writing.  If so then do it before you begin to write; give everything itime to settle in your brain beofre you start writing..  Like editing, research takes a different mindset and stopping in the middle of writing to check a fact will slow you down and break your train of thought.  If you need to check something then write that into the text in capitals soyou'll pick it up easily when you edit.
  7. Be approachable.  The whole point of writing is to communicate something to your reader and make a connection.  Remove as many obstacles as possible.
  8. Be flexible.  Changing the structure of what you write can help you communicate better.  Keeping to a rigid structure is wrong if it makes you less effective.  Your priority is not to produce the perfect structure but one that works for your reader.
  9. Be passionate.  Enjoy what you want to communicate.  Passion sells.
  10. Finish your book.  There are thousands of unfinished manuscripts hidden in desk drawers and computer discs.  Make sure yours sees the light of day.

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