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Author’s Corner

Productivity Coach Practices What She Teaches to Write Book

Productivity Coach Practices What She Teaches to Write Book

By on Jan 5, 2016 in Author's Corner | 0 comments

Linda Stacy of Living Bluprints is an expert at guiding others on how to manage their time and live more fulfilling lives. That turned out to be extremely useful when she decided to write a book in addition to keeping up with her own busy life. She relied on the same tactics she teaches to her audiences to finish  The Whole Package Professional: The Definitive Guide to Productivity, Success, and Fulfillment in Business and Life  in under a year. The book helps readers to figure out new systems, be more productive and find more joy in their lives. Linda recently shared her writing process: What inspired you to write this book? I’ve been building my coaching and training business over the course of about three years. Like many entrepreneurs, I didn’t start with the clearest vision of what my business would look like, but I was deeply guided by something internal. I’ve been blogging for about three years and knew that there was a book within that content. Many factors added up to the plain reality that writing a book would be key for the success of my business. The book has forced me to craft my point of view. Having it complete has allowed me to better understand my market. Finally, and perhaps of greatest importance, the book establishes my expertise in the field. Ultimately, the inspiration to write this book came from the knowledge that doing so would enable me to build a business and do work that matters. How long did it take you? I started writing in January of 2015. I thought I was going to ‘blog the book’ but had difficulty crafting an entire picture with that approach. Around May I thought I might design it to read like a cookbook. Then in June, at the monthly meeting of my local National Speaker Association, Steve Shapiro, a successful innovation expert, was our guest speaker. His session covered a ton of great material for professional speakers, but his comments about book writing were golden. Two of his books were published by big houses. He contrasted these with three ‘small’ books, which he self-published. He has sold 10s of thousands of the small books! I decided to take...

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Stay Committed to Your Book, Even if it Takes Years, Author Says

Stay Committed to Your Book, Even if it Takes Years, Author Says

By on Oct 1, 2015 in Author's Corner, Writing | 3 comments

Non-profit organizations may have different goals than for-profit companies, but they still have a brand that is either working for or against them. Michele Levy works with these groups to understand their brand and how to define, refine and promote it to support their mission. She also wrote the book on how to do it right. In Building Your Brand, A Practical Guide for Nonprofit Organizations, Levy, a consultant and speaker, guides nonprofit leaders through the process of creating a brand that will help them reach their organizational goals more efficiently and effectively. Why did you decide to write a book? I had a lot of content based on my work with clients and people seemed hungry for it. I found that nonprofit leaders and boards didn’t always understand the concept of a brand or how they could take control and use their brand. There wasn’t anything quite like this guide out there. Personally, it’s an opportunity to introduce myself and build on my reputation. What was your biggest challenge? By far the hardest part was finding the time to write. I had a good sense of the structure and what I wanted to say, but I took a full-time job shortly after I decided to write it, I have an active volunteer life, and I have a family. This book was actually written over several years. How did you overcome that challenge? My solution was binge writing. I’m not someone who can get up at 5 a.m. and bang out a few pages. I needed to seclude myself for hours and write chapters at a time. Even though I wasn’t able to do it as quickly as I had initially expected, I remained committed to getting it done. How did you decide on the structure of the book? Setting up the book was relatively easy. There is a process to how I work with my clients and I followed that. I kept it simple and basically explained things the way I do to the people with whom I work. That way, it answers questions the reader may have and provides a succinct guide for them to use. How has the book been successful? It has been challenging to...

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Writer says Revisions Reveal the Best Story

Writer says Revisions Reveal the Best Story

By on Sep 10, 2015 in Author's Corner | 0 comments

The best stories read like they took no effort to write at all. But the more likely reality is that they were labored over, rethought, rewritten and revised during angst-ridden hours by a writer who battled several rounds of self-doubt. Learning the story behind the story can be as inspiring as the story itself. Laura-Lynne Powell, my creative sister-in-law, successfully placed such a piece in the Sacramento Bee earlier this year about fathers and the anniversary of the civil rights marches that led to the adoption of the Voters Rights Act. Selma’s 50th provided an opportunity to reflect how far the nation has come since the turbulent 1960s and how far it still has to go. It also provided a chance for families to honor members who were foot soldiers 50 years ago. And it allowed sons and daughters to honor fathers and mothers who weren’t in Selma but were shaped by the events that happened there nonetheless. Read the full piece It was a hard piece for her to write for many reasons, but thankfully she persevered. Here is her perspective: What was your motivation? I envisioned this piece as an ode to history. A story about sons honoring something in history that shaped their fathers. In writing the story, I too was honoring those people both sons and fathers. What was your challenge? I wanted this to be a first-person piece because that is how I write everything. A story is more authentic to me if I’m just honest with the reader about the fact that it is me sitting at the keyboard sharing this story. But my family had nothing to do with Selma or the Civil Rights movements of the 1960s, so I found myself feeling somewhat confused about my right to write about. I wasn’t there. I wasn’t the son who honored his father. So, the challenge was how to write from my own perspective while still telling other people’s stories. How did you overcome it? I started with the way this story was revealed to me, with my husband telling me that he regretted not going to Selma for the 50th anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery march with his father, who had marched with Martin...

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Publish a Book with the Help of a Few Thousand New Friends

Publish a Book with the Help of a Few Thousand New Friends

By on Apr 2, 2014 in Author's Corner | 0 comments

It used to be that anyone serious about publishing a book would turn to a publisher to handle the logistics of turning the manuscript into a real book with a pretty front cover and slick back cover copy. These days, however, authors increasingly are taking those final steps on their own. That, however, means taking on the up front costs in getting the book to market such as editing, proofreading and cover design just to name a few. That can be a multi-thousand dollar hurdle that turns into a wall for some potentially great authors. Unless, they can get a helping hand or two or more. Enter crowdpublishr.com. This new business developed in Cambridge, MA, by a self-published author , helps authors unleash their creativity on the world. This website connects writers with readers who can get involved in funding the project up front. The added bonus is that while doing the fund raising, authors are also raising much needed publicity. The description from the founder: “Newly launched Crowdpublishr gives authors the opportunity to develop their audience in advance of publication and use social connections to help pay for the needed publishing services. Writers can fund, publish, distribute and promote their books, all in a fun and easy to use online platform, taking much of the risk out of indie publishing. Starting with free promotional tools, authors may DIY or purchase the needed services, finding what they really need, all in one place.” Basically, you describe your book and the people who might want to read it or like you prepay for it giving you money to use for publishing. As an added bonus for all authors, the site is currently offering a free free author web page and online tools to help connect with readers, to publicize both upcoming or already published books....

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Publish a Book with the Help of a Few Thousand New Friends

By on Mar 19, 2014 in Author's Corner | 1 comment

It used to be that anyone serious about publishing a book would turn to a publisher to handle the logistics of turning the manuscript into a real book with a pretty front cover and slick back cover copy. These days, however, authors increasingly are taking those final steps on their own. That, however, means taking on the up front costs in getting the book to market such as editing, proofreading and cover design just to name a few. That can be a multi-thousand dollar hurdle that turns into a wall for some potentially great authors. Unless, they can get a helping hand or two or more. Enter crowdpublishr.com. This new business developed in Cambridge, MA, by a self-published author , helps authors unleash their creativity on the world. This website connects writers with readers who can get involved in funding the project up front. The added bonus is that while doing the fund raising, authors are also raising much needed publicity. The description from the founder: “Newly launched Crowdpublishr gives authors the opportunity to develop their audience in advance of publication and use social connections to help pay for the needed publishing services. Writers can fund, publish, distribute and promote their books, all in a fun and easy to use online platform, taking much of the risk out of indie publishing. Starting with free promotional tools, authors may DIY or purchase the needed services, finding what they really need, all in one place.” Basically, you describe your book and the people who might want to read it or like you prepay for it giving you money to use for publishing. As an added bonus for all authors, the site is currently offering a free free author web page and online tools to help connect with readers, to publicize both upcoming or already published books....

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The Awareness Paradigm: A How-to Manual Disguised as a Novel

By on Oct 7, 2013 in Author's Corner | 0 comments

Nancy Hardaway wanted to write a book about the leadership lessons she has learned over the years and now teaches as a consultant, but the traditional format didn’t seem to fit. She decided instead to tell a story and show how good leadership can evolve out of conflict and disagreement. In this engaging tale, the mayor of a small town has to get four opinionated leaders to agree on a redevelopment plan in order to get funding. Each of the characters learns their own lessons along the way. Nancy recently gave an insider’s view to the writing process: What motivated you to write this book?  We are taught how to read and write in elementary school.  We might be taught how to speak and how to present in high school (debate class, anyone?).  We learn the skills of our “trade” in colleges or on the job.  We perform well and get promoted and suddenly have to manage others.  Who teaches us that?  In my own experience as a leader, and that of many of my clients, we are not taught the skills of influence, of leading others.  How to listen carefully, how to help others change, how to see both detail and big picture, for example.   I wanted to write a book to share the lessons of leadership I’ve learned in training and from experience, that I use to coach and train both senior executives and new leaders.  I wanted to write a book that was accessible, resonant over time, fun and quick to read, and devoid of jargon.  I wanted to have fun writing it.  So I turned from my list of concepts to the idea of fiction and ended up with this story of four leaders, that I hope helps people avoid the pitfalls of trial and error. How long did it take? I started to put ideas on paper about two years ago – the concepts I wanted to communicate.  I interviewed a number of leaders to get their thoughts.  The “shitty first draft” that Anne Lamott calls it in her great book Bird by Bird took me about 6 months.  Then there were many, many, many rounds of editing – straightening out story lines and...

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