5 Ways to Never Finish Your Book
Wally Bock's Writing Edge
by Wally Bock
4d ago
Many people start books that they never finish. Here’s how it works. That would-be author has a great idea. Motivation is strong. The author sets to work. Soon enough, though, the emotion drains away, and the slog begins. The would-be author comes up with excuses not to write. After a while, he or she just quits writing. There are lots of reasons why people don’t finish their books. Here are five common ones. You’ll never finish your book if you depend on inspiration. Inspiration is an emotion. It’s fleeting. You can’t depend on it showing up every day for work. Develop strong self-discipline ..read more
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Expanding Your Book
Wally Bock's Writing Edge
by Wally Bock
1w ago
“I have a great idea for a business book, but when I wrote it, I had only 17,000 words. How do I expand to a full-length book?” Jay was frustrated when he asked me that question. We talked about his idea. It was solid, helpful, and grew out of his experience with clients. Jay thought he’d expressed the idea effectively. But he wanted to write a book to enhance his reputation and he didn’t think the 17,000-word book would cut it. Jay wanted “a full-length book.” the length that’s been standard for decades. Most business books by legacy publishers run from 250 to 300 pages or 62,500 to 105,000 ..read more
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Taking Stock
Wally Bock's Writing Edge
by Wally Bock
3w ago
The New Year is a great time to take stock of your life and your writing. Here’s how Dan Pink describes this period in his excellent book, When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing. “The first day of the year is what social scientists call a ‘temporal landmark.’ Just as human beings rely on landmarks to navigate space—’To get to my house, turn left at the Shell station’— we also use landmarks to navigate time. Certain dates function like that Shell station. They stand out from the ceaseless and forgettable march of other days, and their prominence helps us find our way.” I’ve been writ ..read more
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Better Writing: 5 Easy Tips to Improve Your Writing
Wally Bock's Writing Edge
by Wally Bock
1M ago
If you’re serious about writing well, you probably learned you can always improve. Here are five simple techniques that have worked for me and my clients. Read Your Writing Aloud It’s hard to spot errors in copy that you’ve just written. We tend to see what we think we wrote. Reading your writing aloud is a way to beat that problem. Read your writing aloud. Read slowly. Your tongue will trip over things that your eyes thought were just fine. Caution! Tell the people around you what you’re doing. Otherwise, they may think you’re talking to yourself. Don’t Write Like a Writer Many of the people ..read more
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The Long Game of Writing
Wally Bock's Writing Edge
by Wally Bock
1M ago
I didn’t know whether to puke or sit down and have a good cry or both. I was going through some old boxes, and I found manuscripts for a couple of the first articles I wrote over 50 years ago. Gosh, they were bad! It took a couple of minutes to realize that those articles illustrated something very good. They showed me how far I’d come. That is the long game of writing, improving over time, getting better over time, and making sure the next piece you write is at least a little better than the last one. Most of my clients are what I call “semi-pro writers.” Writing isn’t their day job. But the ..read more
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Write the marketing copy before you write your book
Wally Bock's Writing Edge
by Wally Bock
1M ago
We were a third of the way through Jerry’s book when he started going off down a particularly tempting side path. I asked him a simple question, “Do you want to write the book we originally conceived or this new book that you’ve started writing?” Jerry decided the original concept was better and got back on track. The reason we could do that is that we had a clear statement of what the book Jerry wanted to write would be about. We had that statement because we wrote the marketing copy for Jerry’s book before he wrote a word of it. When you write your marketing copy before you write your book ..read more
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You’ve got a book in you. Now what?
Wally Bock's Writing Edge
by Wally Bock
1M ago
“Everyone has a book inside them and, in most cases, that’s where it should stay.” That quote, or something very much like it, has been attributed to many writers. There’s Christopher Hitchens, Shelby Foote, Winston Churchill, Somerset Maugham, and a bevy of others. The truth is, if you can read a book, you can probably write one. That doesn’t mean it will be quick or easy. It doesn’t mean you’ll wind up with a good book. And it sure doesn’t mean that you’ll wind up with a book that sells. If you’ve got an idea for a book, and you’re thinking about writing it. You should do some analysis to d ..read more
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How will you measure the success of your book?
Wally Bock's Writing Edge
by Wally Bock
2M ago
“Can you guarantee that we’ll write a bestseller?” I’m a book writing coach, so I get that question a lot. I think it’s because most of the people who contact me think the only way to measure a book’s success is whether it’s a bestseller. That’s true even though most of them are mid-career business folks writing business books. By “bestseller” people usually mean a book that makes a bestseller list like the New York Times or Wall Street Journal. What are the odds of that happening? What are the odds of writing a bestseller? Steve Piersanti’s post, “The 10 Awful Truths about Publishing,” descr ..read more
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Answer these 4 questions to make your book a success
Wally Bock's Writing Edge
by Wally Bock
2M ago
Your book better be good. Today more business books are being published than ever before. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Your business book won’t compete only with other business books. It will also compete with every other way your readers learn about new and better ways to do business. There are seminars and webinars. There are online courses. Let’s not forget YouTube videos or articles in business publications. You must be good. You must stand out from the crowd. Here are four questions that will help you produce a successful book. The first two questions should guide your writing ..read more
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Creativity for Nonfiction Authors
Wally Bock's Writing Edge
by Wally Bock
2M ago
If you want to write a great book, you need to be creative. “Creative nonfiction” is a style of writing where you use fiction writing techniques to make nonfiction more interesting. That’s a powerful way to make your book better. Stories are the way human beings have been sharing ideas since we first crawled out of caves. But writing a story-rich book is not enough to make it either great or likely to sell well. For that, you need another kind of creativity. You need the creativity that gives you great ideas to enrich your content. If you want to get great content ideas, you need to master th ..read more
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