You Don’t Have to Be the One to Put the Words on the Page

Photo by Realmac Dan on Unsplash

Listen, we both know you have no time to write this book and even if you did, is taking the time to put all the words on the page really the best use of your time?

Maybe. Maybe not.

Writing a book can be a transformative experience. The writing process allows you to discover things about what you think and believe about a topic that you hadn’t thought about before. Writing a book, more than anything else, is about thinking things through and committing to a position.

Writing is first and foremost about thinking. In fact, most of the client writing problems I come across started life as thinking problems (but I digress).

For the purposes of this piece, I’ll assume you’re a clear thinker. So, if you are someone whose default communication preference is the written word; if you are a word lover and identify as a writer and can’t wait to get to your laptop in the morning to register your thoughts; then yes, you probably need to be the one to do the typing because the generation and smashing around of the words is integral to your process. And you love it! In that case, my advice is to find a book coach to keep you accountable. You can get the book done in about a year writing 30 minutes a day, five days a week. Yep, 30 minutes, that’s it. That’s all my NYC-based book coach would permit me to write because I was working full time for an ad agency at the time.

If your default mode is the spoken word you have a different problem. Spoken language is not the same as the written language and so typically speech to text needs some conversion, and often also completion because a lot of what is communicated to your audience when you speak is determined through body language and facial expressions.

In this case, it can be beneficial to engage a writing partner who will get the ideas out of your head and onto the page as written language. This doesn’t mean converting it to the King’s English, it just means making sure you account for the differences in communications methods. By the way, the conversion process can be illuminating—many a client has ended up further “baking out” an idea because of seeing it articulated completely (rather than as a series of bullet points).

The other benefit to partnering up with a writer/editor is that they can guide you in other areas of the book project and be there to advocate for it and drive it forward—grabbing time with you in the airport or in the car to get clarification or talk something through. It’s also someone to you can bounce your half-baked ideas off of in complete safety because that person is outside your organization and their sole priority is making you successful.

Notice I refer to this arrangement partnering with a writer/editor. I suppose what I’m proposing is a form of ghostwriting but to date I’ve only been involved with one book where the author opted not to acknowledge my involvement in the project.

So, if you’re dragging your feet on writing a book that would bring a ton of value to your business, and you have the resources to invest in bringing someone on to help, opting out of putting the actual words on the page yourself may be one of the smartest business decisions you could ever make.

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