#atd2015: Writing Blogs, Articles, and Books to Boost Your Career by Cathy Fyock

Ask me about my bookCathy Fyock of www.cathyfyock.com gave a very enjoyable presentation about the importance of writing and the impact it has on your career. This topic was one that I was definitely interested in. I see it closely tied to the “Working out loud” strategy. 

Fyock noted that she is a published author and recently wrote a book called On your Mark. It is about how to write a book in six weeks. In this presentation, she shared many of the tips and tricks she learned.

As the presentation began, she handed out a “magic” button. Here is mine:

Ask me about my book

This button causes one to focus on their book. It provides constant opportunities for people to help you develop your thesis. I have had it for a couple days and I have had a handful of people ask me about my book. It will help you get clarify your writing.

All writing is book writing: All writing is considered to be part of writing a book. For example, a number of blog posts can be pulled together to write an article. A number of articles can be pulled together to write a book.

There are benefits to writing: According to Fyock, there are a number of benefits to writing for a public audience.

  • Writing helps clarify your thoughts.
  • You can gain recognition as a thought leader for your field.
  • You have the ability to help others.
  • You will be leaving behind a lasting legacy.
  • It can lead to speaking engagements or other work opportunities.

Focus on why you are writing: Be very clear about why you are writing a book. It is important to write about topics you love. No one can tell your story like you can tell your story. That is why it is important you do it.

Many reasons why you have not written your book yet:

  • Don’t know how to do it.
  • You need to develop skills. Start by developing your writing muscle. Begin by writing blog posts or articles.
  • No time. Block time for what is important. If writing is important to you, you will need  to block writing time. Look for little chunks of time such as waiting for your appointment. Find your best time to write. There is a good time of the day for writing. Find this time. Participate in writing sprints.
  • Don’t have ideas. She goes to Panera’s or Starbuck’s to do mind mapping.
  • Fear. Do you think you can’t write a book. Fight off “the bitch.”
  • Focus and scope. Narrow the topic. Decide what will go into the next book. Get a “next book” box and virtual folder.
  • There is always more to research on the topic.

Draft a detailed outline: Start with a detailed outline. Keep tweaking the outline by adding detail and content. Don’t write and edit at the same time. They are two different functions. Also, fill your outline with content you have previously written. Repurpose your content.

Writing your book: Start writing the easiest chapter first. Don’t stop at the end of a section begin a new section and then stop. This will prevent you from editing your work while you should be focused on writing.

During the presentation, Fyock conducted a 3 minute writing exercise. It was surprising how much could be written in 3 minutes.

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