What inspired you to write this book?
I felt that writing books was my super power. I have written 12 books, several published by Wiley, several translated into six languages. This is a skill that comes easy to me. I felt I could share my advice with people who found writing difficult.
How did you know you wanted to be a writer? How did you get started?
I wanted to be a writer since grade school. I wrote short stories. In high school, I wrote plays that highlighted the interesting antics of teachers and classmates. I even wrote a book that would be considered full of “tweets” – a sentence or two about my views and things I saw. I hand wrote the lines in the classic black marble notebook. I still have that book! I guess I should say I wrote 13 books, not 12. I went to Northwestern to study journalism. I worked as a reporter and business news editor at several newspapers in Florida and New York.
Are you a pantser or a plotter?
I definitely plan. When I write an outline, I get inspired – and organized! Or course, as I write the book, I let myself be open to new ideas and thoughts. So the outline becomes a starting point, but it remains flexible. An outline is not a straightjacket.
Do you have a daily or weekly writing schedule, or do you write only when you are inspired? How many words or pages do you complete in a typical day?
I wrote every day. I set a time for 15 minutes and I looked at my outline to see what I felt like writing about. Some days I wanted to tackle something difficult. Other days, I wanted to do something easy. If you can’t write for 15 minutes, then you’re not serious. It’s so easy to do, you can’t have any excuse for not writing. Of course, if I was on a roll, I kept writing for as long as I felt in the groove.
I created a spreadsheet that tracked how many words I wrote each day. I didn’t have a writing goal for the number of words. Any progress was good progress.
What software do you use to write? Or do you prefer to write longhand or dictate your work? What made you choose the method you use?
I use Word. It works. I didn’t need anything fancier. I used a graphics program to create process visuals.
If you were doing it all over again, what would you do differently?
I would start marketing the book earlier. I would hire a developmental editor to help me see what I didn’t see.
Do you read reviews?
Of course. I have 60+ five star reviews. It’s a great ego boost. Plus you see what people responded to. In the rare case of a 3-star review, you either learn what people want to read, which you can add in the next edition.
What is the best advice you could give other writers about writing or publishing?
Define your ideal reader. Ask how they will benefit from your book. Then write an outline that helps them.
Do you have friends who are writers? How do you help each other to become better writers?
I started doing a podcast to interview coaches, speakers, and consultants who write books. Some guests were friends before we started the interview. Everyone becomes a friend after the interview. I just published my 50th podcast so we’ll hit the one-year anniversary soon. Woo hoo!
Who is the perfect reader for your book?
Anyone writing a non-fiction book, especially people who want to be known a thought leaders or subject matter experts.
Where can readers learn more about you and your book?