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How do you tell your story?

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Create a crystallized message 2

Create a crystallized message

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By Nancy Erickson, The Book Professor

writing-bookWhen writing nonfiction, there are three steps that come before you actually sit down to write that will strengthen and clarify your message.

1. What’s the Purpose?

An article is not the same as a blog, is not the same as a web page. Each end product has it’s own purpose, and before you begin writing, you need to know the purpose of the piece.

You probably have a general idea of what you want to write, and I challenge you distill it down to a Purpose Statement before you start. Your Purpose Statement should say, “The purpose of this (blog/article/book/web copy/marketing message) is to ___________________.

Complete that sentence. Bear in mind that it’s one sentence, not a paragraph.

Example: The purpose of this article is to inspire others to create a larger legacy through their writing.

2. Who’s the Audience?

If you don’t know your audience, it’s like playing spin-the-bottle in the dark. Don’t you want to know who you’re going kiss before you pucker up? Likewise, you need to envision your audience. What you write isn’t for everyone; it’s for a specific slice of readers.

Picture your perfect reader. What are they looking for? What’s their age, demographic, marital status? Are they male or female, conservative or liberal? How do they identify themselves? Complete this sentence: The audience for this piece is ___________________.

Example: The audience for this article is entrepreneurs who want to create a larger legacy.

3. Why the Message?

Writers not only want to be read, they want to be remembered. If your content goes in their mind but doesn’t elicit a response, then you’ve wasted your time. It will be forgotten as quickly as it was read.

You must create some type of change in the reader. How will they be different as a result of what you wrote? What change, as slight as it may be, do you want to invoke in the reader? Do you want to move them to action? Give them hope? Make them smile? Consider the end result and write down how you want your readers to be affected.

Example: This article will inspire entrepreneurs to first crystallize and then expand their message.

Now pull the three components together into a single statement.

Example: The purpose of this article is to inspire entrepreneurs to first crystallize and then expand their message, so they can create a larger legacy.

Ready, set, write.

Now that you know your audience, you can write from their perspective, not yours. What do they want to know? What information are they seeking? What new message or perspective can you deliver? Compelling content always meets the need, and your job is to deliver what the audience is seeking.

To crystallize your message, include specific content that achieves the stated purpose, nothing else. Readers absorb focused content, and everything you write should drive toward that message, that audience, that purpose, and that result.

Go BIGGER!

If you want a bigger audience, you need a bigger platform. With a little tweaking, you can extend your message and deliver it through multiple venues, like writing a book or delivering workshops, speaking engagements, and online courses. This isn’t simply an opportunity for you; it’s a service to others. When you share what you’ve learned, what you’ve developed, and what you’ve overcome, you can change the life or direction of someone else. Someone is looking for what’s hidden inside you. Whether your message is about your business, lessons you’ve learned, or about how to connect on a soul-level with your dog, if you have a passionate solution, someone else needs it!

Your legacy is about the lives you touch and the change you create. When you share what you know, what you’ve learned, and what you’ve overcome, you can make a lasting impact that extends far beyond yourself.

International Book Marketer, Public Speaker, Book Coach, and Author Advocate, Nancy’s passion is to change the world, one reader at a time. She is the creator and owner of Bookarma (www.bookarma.net), the international book marketing platform where authors help authors market their books globally through shared social networks. She is also known at The Book Professor (www.thebookprofessor.com) because she gives everyday people the courage to tell their truth and the tools they need to write a nonfiction book that will change lives, saves lives, or transform society.


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How Fifty Shades Of Grey Is Like The Measles

How Fifty Shades Of Grey Is Like The Measles

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valentine-roses

There’s been a lot of buzz about Fifty Shades of Grey, a poorly written book that became a best seller. This weekend — for Valentine’s Day — it hits the big screen as a romantic love story. Here’s are my thoughts about it.
How Fifty Shades of Grey Is Like The Measles

 

Photo courtesy of http://kentuckysportsradio.com/basketball-2/uk-basketball-valentines-day-cards-for-the-special-lady-in-your-life/


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How to Plan and Launch a Successful Book Launch Event

How to Plan and Launch a Successful Book Launch Event

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If you’ve been wanting to plan an event to launch your book, this presentation will give you some tips on whether your book is a good candidate for an event launch and how to orchestrate it.

How to Plan and Organize a Successful Book Launch Event


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Resources for Writers

Want to write something brief and get it published immediately? Join Helium.com! Other writers will rate your article, and you will rate theirs, and this is a good way to build a bank of published pieces.

Need some prompts to exercise your writing muscles? You’ll find hundreds here at Creative Writing Prompts.

Don’t know where to submit your work? Head over to Duotrope, a one-stop shopping site for publications that accept fiction and poetry. This fantastic tool filters submission sites by genre and allows you to track the responses you receive. Easy breezy!

Want to figure out how to make money by writing? Subscribe to Funds for Writers and get regular updates regarding freelance jobs and contests.

Concerned about your grammar? Get help from The Grammar Girl for some quick-and-dirty tips.

Want some basic information about writing and citation? Take advantage of this online writing lab from Purdue University!

Looking for a writer’s group? Check out this comprehensive listing, by state!

Want to know how to write a book that is what publishers want? Join the Get My Book Out! program, written and delivered by The Book Professor, Nancy Erickson!

Want to improve your writing? THEN SIT DOWN AND DO IT!!


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Do it NOW!

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So, you like the thought of writing a book, and you have an idea that keeps rolling around in your head, but that’s all your great idea does – it lives in your head. Wouldn’t you like to get that book out?

It’s hard to start a book. You have so much to say, need to organize your thoughts, you have a full-time job that gets in the way and children to care for after work, and by the time you have time to write, you’re too tired to write. Don’t worry! There is a solution.

One of the best ways to write a book is in small time boxes. I recently heard that you can get your daily allotment of physical exercise in ten-minute increments, done several times a day, which sounds a lot more manageable than slogging it out on a treadmill for an hour. Writing is like that, too.

Do you have fifteen minutes? Sure you do. Plant yourself at your computer or on a park bench or in the front seat of your car and WRITE SOMETHING — maybe it’s a childhood memory you want to capture, or the description of the crisp, fall air that will set a scene, or a conversation you overheard that would make great dialogue. Get it down, and do it now!

I normally feel like I need to clear my head before I start writing, and maybe you’re like that, too. Here’s a tip on how I move myself from overactive brain mode to writing mode in under a minute:

1. Sit down, close your eyes, and take a deep breath.
2. Picture an inanimate object that you find simple to describe. It could be a paperclip, your favorite mug, a pen, a shoe, a penny, etc.
3. Now let the words pop that describe that object: shiny, hard, silver, twisted, blue, slick, sharp, and on and on.
4. Once you’ve exhausted your vocabulary, open your eyes and start writing something that will contribute to your book.

You don’t need hours to write, you don’t have to have all your menial tasks finished first, you don’t even need to be at your computer. All you really need is fifteen minutes and the back of a napkin. If you practice this several times a day, you’ll develop a writing habit and will build the bricks of your book that you can be pieced together.


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