4 tips to help make writing a book a learning process

May 22, 2014 | Writing A Book

Yesterday, Katy Kelly read my post titled “Writing a book should be a learning process.” She tweeted to ask if I had any tips to add to that. Here’s what I came up with.

Write your book before you plan it

I call it the “zero draft,” a term I got from Peter Drucker. Write your book all the way through. Don’t stop for research or to solve presentation problems. Just keep writing till you get it all out. The zero draft will highlight where research is needed and where there are gaps in your knowledge.

Do lots of interviews

Find some experts. Then interview them. Interviews are great because they’re interactive. You can ask follow-up questions. Interviews help you see new possibilities and spark new ideas. They also provide quotable material you can use.

Capture your insights, ideas, and questions

Insights and ideas and questions will spring into your mind. If you don’t capture them, they will spring out just as fast. Use any method that works for you, but don’t let them get away.

Review what you’ve captured

Capturing your ideas, insights, and questions will do you no good unless you do something with them. Set up a system to review regularly.

When you’re done writing your book, you’ll have more than a book. You’ll also have a richer store of knowledge.

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