Learning While Writing a Book

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Jeff Senne and I wrote two of the first books about how businesses could use the internet. Jeff liked to say writing a book was like getting a PhD. That’s certainly not true. In fact, if you get a PhD, you also write a book called a dissertation. But even if writing a book is not like getting a PhD, it is a time when you learn a lot.

You’ll Learn About Writing A Book

Writing a book may be the largest writing project you’ve ever undertaken. The massive amount of information presents a challenge. You will learn how to manage large chunks of information. You’ll learn how to track key ideas throughout the book.

One of the most valuable skills you’ll learn is how to triage. There will be concepts and sentences that are perfectly wonderful but don’t move the book forward. That means you’ll have to learn to cut out excellent material.

You’ll learn how to structure things to convey meaning. If you work with a good writing coach, you’ll learn the art of writing conversationally.

You’ll Learn About the Topic

If you’re writing a business book, you already know a lot about your topic. Writing a book will force you to learn more. You’ll dive deeper into research you’re already familiar with and discover or commission new research.

You’ll find new sources you’ll be able to use for years. And those sources will lead you to experts who will not only deepen your pool of knowledge but who also may become colleagues and friends.

You’ll learn how to recombine material that’s already been used elsewhere. One of the arts of creating a great book is to provide a unique and powerful viewpoint.

You’ll Learn About Yourself

Writing a book can be one of the greatest self-development activities you ever undertake. You’ll learn what your best work patterns are. You’ll learn how much work you can do in a day and when you work best.

Along the way, you’ll develop your self-discipline and work habits. By the time the book is done, you will be more effective at work.

Takeaways

Learn how to manage large amounts of information.

Learn more about your topic.

Discover new sources of information.

Find new ways to recombine old information.

Learn how you work best.

Develop your self-discipline.

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