Kim was a coaching client who knew her subject cold. She was a savvy consultant with a process that worked. Over the years, she worked with many different clients and learned from them all. She gave workshops and keynote speeches. She wrote articles for trade publications and for publicity.
When we talked for the first time, she was sure that all she needed to do was set down what she knew in clear, readable prose. When we wrapped up the project, about a year later, she was amazed at how much she learned by writing a book.
She learned about her subject. Kim discovered that new research had provided fresh insights into her material. She did some original research that added value to the book.
She learned how to communicate critical ideas better. This was where the big learning happened for Kim. She developed new graphics to illustrate her points and discovered new examples to use.
She learned about herself. The writing process pushed Kim to evaluate the ways she updated her material. No major changes here, just tweaks to an already-effective process.
Most of the clients I’ve worked with have a similar experience. Writing a book is a process of learning and discovery. If you miss that, you miss one of the important benefits.