• Writing Tips

    The power of writing your own story

    My friend Julie Willard read my novel, Unlikely Neighbours, and then gave me Hidden Talents by Erica James to read. 

    ‘Have you thought about writing more? she asked me. Looking at the near-500 pages in my hand, I realised she meant a longer novel. (Mine is around 200 pages.)

    It was a question, I pondered, as I read Hidden Talents.

    I really enjoyed the book. The characters became like friends, all well penned and I felt I pretty much knew them by the end. The storylines, whilst quite dramatic in places, are gentle with you and everyone turns out to be basically good even if they have had their moments.

    Woman with book in parkIt is about a group of writers who meet once a week and, to that extent, it was very interesting for me as I started writing in the same way. Dulcie is a retired sixty-something and decides to advertise for local writers to join her on Thursday evenings. As they read their work to each other, you hear storylines of infidelity, marriage breakup, romance and dramas various.

    One thing that struck me about the newbie writers was that they were writing their life stories.  They say that to begin with you should write about what you know, and this was definitely a case of that.  It meant that the members of the writers group inadvertently got to know each other through their life stories.

    I thought about my own writers group and wondered if the same thing had happened. Perhaps it did but in my naivety, I hadn’t realised. Although, John’s book, which was a sci-fi thriller seemed an unlikely scenario for his own life! However, his book on the struggles in Northern Ireland which started in the late 1960s was more likely to be a cathartic scribbling, as he grew up during the troubles.

    When you write from experience you write from the heart and this makes your work more powerful. Whilst it doesn’t have to be a completely true story, many people’s ‘real’ story is rich material to draw upon.

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  • Writing Tips

    Writing a book to boost your business

    Write a book for your target audienceMany businesses fail in the first few years, and one of the main reasons that this is a lack of credibility. Not only do you have to build awareness of your brand but you have to convince potential customers that you have the skills and expertise to produce the products or service you are offering.

    If you set yourself up as an expert in a particular area, for example, as a life coach, you need to find a way of building trust with potential clients and of raising your profile in their eyes.

    I meet many life coaches in one form or another when I am networking either online or at the meetings I go to. One in particular that I know, has written a book called The High-Heeled Leader which teaches women to use their femininity to their advantage in the workplace. The author, Katie Day, takes her book along to all the networking meetings she goes to and promotes the book on her website. This positions her immediately as an authority on her subject and creates interest in what she does. She is an authority on how women can succeed in the workplace.

    A book showcasing your expertise makes you more visible and positions you as a specialist within your chosen niche.

    Here are two more examples of books that can be written:

    A style consultant may write a book titled: Transform your appearance and wow the world by working with a style consultant

    A business coach may write a book titled: How to succeed in business by working with a business coach

    In both cases, the books are designed to appeal to the potential customers of the style consultant and the business coach.

    Having published the book I would advise you to give as many as you can away, as a free gift. This will start the process of building trust between you and potential clients. This is particularly important with high-end products and services where customers are parting with a significant amount of money. They need to be reassured they are spending wisely.

    Having read your book, they are more likely to take on your services and/or recommend you to their friends.

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