Recently, a client said he wants to start a blog… yet he has no idea where to begin when it comes to creating content. “You’re a writer, I’m not,” he said. “I’m worried I won’t be able to come up with any ideas. Help me.”
That’s a quandary many folks face when they try to develop thought leadership material on a consistent basis. Since this is my first blog posting in three weeks, you might think I suffer from a similar challenge; however, the reality is I took a vacation, traveled out of town to work with a client’s executive leadership team and stepped back into my former life to produce a series of videos for a client. It’s actually been finding the time to write, not a lack of inspiration, that’s disrupted my plan.
So here’s the approach I recommended to my client to help him get over that ‘writer’s block’ mental hump and, hopefully, allow him to share wonderful ideas with his desired audience. First, keep your eyes open for insights that appear before you. These may come from reading an article, having a discussion with a client or friend, or reveal themselves in a late night dream. The key is to connect the dots with a “that’s something I would like to write about” realization.
Second, keep an ongoing list of these ideas near your keyboard. Then when you’re ready to write, you won’t have to sit down and stare at the screen hoping some idea pops into your head. Third, and this is a new awareness I’m testing today, block time to write four or more entries at once. Then you simply have to schedule them to post at regular intervals. That’s going to be my way of preventing long interludes between musings.
Finally, and this is the most important lesson on writing I learned – and it came in the fourth year of creating my monthly E-Newsletter – never worry about what your readers think. If it’s well thought out, true to what you believe and comes from your heart, then your part is complete. Allow your viewpoint to resonate with those who are open to receiving it.
William Martin just released his latest novel – City of Dreams – featuring recurring characters Peter Fallon and Evangeline Carrington searching for a box of priceless Revolutionary War bonds. After reading the comments below about how he’s utilizing social media to promote the book, return to my e-newsletter and use “Send This To A Friend” to redirect Fast:Forward to someone who would enjoy reading it – or post a link on your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or favorite social site.
Shoot me a quick e-mail with “Done” in the Subject line afterward. (Honor system in place!) I’ll randomly draw one name from all responses – and that person will receive an autographed copy of City of Dreams.
> View a short trailer on City of Dreams to experience just how much the publishing world is changing.
William Martin’s Comments:
“The traditional platforms are being dismantled. There may be half a dozen newspapers left in the country that continue to review books on a daily basis. And other platforms are being closed to writers. Just the other day I was supposed to be on a local televison show to talk about “City of Dreams.” The host was ready to do the the show. Then the higher-ups saw an interview with another writer and said, “No more writers.” So no more Martin on that TV station. The old ways of doing things are changing. Out in media land, they’re all worried. They’re all scared. They’re all cutting.
So what do you do? You can’t quit. You have to find new ways to market yourself. Instead of being swamped by the cyberwave that is sweeping everything before it, you should try to catch its crest and dive into it.
I haven’t mastered Twitter and don’t think I want to. Don’t understand all the “following” business. And I haven’t pushed too hard on Linked-In. I have friends who are urging me in that direction, but you can only do so much. I decided to use FaceBook. I’ve figured it out. It’s easy to post things there. I refuse to tell you what I had for breakfast or what kind of beer I like. But I’m able to tell readers about my characters when I’m writing and about my events when I’m promoting.
I don’t think FB will change my life. I only have about 500 friends and about 130 on my fan page but they say that you only need about a thousand real fans to help you get the ball rolling. I’ve sold a lot of books over the years, and I’ve counted on a lot more than a thousand fans. But FB reaches people who are genuinely interested, the kind of people who can help light the lttle brushfires of interest that can burst into a best selling conflagration. That’s how viral marketing – I’d call it brushfire marketing – works. At my book launch on May 11, we had an SRO crowd, in part thanks to FB. So friend me or join the fan page and see the pictures from that night. Help me toward the thousand fans who I hope will light matches in the brush around the country and help me onto the best seller list again.”