My most recent book published in Spanish, “La Nueva Gestión del Talento” (“New Paths in Talent Management”) is on the shortlist for the “KnowSquare” prize for the best business book of the year. It is very pleasing to have one’s efforts recognised, and I’m most grateful to the jury and to all the people who at some time in their lives have read my writings. Authors exist to serve their readers and, speaking personally, writing is one of the activities that brings me most fulfilment. So, many thanks to all!
I am sometimes asked what the best way to go about writing is. The honest answer is that I don’t know. What’s more, there are far better writers than me to give an answer to this question.  However, I will go so far as to mention some techniques –not advice– that help me personally. But please bear in mind that each individual needs to find what works best for them.
•    Passion. I always write about something that fascinates me and which I believe in.  The reason for this is simple: If you’re not hugely interested in what you’re writing about, you can’t hope that your readers will be, either.
•    Interest value and speed. Life is full of so many stimuli that it’s not easy to get someone to pay attention to what you’re saying, even for a few minutes. So the thought I try to constantly hold in my mind is: If I wouldn’t spend any time reading what I’ve written, how can I expect anyone else to?
•    An inner drive. When you ‘connect with the voice’ as some novelists put it, you just can’t stop writing.  I know that there are some professional writers who have a fixed method, and I’d love to be one of them! But I’m just not made that way. I wrote NoFear in five weeks flat, after doing a great deal of research into the subject of fear for years. And in those five weeks I barely slept because I kept on waking up with new ideas. There’s no magical shortcut to writing a book.  It’s hours and hours of work, and you need lots of patience and the determination to get through the dry periods when the muse deserts you.
•    Letting go. If I’m not very happy with something I’ve written, I don’t use it. You’re much better off if you don’t feel wed to what you’ve written; otherwise, you end up leaving in material that isn’t up to scratch. (I personally have gone so far as to cast out over 100 pages that I wasn’t happy with.)
•    Keep it simple. If a person of average intelligence has difficulty following the book, the fault lies with the writer, not the reader. (Obviously, I’m talking here about books on management, and not high-level scientific publications.)
•    Compass or map? It seems that there are basically two types of writer. First of all, there are those that have a compass– that is to say, they have a rough general idea of what they want to write about, and then explore different aspects of this idea as they go along. At the other end of the spectrum are the map-bearing writers, who have everything pretty well worked out before they put pen to paper. In my opinion, neither way of writing is intrinsically better; it’s just a question of how each person’s creative mind works.
•    Writer’s block. This happens to almost everyone at some time or other. In my own case, I find it helpful to start off a session by writing something unrelated to the book. This helps me to get warmed up, as it were. Even so, writer’s block is always lurking in the background.
•    Get feedback. I always find it useful to talk to others about what I’m writing and to get feedback from them. When I was working on Everyday Heroes, I used Twitter and LinkedIn to help me do this; I asked people to answer some brief questions, and their replies were really invaluable.
•    Get the opinion of someone you particularly trust. It’s impossible to write something that absolutely everyone likes, even though we often have problems accepting this. But it’s vital that you like what you’ve written; and, if possible, it’s extremely beneficial to have a very good friend who is highly critical who will tell you exactly what they think of your work. I say this as I have such a friend and he is my harshest critic, for which I am grateful.
•    Deadlines. The process of writing a book never really comes to an end, and you could be years working on the same one. That’s why having a deadline is a good thing, even though it brings with it its fair share of stress.

Be Sociable, Share!