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Tagged with “tracks” (3)

  1. Design Matters With Debbie Millman: Dani Shapiro by Design Matters | Free Listening on SoundCloud

    Design Matters With Debbie Millman: Dani Shapiro

    by Design Matters

    published on 2014/05/26 18:45:13 +0000

    Dani Shapiro is the bestselling author of the memoirs Devotion and Slow Motion, and five novels including Black & White and Family History. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Granta, Tin House, One Story, Elle, The New York Times Book Review, The Los Angeles Times, and has been widely anthologized. She has taught in the writing programs at Columbia, NYU, The New School and Wesleyan University, and she is co-founder of the Sirenland Writers Conference in Positano, Italy. She is a contributing editor at Travel + Leisure. She lives with her family in Litchfield County, Connecticut. Her new book, Still Writing: The Perils and Pleasures of a Creative Life, was published on October 1.

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  2. FIRST 20 HOURS - Can I learn to be a successful author? by JoshKaufman | Free Listening on SoundCloud

    FIRST 20 HOURS -

    Can I learn to be a successful author?

    by JoshKaufman

    published on 2013/06/13 23:34:11 +0000

    Nathan asks: "How do you think this 20 hour system can apply to fledgling authors? What do you think are the first few fundamental 20 hour batches of skills/competencies to acquire to start the journey into being an author?"

    http://first20hours.com

    —-

    SpeakerText Transcript of the Track:

    Nathan asks, "How do you think this 20-hour system can apply to fledgling authors? What do you think are the first few fundamental 20-hour batches of skills or competencies to acquire to start the journey into being an author?" Really good question. There’s a couple of things that I would say. Being an author is a very broad thing, so the first thing that I would ask is what are you interested in writing?

    Are you interested in writing fiction, telling stories? Are you interested in writing non-fiction? So things to help people understand the world in a new and interesting way or things that help other people, help the reader get a particular result? The types of skills that you need to develop to do each of those things is often quite different.

    So be very, very specific about what type of writing or authorship you’re really interested in exploring at first. The big thing, and I have the most experience in writing non-fictions, specifically how-to type non-fiction. So, the intended result of all of the things that I write, I want to help the reader learn how to do something really cool, and get a good result for themselves in some way.

    The Personal MBA was helping people understand business so they can go start one or improve the business that they’re working in in a very tangible way. The first 20 hours is about helping the reader do something cool for them. Learn some new skill that they’ve always been interested in learning. And so with that goal in mind, there are a lot of things that you can practice that help you get to a satisfying result, which is a book that helps people in my case. A couple of different things; there’s a skill in being able to describe something in a way that another person can understand what you’re talking about without being in your head. And so I think one of the biggest things that you need to train yourself as an author in any case is when we write down something and we’re reading it ourselves, we know exactly what we mean by what we write. Often when you show it to somebody else they don’t understand what you meant by something. So getting comfortable with the process of trying to anticipate what a reader who is not you is going to think or come away with from a piece of writing is really, really important, because if you’re going to have the outcome you want other people need to understand what you’re saying, as clearly as possible.

    The second big sub-skill within writing was structure. So, understanding how to structure a book that hangs together, that’s cohesive. One part flows into the next in a logical way and it all comes together to create that result that you’re looking for. This was something that I had to practice a lot.

    And I spent well over 20 hours figuring out how to put together a structure that works for personal MBA. I went through nine or ten revision of the structure of the book, sometimes throwing away a ton of material because it just wasn’t coming together in the way that it needed to. I think if I, looking back, if I had to go back, I would spend way more time on the structure at the beginning because that has to be solid or the book just falls apart.

    So structuring the book, making sure everything hangs together, is critically important. You can spend a good bit of time just practicing doing that. The third thing that I would say is the vast majority of writers, both fiction writers and non-fiction writers, underestimate, they’ll spend a lot of time improving their writing skills but they spend very little time improving their marketing or their sales skills, and that’s a mistake.

    Because if you’re writing something that’s intended for public consumption, the worst thing that can possibly happen is you spend years creating a book and nobody reads it. And so the biggest thing you can do to help yourself become a successful author is learn how to market your work. Learn how to attract attention.

    Learn how to make people interested and learn how to sell the book in a way that encourages people to pick it up and give it a go. Writing books without readers is not fun. So anything that you can do, copyrighting the basics of online marketing, so setting up a website, collecting email addresses providing information that keeps people interested in what you’re doing for a long period of time.

    All of those things are going to be absolutely instrumental when your book is finally be ready for public consumption. And the better you get at that, the larger the audience you have and the more opportunities to write you have. Hope this helps.

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