Thursday, October 28, 2010

Writing Your First Book

I would like you to write your first book sitting next to me as I write mine.

I’m not going to tell you what to write about. You will make your decision in a matter of days. Since this is a blog about grant writing and the process of completing winning proposals, a topic falling somewhere within this may be the logical choice for your new book.

There are many ideas and subjects outside of the grant writing process deepening our understanding of the ritual even more. Different venues often add more layers of understanding to what ever we might be working on. We are peeling the onion, so to speak.

I am always interested in learning about new high-tech devices, toys and goodies or whatever your name may be for them. Somehow I got in the habit of haunting hardware stores. You gotta be asking yourself, where is this going?

The old-style hardware stores have bin after bin of nuts, bolts, washers, screws, nails and a thousand different fasteners designed to do specific jobs. I look at those little pieces to see which ones I can adapt for my fly fishing equipment. What gizmo will allow me a better experience and solve a simple problem the next time I take a fishing trip?

It forces me outside of the box I have become accustomed to living within. I look at those fasteners as an opportunity for design and invention. Maybe this seems not very serious. It is serious enough for me to approach it at a loving, passionate angle. I love to fish. I am passionate about the sport of fly-fishing. There is never enough time to fish all the wonderful locations I want to visit. So I have transmuted my desire to the hardware section. Here I am able to design, think and walk around my favorite fishing haunts even when I’m not there.

I regress. All great copywriters research every aspect of a product or service they wish to tout. Once they have discovered the core desires of the possible prospects, in other words who the audience is, the copywriter attempts to solve a problem the buyer has.

Once all this framework is laid down in her head, she leaves her office for at least a couple of hours to take a hike. She lets all the pertinent information gel inside her mind. She thinks about it while on the trail but not really hard. When she returns she puts her words on paper very rapidly. The words seem to flow seamlessly over the paper. Once she feels she has accomplished her task, she saves the info, reads it one more time and then off to the trail once again.

Any profession requires a quiet time to insure the knowledge and information the professional possesses has the opportunity to turn itself into something more than just a normal application addressing  a unique set of ideas or problems. Our minds have a way of working through the BS to get to the core reason we spend so much time earning the rewards we work so hard for.

We can’t win them all. We can win the majority of the time if I can be so bold as to say we have to "take time to smell the roses." When I was a kid I always reacted instead of surveying a situation, rather than having the answer develop in my mind over a period of time. I believe grant writing, copy writing and any other number of professions draws a fine line between merely adequately producing an end result verses taking the time to do the very best you possibly can in any given situation because you are so completely passionate about your subject and the process of resolving the question or problem that exists.

You want to be part of the solution...each and every time.

The big bucks are always paid to those who have done their homework. Am I old school or what?

Thanks for listening.  We’ll talk about writing your first book next time.

You’re next!

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