Tuesday, 11 January 2011

How To Co-Write A Business Book Part 2: Uncharted Territory

Writing has become a big part of my life. Sure, lots of us write reports, strategies and proposals in our roles and work lives; we're used to writing emails and tweets throughout the day. Everyone has to be a writer. 

But it doesn't stop there. I also write books, blog posts, guest columns and ‘white papers’; and in my ideas business I write copy for clients to position businesses and sell products. I love the challenge and opportunity of a blank sheet of paper or a blinking cursor on a blank screen.


So I'm used to writing for myself and writing for clients. But writing *with* someone else? That's been unchartered territory – up until now. With my third book a collaboration with David Sloly, I'm learning a lot about the need to lose control, to open your mind to new ways of looking at things and new ways of articulating ideas. I'm excited about the potential of that collaboration; of how the results can be more powerful than if I wrote a book solo. I've read some great co-written books in the last twelve months: 'Trust Agents' by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith and 'Rework' by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson stand out for me, and I'm confident ours will too, when it's out later in the year.

As for our approach to the project, last month we went on an inspiration trip to Paris to live and breathe the ideas, creating the chapters and themes. We found that experience really effective, discovering new ways of generating and capturing ideas: involving red wine, coffee and even a 'floor chart' of ideas on the floor of our apartment (see picture above). Now we’re in a new phase – we’re actually writing it. Here’s a little video on how this phase is going:

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