Thursday, 9 February 2012

Collaborating To Transform An Idea Into A Book

At the back end of 2009, I set one of my goals to collaborate more - one area where I hadn’t anticipated collaboration though, was writing. Having already written a couple of books I was confident in my writing style and didn’t feel I needed anyone else. But then I started a collaboration with David Sloly, when our ideas collided to create Unplan Your Business in 2010. That led to our first co-written book ‘Zoom!’ in 2011; and yesterday we just submitted our manuscript for a new book ‘Mash-Up!’ that is out later in the year.

One of the benefits of collaborating on a book is that you can blend your respective ideas together to create a more powerful and valuable end product, incorporating thinking and themes that you just wouldn’t have included without the other’s input. But to be honest, the key benefit for me is simpler than all that: it’s more fun writing with someone else. After all writing is a solitary experience so it’s great to have someone to share the journey with. Collaborating has also forced me to be more structured in how I write. Although I am naturally ‘anti-process’, working with someone else has required a system - however agile - that is critical where we have just three months to transform an idea into a manuscript.

Below is a little film shot in my kitchen where David and I reflect on what it’s like writing together: on the three-stage writing process we have pioneered; on dealing with pressure; and how we turn a bunch of thoughts and words into - hopefully - an awesome book.

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