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Book #5 Just Wouldn’t Write Itself

I stared at the blank computer screen in front of me and tried to keep breathing. It was the first day of working on my new book and, as is usual in these situations, there was nothing to work with. Absolutely nothing. No random, independent words floating in free association across my range of vision. No helpful skeletal structure upon which to hang some muscle-bound language. Not even a collection of blogs that could be revised towards a book outline. Nada. Nothing. Zip. The only collateral at my disposal were some hopeful ideas and the goal of getting my fifth book a) written and b) published.

As a writer with decades of experience behind me now, I can’t count how many times I’ve been in this position, and almost every single time I’ve managed to win out over the vacuum of creativity from which we are expected to fashion a piece of content. Starting a book is different, however. Writing a book is a journey that can last for months, years, even, and there is a complexity involved in writing a book that just isn’t part of the task of writing an article, a blog, a page of web content, or a case study. Frankly, it can be a daunting task, and I understand all too well how my editing and book coaching clients feel when they’re stalled at the starting block, waiting for inspiration to rocket them into action.

The book I’m working on now is my first co-authoring venture, and one I’ve undertaken with one of North America’s leading referral marketing experts, Paula Hope, CEO of Booked Solid. Over dinner one frosty evening in January, Paula and I decided to unite her vast knowledge of referral marketing with my solid understanding of content marketing. We decided to write a personal marketing playbook that would help professional service providers market their business effectively, and with the high degree of confidence that comes from knowing what you’re doing. It’s been my delight to coordinate our task list, and that meant starting with the aforementioned outline that absolutely refused to write itself. Paula is a highly capable writer herself, with a massive understanding of her topic, and our project has been marked by a high degree of collaboration and a lot of fun conversation.

We are finishing the main part of the manuscript now, and it’s down to the editing, a task I’ve been working on with great excitement over the past week or two: I can’t believe I’m going to be published again!

We’re expecting the book to be out early in the new year, and I’m thrilled and grateful to have another opportunity to slide another book up onto my bookshelf beside the other ones I’ve written. Shades of Teale, a novel, was published by Manor House Publishing in 2012, and it was followed in 2013 by Passages to Epiphany, a collection of short stories, The Write Way: Becoming a Successful Writer, is a writer’s companion about how to structure your writing, write with better style and use language to engage your audience more effectively; it was published in 2014. And Content Marketing Made Easy became a best seller in its category on Amazon following its publication in 2015.

Your Personal Marketing Playbook will be an easy read, and it’s designed to give people actionable steps they can take to get revenue-related results. Paula and I are really pleased to have written this book together – and we can’t wait to see it published!

The start may not have been auspicious, hampered, as it was, by a bout of writer’s block that had me wondering what a career in telemarketing might be like. But I’m well pleased with the state of the manuscript now, and looking forward to sharing the content with anyone who is interested. If you would like to be put on a list for advance sales of the book, I will ensure you get your own copy as soon as I receive my author copies from our publisher – just email me at to be put on the list!


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