Writing Prompt 109
List and describe your strengths and expertise.
We’ve been talking for some time about finding creative and interesting ways to describe your talents and skillsets. Today’s prompt builds upon previous prompts and gets you back into the professional mindset. Do you know what your strengths are? Do you come up with mind-blowing ideas? Are you a great team player? Do you take dictation? Are you detail-oriented? Good at solving problems?
Whatever your strengths or expertise, you should take some time to think them through. You never know when you’re going to be asked to describe your strengths. This is one area that should roll off the tongue easily. Or in this case, the pen (or keyboard).
Education – Quick Tips
In this new education section, I’d like to provide a quick tip to motivate nonfiction writers.
Record your expertise in writing. Take the plunge and write a book!
In my opinion, all nonfiction writers should write a book for the simple reason that everyone knows a lot about something. Every person is an expert at something unique, whether it is gardening tips, how to make sausage from scratch, molecular discoveries, or best practices in accounting for small business. The breadth of topics and personal knowledge out there is mind-boggling. The problem is that few nonfiction writers take their knowledge to the next level.
From personal experience, I can tell you that making a commitment to yourself to write a book and actually sitting down to write the book are two totally distinct, discrete activities. The act of writing a book should not be taken lightly and should not be portrayed as easy seduction, as evidenced by the plethora of quickie do-it-yourself publishing options. A simply pressing of the “publish” button does, in fact, make a book be published, but does not ensure its quality or marketability, at least in my opinion.
I’m from the old-fashioned camp that a written work, whether short like a blog post or long like a book, must be constructed carefully and deliberately. Clearly, that is not the consensus on the Internet where every person and their brother is trying to encourage writers to just “publish” and poof, the person becomes a writer. A harder, more satisfying path to publication of a book involves time, dedication, and a thoughtful writing, editing, layout, and design of something that is so compelling, that readers will have no choice but to read.
That is the stuff of successful book publication. I encourage all of you nonfiction writers out there with plenty of strengths and expertise to expand upon that knowledge and write a book. It doesn’t matter if the market already has 1,000 books on how to catch frogs at a swamp. Your unique points of view about those frogs need to be written, no matter what.
Marketing success in writing
Today’s feature is on blogger Kelly Elkins.
Kelly Elkins did the very thing that I am recommending to you today – – she decided one day that her 30-year work experience with nonprofits was important enough to write a book, and she did! Kelly ended up writing and publishing a book about fundraising. 150+ Great Fundraising Ideas contains 222 pages of fascinating ideas to help nonprofit groups raise much-needed funds.
Based in the northwestern part of the United States, Kelly injects a lovely local perspective on fundraising. She offers real-world advice on how to sell things, how to offer services, and how to work with clever one-of-a-kind ideas that are sure to be helpful. For example, Kelly advises her readers to host friend o’grams, buy pieces of buildings, and smooch for smiles all in the name of being original while raising money for groups that need it the most.
Kelly is one stellar example of a nonfiction writer who has taken the plunge and written a book. I’m sure she thought to herself that perhaps a retirement party, a fancy vacation, or extended time with her family would have been reward enough after having worked for 30 years. But alas, Kelly took a more difficult and definitely a more satisfying road filled with success. She worked hard and wrote and wrote and wrote until she finally completed her book.
Now that the book is published, Kelly has reaped the benefits of going from aspiring to published book author and finds herself in demand for speaking engagements. Kelly would never have had the opportunity to speak in front of crowds about her original fundraising ideas had she not written a book first. Kelly’s example should be an inspiration to anyone who is unsure of writing a book. Take it to the positive extreme and do it. Write your book! I believe in you!
Marketing success, non-writing
Here is our seventh feature on Artistic Toy Manufacturing Co. and the wild success of its custom plush and toys.
In the first week of October, it will be National Fire Prevention Week. When I think of fire prevention, I don’t necessarily think of good things. Fires are scary and they can ignite just about anywhere for the smallest reasons. Having cute plush, though, removes some of the edge of fear. Kids don’t have to be scared of what might happen if they have a cute-looking bear reminding them that their safe actions can prevent fires.
I like Artistic Toy’s version of fire prevention bears because it sends across a good message that is friendly and educational. I don’t necessarily think that the only client of a fire prevention bear would be a fire department, though. I think schools of all kinds can benefit from this type of marketing. Spread the word about a particular school using a fire prevention bear that has a custom logo or message and it becomes a good tool for education and marketing.