Aug 302014


Isn’t the word brainstorm an interesting one? You get the visual impression of ideas whirling about in your head and blasting out of it, yes?

Our last newsletter was about research. But now I want to go back one step in the process – how to generate ideas.

People often ask me how to start writing their books. Obviously the place to start is in your brain – even if your inspiration comes from without.

An advertising executive Alex F. Osborn developed the idea of brainstorming back in 1939. He was frustrated when his ad-writing employees could not stoke up their imaginations to write effective ad campaigns.

Essentially brainstorming is this: take the time to think and propose multiple solutions without criticism. Best if you do it with other people who are equally committed to coming up with ideas without judgment. Judgment inhibits your creativity – not to mention your self-esteem.

And when I say a lot of ideas – I mean the most ridiculous, unfeasible and ineffective ones as well. Let your imagination go. Who knows? There may be elements of those that you can use.

Here is another tip: record your idea-generating conversations. Listening back to the tape or MP3 file may  generate more ideas or give you new perspective. It’s not a waste of time! You have to generate ideas before you can focus on your vision. Expand first, narrow down later.

Get a pen and pencil and doodle. So what if you can’t draw a crooked line? Doodle about the book project or something completely different. Doodling may get your critical mind off the task enough for you to loosen up and deliver some pearls.

Far and away I always recommend mind mapping. More on that next time.

Wordfully yours, Francine

Francine Brevetti is an author, ghostwriter and book coach. She offers a complimentary consultation to anyone who is considering embarking on a book.

 Posted by at 9:33 pm
Aug 212014


When starting a writing project – or any project – confusion and blank stares are normal. We are often advised: break the task down into parts. No one says how many or which parts, however, do they?

Lately I’ve heard this new bit of advice: R&D. No, not research and development. Rather “rip off and distribute” – in other words, entrepreneurial plagiarism. Full disclosure: I do this too. I occasionally take someone else’s idea or information and reframe it according to my lights. Then it’s mine.

But I have two other suggestions for starting a project: brainstorm and research. (I’ll address brainstorming in another newsletter.)  Right now here are some suggestions on research. Since I deal with people’s manuscripts and books, I’ll use this task as an example of how to go forward with research, although you could easily use these guidelines for any project.

  • Determine the problem your book/project will solve. What is your intended reader’s pain that you are proposing to resolve? Answering these questions gives you the essential focus and direction to proceed.
  • Discover content from the Internet and bookstores; consult librarians. As you research other sources on the same subject you gather more ideas for your content.

You do this also for competitive advantage – in other words – you begin to see how will your book or project will be different from others.

  • Make a list of experts to interview on your subject. Interview these people; record their discussions and have the tape/MP3 recording transcribed. The document of the transcription is part of your research material.

Now what you do with all this material?
That’s a subject for another newsletter too.

Francine Brevetti is an author, ghostwriter and book coach. She offers a free consultation to anyone who is considering embarking on a book.

 Posted by at 9:32 pm
Aug 042014
Why don’t we go forward?
What keeps us from writing the book that has been in our heart/brain/gut for years?

Fear and lack of self-confidence transform into a variety of self-justifications:

  • I can’t do this. I can’t write.
  • My story or idea wouldn’t be interesting to anyone else.
  • What will other people say when they read it? Will they think less of me?
  • I don’t have the time. I have to wait till my daughter’s out of school.
  • Till work quiets down.
  • Till my mom feels better.
  • I want to write but I don’t know what to write about. Nah, I can’t do this now.
And eventually this becomes NEVER.

I hear this a lot from folks who have given up on their vision for a book.  And with the increasing availability of tools for self-publishing, their excuses take on a more desperate tone – because they really don’t need a traditional publisher anymore. They just need to start.

Let’s face it, dear readers. There is NO right time. There is only NOW.

If you think you want to write a book but don’t know how to start, how to discipline and schedule yourself, how to find the content, how to keep at it till you finish, call me. Don’t be afraid.

I’ll lead you by the hand.  You’ll like it once you jump in. I guarantee it.

Imagine yourself with your book in hand and your name on it.
Sounds good, doesn’t it, Author?
I offer you a complimentary consultation and we focus on your vision, identify the content and way to go forward. I record this discussion and send you back the link so you can  listen again at your leisure.

C’mon. It’s not like going to the dentist

Francine Brevetti

 Posted by at 9:31 pm