Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Navigating the Writing Path: Start to Finish – I C Publishing Summer Blog Tour

Welcome to the I C Publishing Summer Blog Tour on navigating our writing paths from start to finish. I was delighted when Sheri Andrunyk invited me to be part of this Summer Blog Tour. Sheri dedicates energy, expertise and deep, wide passion to helping people find their best writing selves and take their books from hope to publication. It’s always a pleasure to take part in one of her tours.
But first, here's a peek at the cover of my latest book:

How do you start your (writing) projects?
I think of writing as a conversation, and I begin by “listening,” by imagining readers and thinking about what I can contribute to a particular state or situation. When I’m writing a short piece, this is enough to get me started. Just as I am always glad to talk to someone in person, I am glad to take what is happening in my thoughts or work and introduce some aspect that I think will help a reader smile or pause to think differently.
Longer projects begin with a combination of knowing I have something to develop and knowing that other people have expressed interest in how I think about a process. My research into how people think, make choices, and communicate is ongoing, so I don’t start with research. I start with a sense of how I would organize a workshop or course and what people would need to experience to find value in what I offered.
How do you continue your writing projects?
I have been writing for a very long time, and my short pieces usually move from start to finish very quickly. I know roughly how long they need to be, how many points I can cover, and where I need to start and finish, usually without much outlining. The most important part is the sitting with a clear head, a purpose for writing, and a sense of a reader with me.
Longer projects have longer middles. I play with lots of non-linear notes (mindmaps and diagrams and sometimes just wordplay on a page). For my ebook on goals, I began with one word in the middle of each of seven pages and then added dictionary meanings and built out from there to concepts and illustrations. For my longer books, I develop a chapter structure and then a detailed outline for each chapter before I begin to write.
Then the writing starts, usually in chunks that range from 1000 words to 5000 words a day. What keeps me writing is having a reason for writing beyond just putting words on the page. I know where the writing fits into my other work, how it will affect the people with whom I work, and how it might extend to new conversations with other interesting people. I am curious about what I will say and about how they will respond.
How do you finish your project?
I read everything out loud. I correct. I read it again. I make more changes.

If it’s a blog or social media or my website, I push “publish.” Then I look at the published site and sometimes make more edits.

If it is a full-length book, I proof it with a few trusted friends who know my work. I find out how hard it is to read, what connects, and what needs to be fixed. I do my best to make it better. I give it to an editor I trust and let her take it apart. She is meticulous and brilliant and it is painful to work through the book one comma at a time.

I read out loud a lot, to capture what I have said, to slow my eyes, and to hear the voice that comes off the page.

Include one challenge or additional tip that our collective communities could help with or benefit from.
Tip: Writing isn’t about being more “expert” than your readers or having something unique to say.  It’s about the privilege of putting words into someone else’s mind and allowing them to add their imagination to what you have written. 
Passing the Pen
And now, I am delighted to introduce you to the following contributors who will be sharing their experiences, challenges, and tips, on navigating the writing path from start to finish. Check out their links, and watch for their blog posts on Wed, July 2nd
Karen Strang Allen is a “quirky, energetic entrepreneur and mother of two young children. I love learning about the mind-body-spirit connection and applying what I discover in my daily life. I make the spiritual practical, helping you find easy ways to make your life as awesome as you are.”  Karen is also an excellent writer and a great model for anyone who wants to communicate their passion with energy and clarity.
Karen’s recent book “Free to be me: Create a life you love from the inside out!” offers readers a transformational process for living lives that are amazing.
Twitter: @strangallen
Twitter: @AndrewFreundKM

Andrew Freund is the Managing Director of Argrestes Consulting and a Training Partner at NLP Canada Training. Over the last 20 years, he has gained a wide variety of knowledge, skills and experience in small and large organizations in across all sectors: private, public and not for profit.  Using these resources, Andrew helps individuals and organizations leverage their knowledge, skills and resources to help them achieve the success they want.
Thanks so much for following I C Publishing Summer Blog Tour. As always, please feel free to share with friends and colleagues, and join in the conversation using the comments section below.

You can also find me at, at, on Google+ at and on Twitter @nlpcanada

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Let's call it the super-conscious

I'm always getting tripped up by terminology. We all know that there is more to us than the voice in our head that's always complaining about our inadequacies or daydreaming about just one sunny day on the beach without our smartphones.

The voice in our head is called consciousness. It's our running account of the way we want to impact the world versus the way the world is impacting us. It's also been called reason, and for a period of time, most of the western world assumed that reason represented our highest, best way of interacting with each other and the planet (and whatever you believe is beyond the planet).  Of course, there have always been dissenters who believed in faith or spirituality as a way of knowing and making decisions, but for the most part, we like to think that the familiar voice in our head is good at knowing what to do so that we can be more or less safe and happy.

Of course, we depend on a lot of awareness that never makes it into the voice in our head. Our bodies need to pretty much run themselves and we're a little vague about how reason helps us heal. We develop habits for almost everything we do and they run on autopilot. And that doesn't even touch on the way emotions bubble up and over and make a mess of the neat accounting of reason. Where is all that stuff that we're not thinking about at the moment until that moment when we need to remember it?

Some of you are shouting out "I know this one - it's the unconscious!" Others are shouting out "I know this one - you're talking about the subconscious!"

For many years, I believe that "unconscious" was the appropriate term. That's the one that comes from psychoanalysis.  It was supposed that reason was the "highest" order of thinking so that everything else must be under it. I guess that why unconscious became confused with subconscious and most people now use them interchangeably.  I like the idea that there is a bigger self underneath us that provides us with support and movement.

But we're not really an age that is all that keen on support. So I think maybe it's time to tell the truth about our whole selves and our whole minds and call the biggest part of ourselves our super-conscious. After all, it includes our memories, imaginations and bodies and all the reasoning we have ever done except the very small amount that it is uppermost in our thoughts at this very moment.

How would your sense of yourself change if you understood that you are the ordinary self you know and a super-self full of possibilities and capabilities and wisdom? That's you: a conscious mind and a super-conscious mind.