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  • Sally Collings

Are you a speaker, not a writer?


I’m a lover, not a fighter…

A speaker, not a writer.

Four out of five people who contact me about writing a book or a #book #proposal tell me the exact same thing.

“I’m not a writer.”

Even if that person runs a popular blog, or writes their own speeches, or presents workshops. Because apparently, they don’t count.

I get it, though. I do believe that some of us most naturally tell stories, explain our ideas, or persuade other people through the written word. For others, the spoken word is their instrument of choice when they need to entertain, inform, or convince.

Me? I like both. If I want to explain something clearly to you, I will most likely send an email (like this one!) rather than pick up the phone. But if I want to spend time with a group of people, introducing them to a set of new concepts, talking seems like the way to go. I know introverts like me aren’t meant to enjoy getting up and speaking in front of a group, but I get a kick out of it. I figure if I’ve got the microphone, no one can interrupt me. (Sure, it doesn’t always work that way.)

What can you do if you’re a natural-born speaker, but you want to write a book? Well, you can email me. (Shameless Self-Promotion alert.) Even before that, though, take a look at the many ways that now exist for speakers to get their words in writing.

Use the record function in Notes on your phone, or hit the “dictate” button in Word on your computer. Seven minutes of talking translates to about a thousand words. Sure, they won’t all be gems—you’ll have to dig through some dross to find the gold nuggets, but that’s true whether you write your draft or speak it out.

Do it on your morning walk, your commute (if you have one—I’m writing this in the midst of the coronavirus shelter-in-place, which has many of us hunkering at home), while you’re cooking dinner. Do it every day for a week, and you may have the makings of the first chapter of your book.

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© 2020 Sally Collings

The Book Proposal Expert

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