Writing a book isn’t often enough to earn a full-time living. Many successful non-fiction authors earn a living through public speaking and coaching. A book acts as a calling or business card.
In this interview, he explains:
- What it means to be emotionally intelligent
- What to do when your motivation flags
- His ideal early morning writing routine
- Why he writes leadership books… and how they help him grow his speaking business
And lots more.
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Bryan: I think you'll agree with me when I say it can be sometimes difficult to figure out the answer to the question, what should I write about. To help you find that answer, let me explain how I figured out what to write about. And then when we get into this week's podcast interview with Christopher Connors, he's the author of Emotional Intelligence.
So a couple of years ago, I was struggling to figure out what I wanted to write about. I checked Amazon to see what types of books were selling. I saw the books that were selling were typically thrillers, science, fiction, and romance. I decided to try and write a thriller book. I spent a couple of months writing a thriller book, but it just really didn't excite me. I wasn't able to really finish the story. Anyway, at the time, I was sent on a storytelling workshop in the west of Ireland by work, by my employer.
The storytelling workshop was by a guy called Robert McKee, who's written the book, Story. Which I recommend every writer check out, no matter your genre. At the end of the workshop, I went up to Robert McKee and I asked him, "How can a writer figure out what they should write about?" He said to me, "Write what you love to read." When I pressed him on it, he said to, "Go home and look at your library." So I went home and I looked at my bookshelf and I looked at my Kindle library, and I looked at podcast, which is the app I use to read articles on the go on my phone. And almost everything were from books or articles and genres like business, entrepreneurship, writing, creativity, and self-help, at least at the time. And yet, somehow I was trying to write a thriller book. It was no wonder I wasn't making much progress. In fact, the genres I knew most about, were the genre I've just described there.
So I stopped trying to write thrillers and science fiction, and I started writing in those genres instead. So if you're struggling to figure out what you should write about, then just look at your library, look at your bookshelf, look at the podcast app on your phone and ask yourself, what re you spending time reading. Because you already understand the conventions of those genres, of what readers expect.
So once you've made that decision, then you can start exploring and expressing yourself in those genres. Of course, there's a little bit more to it than that. What if you want to earn an income from a particular genre? Well, I've interviewed a number of bestselling authors on this podcast over the past year or two. And if you've enjoyed the interviews on the podcast, leave a review on the iTunes store or even rate the show, because that would really help more people find the show, and help me attract more listeners.
Anyway, what I've discovered is many of these non-fiction authors have a business behind their books. They offer services like coaching, mentorship, they sell courses, or they even use their book as a calling card so people will find out who they are, come to their events and so on. In other words, a lot of successful non-fiction authors don't rely on book sales alone. So if you're going to write non-fiction, I'd encourage you to consider what other ways could you generation income from your ideas and from your writing. And of course, the easiest way to do it, is to turn your freelance articles into a book and then perhaps turn your book into a course. Because then that way you can serve your readers in different ways.
And don't forget, people like to consume information in different formats. One person might like a video, another person might prefer an audio podcast like