Sitting down may be as bad for you as smoking. We would all like to spend less time sitting down and more time moving, right? And if you are writing a book, you are probably already worrying about what’s going to become of your bum (or is that just me?)
Author Archives for kathwalters
With 16 years experience as an editor and senior journalist in the mainstream press, I have an established track record for creating great content -- stories, links, tweets, blogs -- quickly and efficiently across a wide range of industry sectors. I am an editor, journalist and content marketer.
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The Leprechaun of Irish folk-law, a cobbler by trade, has a secret stash of gold. If you catch him, he has to tell you where to find the gold. Ideas are like that; if we catch them, they must reveal their gold. But like those little green men, they have an irritating way of disappearing when you need them most. They seem solid, but if we don't hold on to them for dear life, they are here one minute and gone the next.
When you are writing a book or blog, your mind will often lead you down a dead-end. Then it is time for you to apply the question cure. As a journalist, I immersed myself in questions every day. Questions sparks a story idea. How do start-up companies find money for growth? What led that company to go offshore? I'd ask everyone involved questions and their answers became the story.
Quoting is quite hard to do elegantly. Too much attribution is laborious to read. Too little is rude at best and borders on plagiarism. Not the attributes we want in sticky stories – which are memorable, inspiring, thought provoking.
Consummate authors scare us. They turn us from rabbits to turtles. Instead of tearing along, enjoying the wind in our hair and the exhilaration of taking great leaps forward, we toddle along heavily, sniffing the air for signs of danger and twitching back into our shell at every instant. How then can we unleash our inner rabbit, pirate or hard-boiled investigator? And does it even matter if we have a voice?
We all know people who are more worthy than us to write a book. They are our teachers, mentors, friends and colleagues. It's intimidating to know that these excellent people have chosen – for whatever reason – not to commit their ideas to paper.
Have you ever set aside a whole day, or scheduled a full morning to write, only to find that somehow, the whole time gets wasted? Ouch. You arrive at the allocated time, but you are sick. You sit down to write a chapter, but instead, you completely restructure your book outline, only to realise that the original one was better. You decide that mornings are your best writing time, but somehow you always have something else to do in the morning. Or you sit staring at your laptop, or page, and sink deep into the ‘I’m not good enough’ mindset.
When we write a book, and publish it, we commit ourselves big time. We put a stake in the sand. The sheer enormity of the commitment sends bolts of fear through our body. And Wissner-Gross explains why. We fear that we are closing off options and going against everything we believe to be intelligent. Publishing a book is both dumb and inhuman because it is: a physical process that tries to limit future freedom of action and increase constraints in its own future. Right?
Today, practicing gratitude is one of the most powerful ways I can transform my mood if I’m in a funk. Yes, it does take practice. Old habits die hard. For example, in the past, I could only be grateful for big-ticket items: a new job, for example. Today, I feel grateful for the small things: the smell of coffee, a smile, or someone offering me their seat of the crowded tram (come to think of it, that’s a big one!).
Having a strong view without offending someone is impossible. Perhaps you take exception to my last sentence. If so, I've proved my point. When we talk about what we know to be true, someone always disagrees. Most thought leaders are comfortable with this in their day-to-day work. They can look sceptics, doubters and critics in the eye and answer them with stories, and data and compassion. When it comes to committing your views to print, it's a different matter.