TBOWT 040 – TIPS and TRICKS for Finishing Your Manuscript with Cathy Fyock

by Peggy on February 9, 2015


Today we have Cathy Fyock as our guest. Cathy is a book coach specializing in helping authors complete their manuscript. She is the author of On Your Mark: From First Word to First Draft in Six Weeks. She has written six other books and is a keynote and seminar speaker, consultant, and expert on employment and workforce issues, using her books as a business development to promote and grow her business.
Cathy’s specialty is helping authors through the process of completing their manuscript. She works primarily with non-fiction and how-to writers.
Highlights of the Interview
Peggy: What is the most important thing writers should know before they begin writing their book?
Cathy: I believe that defining the purpose for the book in your business is the most important step, especially for experts and solopreneurs who intend to use their book as a part of their business development or delivery of services. Once that purpose is clearly articulated, the next step is in developing the thesis statement and defining the scope of the book.

Peggy: Once you define the scope of the book what is the most important next step?
Cathy: Begin to define the chapters of the book and collect data, other publications, and articles related to each chapter topic. These can be filed electronically on your computer or in paper file.
Peggy suggested a white board with Post It ® notes which can be sorted to fit the logical flow of information.
Peggy: Do you recommend working with an outline first?
Cathy: Yes. Working with an outline can help most people clarify the flow of information, and it also prevents authors from staring at a blank screen. Always start writing with your outline in front of you.
Peggy: How important is it to block out time to write and how often should I write?
Cathy: Instead of putting writing on your “to do” list, put it in your calendar. This allows you to give your full attention to writing during this block of time. Take time to notice what time slot seems to work best for writing. For some it may be in the morning, and for some it may be in the evenings. Schedule time on an on-going basis that is set aside just for writing.
Peggy: What happen when I get stuck? (Writer’s block)
Cathy: Start with the easiest chapter. That is usually not the first or last chapter. Those chapters are best written after the middle of the book is completed. Because the first chapter typically gives an overview of the entire book, while the last chapter provides a summary of the book, it is easier to write those chapters last.
Peggy: What about editing?
Cathy: Editing is one of the most important aspects of completing your manuscript. You should consider an editorial board to review your writing and give you feedback. Once you have done that, hiring a professional editor is the next important step.
Since your book will become a part of your “body of work” it should always be as professionally done as possible. That requires a professional editor.
As you edit your work, you will tend to see only what you intended to say, so don’t rely on your edit alone.
One additional note is that you should not edit until you’ve completed your first draft. Brain science tells us that creative writing and editing are two separate brain functions, so don’t try to write perfectly. Get it down, then let it rest, then edit it.
Peggy: What is your number one tip to listeners who are thinking about writing a book?
Cathy: Get started and if you don’t how to get started then hire a book coach to give you accountability and to help you focus on your book.
Peggy: What’s up next for Cathy?
Cathy: I am working on a new book, Hallelujah! An Anthem for Purposeful Work, with co-authors Lyle Sussman and Kevin Williamson, to be released in April 2015. I am also doing a workshop with Peggy on How to Write and Publish Your Book from A to Z on March 14, 2015 in Louisville, KY. You can register at http://businessofwritingsummit.com.
Anyone who would like to schedule a complimentary strategy session to discuss your book can do so by reaching out to me at Cathy@CathyFyock.com or by calling me at 502-445-6539. Also, let me know if you’d like to be on my newsletter to receive tips and ideas for authors, and to learn about retreats, workshops, webinars, and book launches. http://cathyfyock.com

To register for the workshop on March 19, 2015 go to http://busnessofwritingsummit.com
To talk to Peggy or Larry email us at peggy@tbowt.com or larry@tbowt.com . Signup for my newsletter at http://tbowt.com.

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