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  • How To Choose The Right Topic To Write About

    Choosing the right topic to write about is the first step to success, when writing books, blog posts, or speeches for content marketing & personal branding.

    Here’s a simple, 3-step system I developed to help my book coaching clients break the bonds of procrastination.

    It’s based on a simple PDF worksheet you can download and fill out with pen or pencil, or you can simple use the notes feature on your iPhone or iPad.

    Progress builds on progress. The sooner you get started, the sooner you can expand on your idea, test your assumptions, and move forward to completion.

    3 steps to success

    Here’s what’s involved:

    1. List 8 possible topics for your book. Working as quickly as possible, jot down 8 possible topic ideas. Avoid censoring yourself. Just provide enough information to indicate the topic and approach you want to write about.
    2. Select the 3 most practical topics to write about. Next, narrow down your original 8 topics to the the top 3 in terms of practicality. You can define “practicality” any way you want, i.e.,  size of potential market, ease of writing the book, the presence or absence of competition, etc. Work as quickly as possible; there will be opportunities later to refine and test your choices.
    3.  From the 3 finalists, identify the best possibility. Without looking back to your 8 original choices, select the “most practical” topic from your 3 finalists. This will be the  “working topic” to explore further, in terms of marketing, content, and relevance to your personal brand building success.

    Let simplicity overcome your Inner Resistance

    The power of the 3-step system is its simplicity. It’s 3-step simplicity gives it the power to overcome the procrastination caused by complexity and options.

    Getting started is the hardest part of any project, especially projects that can make a major change in your life.

    As described in Dan Schawbel’s interview with Seth Godin and my previous Personal Banding Blog posts about Steven Pressfield, and Scott Belsky, there’s a universal Inner Resistance, or Lizard Brain, that creates a tendency to avoid change.

     Your Inner Resistance loves complexity and options!

    Your Inner Resistance loves complicated first steps because they provide the justification it needs to prevent you from taking immediate action. It’s a lot easier to put off a complex, presumably difficult and time-consuming task than it is to put off a simple task.

    But, simple first steps can often sneak in under your Inner Resistance’s radar.

    Simple steps build momentum

    Simplicity encourages action….and action paves the way for more action.

    Progress, like narrowing down ideas and focusing on the most practical topic for further development and testing, establishes forward momentum, momentum that can overcome your Inner Resistance.

    Each step you take, from that point on, contributes additional momentum that can carry you from reader to author, audience to podium, or client to mentor.

    Considerations and tips

    Obviously, you wouldn’t want to rush out and sign a book contract to write or self-publish a book on the basis of filling out the Choosing a Topic For Your Book worksheet.

    But, it is a first step, and it’s an easy one to take. And, as you review you’re first responses, it’s likely to bring up additional alternatives, options, and questions to consider.

    There’s little or no commitment or risk; if you don’t like the way your first worksheet turned out, download and print out another copy and fill it out all over again!

    Don’t throw out your first version, though! Save it, so you can review it in the future, when book, blog post, or speech ideas that didn’t survive the first cut may spark ideas for your next project–or future projects.  (That’s why I encourage you to print your worksheet on 3-hole paper and save them in a 3-ring binder.)

    Don’t just think about writing a book, and don’t over-complicate the issues involved in getting started. Download the Choosing the Right Topic worksheet (no registration required), grab a pen or pencil, and take a stab at choosing the right topic to write about!

    Author:

    Roger C. Parker is an author, book coach, designer, consultant who works with authors, marketers, & business professionals to achieve success with brand-building books & practical marketing strategy. He helps create successful marketing materials that look great & get results, and can turn any complex marketing or writing task into baby steps. Visit his blog to learn more or ask a question.

    Roger C. Parker is an author, book coach, designer, consultant who works with authors, marketers, & business professionals to achieve success with brand-building writing & practical marketing strategy. He helps create successful marketing materials that look great & get results, and can turn any complex marketing or writing task into baby steps.

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