Writing Advice

Writing Advice, Guest post by Rosanne Liesveld @iReadBookTours

Many people have asked how I decided to write a book. The truth is, I didn’t decide to write a book. I decided to publish writings I originally had no intention of putting into a book. I retrofitted my daily Facebook posts from the 366 days after my husband died unexpectedly into The Collision of Grief and Gratitude.  

I often think about the power of taking what was not intended for publication and then putting it out there as a writer. Many of you may have written thousands of words around hundreds of topics that could make powerful and compelling books. Don’t dismiss that thought.

In some ways, you would think that retrofitting content created for another context is the easiest way to write a book. And in fact, in some ways, it is. The material has obviously been written. You won’t be sitting at your desk into the wee hours of the morning facing writing deadlines. No. You will have other challenges.

Writing Advice, Guest post by Rosanne Liesveld @iReadBookTours
Because the material wasn’t originally written for the eyes of the people who might purchase and read your book, you haven’t written with them in mind. Clearly, my book was written more out of a state of emotional need to express both my grief and my gratitude than to connect with, encourage, challenge, or inspire anyone else. Honestly, the comments to my posts when they were originally published on Facebook many times buoyed me through long, tearful nights.

But writing through tears and angst and grief doesn’t always produce very sophisticated writing. I intentionally did not correct my dangling prepositions or misspelled words in my original posts (interesting that Facebook does not auto correct) because I so much wanted the words to flow out of my heart and communicate my utmost feelings of grief and gratitude. Just know that if you take existing content and put it into a book, you will have a lot of heavy lifting to make it readable to the more discerning reader’s eye.  

And yet, because I so intentionally wrote out of my ethos rather than my intellect, the feelings jumped off the page in a way that seemed to cut deep into the soul of many people. I changed very little of that in the editing. Of course, it’s not easy to keep the soul of the message while cleaning up the writing itself so it is acceptable for publishing but fight to keep the honesty and the emotion. I am not sure the book could ever have had the same depth of passion if I had not written it first before deciding to publish it.

All of this to say to writers, don’t be afraid to look at your past writings.  Know that they will need a lot of work if you ever decide they are book worthy. But also know they may be more powerful than any book you intentionally set out to write.

Writing Advice, Guest post by Rosanne Liesveld @iReadBookTours
After the unexpected death of her husband, Curt, Rosanne Liesveld went on a year-long quest to find a glimmer of gratitude each day. She posted her daily journey on Facebook. Those posts become her book, The Collision of Grief and Gratitude: A Pursuit of Sacred Light.

As a coach and teacher for more than thirty years with the Gallup Organization, Rosanne has helped people discover and lean into their strengths. She now speaks to groups about how to build stronger relationships, and live life with more intention and gratitude.

Connect with the author: Facebook

Rosanne Liesveld is also the author of Teach with Strengths: How Great Teachers Inspire Students, a book she did set out to write in a more conventional way with JoAnn Miller and Jennifer Robinson. That book was published in 2005 by Gallup Press.



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