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The Extraordinary Business Book Club

Alison Jones, publisher and book coach, explores business books from both a writer's and a reader's perspective. Interviews with authors, publishers, business leaders, entrepreneurs, tech wizards, social media strategists, PR and marketing experts and others involved in helping businesses tell their story effectively.
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Jan 23, 2017

If you're struggling to write your book, here's an idea: try drawing it instead. That's how Heather McGowan, academic entrepreneur and futurist, gets started. 

'I don't usually start writing anything. I start drawing a lot of things. My starting process is: how would I put this on a single page so that people can understand it with very few words using shapes and different types of frameworks? I usually start with a series of frameworks that tell the story to me in my head and then after that I write.'

Visualising your ideas has a double benefit: for you as author, to help you get clear on what it is you're saying, how your ideas fit together and flow, but also for the reader. 

'When you look at text, you turn those texts into symbols that you store in your mind visually. When you look at a picture, you can be something like 30,000 times faster reading all the same information... if [blogs or books] have visuals in them, they are much more often read and understood than if they're just plain text because it breaks it up, it allows you to process things differently.'

And given the astonishing quantity of information that comes at us on a daily basis, demanding our attention - the equivalent of over 280 newspapers a day - this shortcut to communicating complex ideas is a powerful competitive advantage for writers who want to be heard.  

Heather and I also discuss the future of reading and writing and the skills we need to teach our young people to equip them for the future of work. A fascinating, thought-provoking episode.

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