'We’re designed as cyclical creatures, from the most basic microcycle of breathing in and out to the annual cycle of the seasons, and if the New Year to come is our time for resolutions and purposeful action, the days before it, these Twixtmas days, are a time for gathering our resources quietly, relaxing and massaging our tightly bunched cognitive muscles so that we’re ready to pick up the weight of the year again next week.'
It's too late to wish you happy Christmas, too early for Happy New Year (what day is it, anyway?), so here are some thoughts on making the most of the odd in-between days of Twixtmas - which might mean not doing very much at all.
There's also 10 fabulous 2021 business book recommendations from listeners, for when you're ready to pick up a business book again. (Don't leave it too long.)
What DO commissioning editors look for in business book proposals? Eloise Cook is the publisher responsible for Pearson's business list, and in this conversation she reveals what makes a proposal worth pursuing (and also what makes her quietly file it under B for Bin).
We also talk about the future for business books, and how authors extend their idea beyond the book to maximise engagement.
If you're planning to pitch a business book proposal, this is pure gold.
'No one wants to be preached at or talked down to, or made to believe it's fancier than it is. This is not rocket science. This is just good, plain common sense. You need a framework. There are lots of them out there. This is the one that works for me. And I think there are some good reasons it will work for you. And I'll just explain that to you.'
Discovering the 12-week year approach saved Trevor Thrall's career as an academic, and now he teaches it to other writers. In this conversation he tells me how it transformed his own writing, and how he's built the idea beyond the book into a community.
This system is GENIUS, and might just transform your writing life too...
'What's the worst that can happen?'
It might not sound like the most positive of mantras, but that simple question lies behind Sonya Barlow's astonishing success: one of 2020's Most Influential Women in Tech, a top 50 BAME entrepreneur, LinkedIn's Changemaker 2021 for Gender Diversity and Inclusion and Marie Claire's Future Shaper 2020.
Her determination to learn from failure and her remarkable resilience have not only driven her career as an entrepreneur, they're what made writing a book possible for someone who started to shake at the idea of writing 1,000 words.
In this conversation, she talks candidly about what it took to overcome that fear and write a book. Because if you want something badly enough, the worst that can happen is that you don't give it a go.