'I think it's kind of a miracle. How can a human mind... all by itself, come up with an idea it never had before? You know, in a dialogue, I can understand how I can get a new idea from you, but how can I get a new idea from myself? That's amazing.'
So much of writing is about trust - trusting yourself, that you will find something worth saying; trusting that the words will come and that others will find something of value. If you can't trust yourself to take that first step, you'll never write anything.
Peter Elbow knows this from experience. Having been shut down by a supercilious tutor at university he ended up dropping out of graduate school, simply unable to write the papers he was required to submit. But what he discovered in the process was to transform his own writing and that of the thousands of people he's taught it to since then - free-writing.
What's more, he discovered that free-writing isn't simply a tool for getting unstuck, it produces writing with more energy and clarity. This episode might just change your life.
When we speak about accountability in business, very often the context is negative. It's about consequences and blame. But if we see accountability as ownership, it's a radically different, more empowering concept. That's what Brian Moran and Michael Lennington discovered, and they drew on their long-standing accountability to each other as business and writing partners to bring out the full significance of that understanding in their new book.
This week's conversation is not only a fascinating rehabilitation of a tricky term, but also a masterclass in writing collaboration.
Put an author in front of schoolchildren and you can guarantee that before too long, one of them will ask: 'Where do you get your ideas?'
It's a good question, and one that's just as important for business book writers. In this week's 'best bits' episode we look back over recent conversations to see, well, where DO authors get their ideas?
(So if someone asks you that question from now on, you can tell them: The Extraordinary Business Book Club podcast.)
With insights from: Cathy Rentzenbrink, Robert Kelsey, Jinny Uppal, John Howkins, Christian Busch, David Grayson, Helen Beedham and Catherine Stothart.
For Robert Kelsey, writing is an essential business skill in the knowledge economy. And he won't accept excuses. In this conversation he shares his fear-free approach to effective business communication, and his tips for getting started and keeping going.
We also talk about the new landscape of publishing, and the extraordinary resilience of the printed book.
Energising and insightful listening.