Thursday, July 01, 2010

The Book

I got the idea to write this book on April 29. I started the first chapter May 1. The goal was to have a first draft by end of June.

Now, 16,467 words later, I am 90-95% there. Didn't quite make the deadline, but got close enough. July will be for rounding up stray chapters and editing what I've got. I've also started researching what's already out there, and began looking at publishing options.

This is a book with a narrow audience. Business communicators, PR people and the like. It's the kind of book I personally would like to read -- observations and tips on effective writing and communications.

The cool thing about it is it brings together my two worlds -- performing and business -- something I've been doing a lot more of. "Leveraging," as they say, the performance stuff (acting, improv, Second City Training Center) to boost my creative portfolio and capabilities in business.

I haven't nailed down a title, other than conceptually. Lessons for business communicators from the world of acting? Trouble is, it's also lessons from playwriting and screenwriting and just stuff I observe from movies and TV. Lessons from theater, TV and film? Stage and screen? Everything I ever needed to know about business communications I learned on the stage? From stage to page? Something along these lines.

It's a little ironic, and telling, that my many hundreds of hours of acting/writing classes and training, along with auditions and rehearsals and shows and bookings have all led up to, not a stellar acting career, but back where I started. To the career path I set out on after college.

It's not a hard read. Less than 20,000 words, this kind of thing is sometimes known as an "airplane read." The chapters are short, full of anecdotes and stories, and the style is informal and approachable. Here are the chapters so far, in no particular order (I think it's the order in which I wrote them):

  • The Power of Emotion
  • Throw Out Your Baby
  • Find Your Own Process
  • Pet Peeves
  • Show, Don’t Tell
  • Barriers to Communication
  • Start with the Audience
  • Now it's Okay to Talk About Yourself
  • This Ain't Art ... and You're not Shakespeare
  • His Master's Voice
  • Blocked? Get Over It
  • Creating Cathedral Builders
  • Getting from Point A to Point B
  • Meetings Drive Productivity (No, Really!)
  • Plainly speaking
  • Be Funny
  • Screw Fear
  • Tell a Story
  • Is This Thing On?
  • Stand Outside Yourself
  • Be an Editor, Not a Jackass
  • Communications Drives Strategy

End of July I'd like to have a "finished" draft. Edited, clean and in order. (There may be a vacation in there, so I reserve the right to push this back to early/mid-August.) From there, I look to get the thing produced. There are so many options, and actual, traditional publishing seems the least appealing (and not just because it's also the least likely to happen).

I am proud.

1 comment:

will said...

wow! this is so great! I often read business books and have to do the conversion to how it applies to an actor.

I'd definitely be interested.