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Designated Editor Writes a Book | Retreat Weekend

Book retreat weekend Designated Editor

Book writing goes much faster without distractions and some plush surroundings.

Book Writing Requires Retreat Weekend

Room 202 was a second attempt at the ideal sanctuary to remove distractions and stimulate my book writing. With a sliver of a Bay view, the fireplace blazing, and light streaming in the room’s four windows, it’s nearly everything I was looking for.

I knew I had to get away, despite all that needed to be done at the farmhouse.

Hurricane Sandy had created quite a stick harvest – tree debris strewn everywhere – not to mention the house’s 43 windows still need to be cleaned.

And the daylight shining in spotlighted where the floors had accumulated dust, grass clippings, spider webbings, and more.

For sure my husband was going to guilt me about getting away, especially since the roof of the big barn looked like a giant had peeled a big hole back from the tin roof, just like we used to poke a hole in the bottoms of the chocolates when the Valentine’s box didn’t come with a map. No treats inside the barn, Sandy, but thanks for the big hole in the roof. Instead, Bob’s parting words before closing the side door and heading off to work: “Happy writing!”

Instead, the deal I had found wasn’t available for Friday night. I rearranged my Monday tasks to Saturday morning: graded all the papers, set up next assignments, readings, and announcements for my Event Planning & New Media class. Not quite ready to write one of the 4 chapters I’ve tasked myself with, but at greater ease with the decks fully cleared for the next 2 days.

Considering Writing a Book? Dial into Lisa Tener’s Free Teleseminar on March 19.

Bristol Harbor Inn offers staycation deals in November and December. Bob suggested going someplace more interesting, but 30 minutes from home removes the temptation to explore. I’m here to dive into my book. The Saturday-Sunday night stay rang up to just over $200, with gas fireplace, $50 dining credit, and continental breakfast each day.

Room 202 is in the front of the building with 2 south-facing windows and 2 street-facing. The only change I’d make is more of an easy chair, but the chair I’m in is likely better, less tempting to fall asleep in!

No wifi in the room is also a blessing. Only hardwire, and I do have my laptop, although I’m finding writing on my iPad less work-like.

A few of the secrets from Lisa’s class that have really helped

  • Make the space in your life for your book.
  • Let writing your book be a fun activity, not something you dread.
  • Imagine your readers and how your book will resonate with them, change their lives.

The most surprising aspect so far is how easily it’s coming together, if I create the time and space for it.

And, this experience has transferred to other aspects of my life and business. Most surprising example, getting away while there’s so much work to be done. Fortunately, Bob has become adept at fixing barn roofs; the sticks will be there when I get back and feel like being outside; and I’m spending less than I budgeted and will bring the house cleaners in for an even bigger reward.

Designated Editor Writes a Book | Where to Begin

In my quest to share my insights and expertise in a more structured format, I’m working on a book. But not without help! Lisa Tener’s class is helping to keep me on-target for a first draft in 8 weeks.

See my earlier post on overhauling the Designated Editor brand.

I like to say “Websites age in dog years.” Due to styles, usability preferences, and technology they start to look stale after about 3 years. Or, after 3 years you should be planning a makeover, one of the services Designated Editor provides to clients (shameless plug).

But perhaps the same is true for brands? From when I first launched Designated Editor, 4 years and 2 website designs ago, much has changed. First, when I left The Globe, only newspapers seemed to be headed toward a sinkhole. Now we’ve experienced the Great Recession. While the economy was down, I was filling up on knowledge, starting with SEO and then Social Media, always evolving, but I’m evolving with it.

Part of that evolution is taking my insights and creating a guide to jump-start brands’ new media efforts. The book takes a holistic view of new media, not simply social media. If you’ve been a regular Designated Editor blog reader you’ll find several themes, among them:

  • Search and Social are morphing
  • In-person interactions and social media complement each other
  • Search should be – and is increasing so – about fulfilling user needs

All is not without controversy: Years ago an SEO expert left a comment that challenges my downplay of link-building. Since then search experts know: It’s not about building links but building reputation.

In the Designated Editor brand overhaul, I’m relying on key folks for support, Lisa Tener being first and foremost as I eagerly put my thoughts to paper. If you’re considering writing a book, or completing any major project, here are a few recent tips from Lisa’s workshop that you may find helpful:

Book-writing tips from Lisa Tener

  • Put the book first
  • Beware of new must-dos that may crop up
  • Delegate more
  • Let go of your ego: focus on what you can give, not how others will see it.

Considering Writing a Book? Dial into Lisa Tener’s Free Teleseminar on March 19.

Another tip from a classmate: Don’t get hemmed in by technology. It’s OK to write on your iPhone or iPad and email yourself the document. I write on the sunporch with my iPad, far from my desk, which prohibits interruptions like checking email and answering calls.