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Posts by Karin Wiberg

Birthday Reflections on Finding Your ...

Birthday Reflections on Finding Your True Self

My heart broke when I saw the news of Ursula K. Le Guin’s death this week at age 88. As a child I found her fantasy and science fiction writing mysterious and subtle and confusing all at once. Her Earthsea trilogy had the greatest influence on me, and the first in that series, A Wizard […]

The Automatic Table of Contents: Your...

The Automatic Table of Contents: Your Secret Writing Weapon

You start with a writing plan—maybe it’s a mind map, maybe a detailed point-by-point outline, maybe just five key points and a few jotted subpoints. It’s your choice, depending on whether you’re a pantser or a plotter, whether you’re doing self-contained or emergent writing. Now you start writing. As the pages grow (because you are super-committed […]

How to Generate and Organize Ideas wi...

How to Generate and Organize Ideas with Affinity Mapping

So you have an idea for a book. You can see your title and your first paragraph AND NOTHING ELSE. The rest is an uncooperative snarl of shifting concepts that refuse to jump onto the screen and fall into a neat outline so you can begin. Enter affinity mapping, a quick way to brainstorm, categorize, […]

The Most DANGEROUS—and Promising—Time...

The Most DANGEROUS—and Promising—Time of the Year

We now enter the most treacherous time of the year—the time of performance reviews and goalsetting, self-recrimination and unrealistic expectations, flagellation for goals forgotten and determination to try again. It’s a lotta pressure, folks. Regardless of corporate HR schedules, there is something about the season itself—the end of the year, the long dark nights of […]

Find Your Voice to Engage Your Reader...

Find Your Voice to Engage Your Readers

“Find your voice,” writers are often admonished. We think we know what voice is, yet somehow it can be elusive. So let’s consider voice as it concerns your business book. Voice and its value Voice is the unique blend of elements—style, syntax, diction—that gives your writing a certain sensibility. It makes your writing distinct, individual, […]

Lessons from a Poetry Submissions Par...

Lessons from a Poetry Submissions Party

This past Saturday, I spent the afternoon with my writing group submitting poetry to literary magazines. While many of us poets publish at least some work on our personal blogs, literary journals are the best way to increase the visibility of our poems and, of course, to build credentials toward one day publishing a “real” […]

Purpose: The Starting Place for Strat...

Purpose: The Starting Place for Strategic Alignment

When I talk with potential book clients, I begin by asking, Why do you want to write a book? What is your purpose in writing it? What do you want it to do for you? A book may support their business purpose, or their personal purpose—and ideally it supports both. And of course the book […]

Considering Scrivener? Here’s M...

Considering Scrivener? Here’s My (Cautious) Endorsement

If you’re working on a book, at some point you will curse the clunkiness of Word (too many clicks!) or the inadequacy of Google Docs (not enough functionality!). As your manuscript grows and morphs into sections and chapters, you will think, “There’s got to be a better way.” If you hang around other writers, you […]

My Top Business Writing Tips

My Top Business Writing Tips

Lately I’ve been fielding invitations to speak about general business writing—from talking with an NC State MBA class about making a strong business case to speaking with nonprofit arts organizations about writing strong grant applications. I realized I have some common principles for business writing that I consistently offer as feedback. First and foremost, whether […]

Crafting Strategy: Visionary, Intuiti...

Crafting Strategy: Visionary, Intuitive, or Both?

In my first real corporate management job, I was tasked with guiding our operations leadership team through a strategic planning process. One of my older, wiser colleagues gave me a 1987 Harvard Business Review article called “Crafting Strategy” by Henry Mintzberg. His article resonated strongly with me and became a touchstone over the years. As […]

Avoiding the Oops: 7 Speaking Tips fr...

Avoiding the Oops: 7 Speaking Tips from the Pros

If you’ve ever blushed at a professional mistake, how much would you give to avoid a repeat performance? Whatever your profession, it helps to have colleagues you can consult and learn from. I have an editor for business writing and a small group of writers for poetry critique. For speaking, I attend a Toastmasters club […]

The Secret to Earning Your Readers’ T...

The Secret to Earning Your Readers’ Trust

Welcome to guest blogger Rita Lewis! I recently wrote about the types of support you might need while working on a book project. If you hire only one person to help you, my top recommendation is an editor—and Rita is my editor, so I am delighted to have her sharing her advice here. When she’s […]