One of our goals in writing a book is to share a message that has meaning to us and, we believe, will have meaning to others.
One of the early decisions to be made is how to organize the material.
How did you realize what your message was?
Did you read something that brought your experiences together for you, and made everything make sense?
Or did you review journal entries you had made over a period of time and synthesize an overarching statement that you recognized as your underlying motivation?
Both ways of recognizing your message are valid. The way that you reached your message is the best way for you to present it to your audience. You will be able to clearly explain the process you went through in a way that ‘speaks’ to your audience and helps it all make sense to each of them.
These ways of organizing information are referred to as deductive and inductive reasoning. With deductive reasoning, you start with a general statement and move to specifics. With your book, you would start with your message statement – perhaps with the quote that led you to say to yourself, “Wow! That’s what I have been doing. That’s what I want for myself and others.”
You would follow this discussion with examples of different experiences you had over the years – either in your own life or in your work with clients – that support your belief in that message statement. A relationship that supported your personal growth. A classmate who challenged you every step of the way. A job that built your leadership skills. A client who grew and blossomed with your support.
With inductive reasoning, you start from the specifics and derive a general rule. Basically, you turn your book around. You discuss different important events in your life, and the lessons you learned from each. A subject in school that intrigued you from the first day of class. An author who spoke directly to your heart. The recognition of the ways you help others, that are so automatic you can almost do them in your sleep.
You conclude by looking at how each experience impacted on your belief system, and pull together a statement that summarizes your message.
While the organization of your book is an early decision you will need to make, don’t let worry about this stop you from starting. The easiest way to begin is by making short notes about the topics you want to include. As you go over these with your book coach, your best way to organize the information will quickly become apparent. It will be a natural part of how you share the information, although you may not be able to recognize it on your own.
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