the podcast recap episode with aj & rory vaden

Ep 175: How to Write a Great Book with Allison Fallon | Recap Episode

Listen to the episode below

On today’s special recap episode, Rory and AJ revisit their interview with Allison Fallon, author of The Power of Writing It Down: A Simple Habit to Unlock Your Brain and Reimagine Your Life.

Rory and AJ each share their top three takeaways and share what they found most valuable from their conversation.

They each emphatically agree on the notion that great writing comes from great thinking, which forms a key point in Allison’s book, and they note that the biggest obstacle to great writing is writer’s block.

AJ remarks on Allison’s advice to get past your writer’s block by prioritizing the reader and asking yourself how you can provide value to them and Rory shares his enthusiasm for Allison’s assertion that, if you have a valuable idea, it means you have a responsibility to share it and put it out into the world.

Join us for an informative recap with lots of special comments and insights!

Key takeaways from this episode

  • Rory and AJ each share their top three takeaways from their interview with Alison Fallon.
  • Why great writing comes from great thinking.
  • Overcoming writer’s block: why most great thinking never turns into great writing.
  • How Brand Builders Group helps with thinking and conceptualizing your book.
  • The different types of copy and editing that go into the publishing process, from content editing to copy editing and copywriting.
  • How to get past your writer’s block by prioritizing providing great value for your reader.
  • How just asking yourself questions is a simple way to get out of writer’s block.
  • Find out why the best writing style is one that is valuable to the reader.
  • A reminder that your own distribution plan is more important than your publisher’s.
  • The concept of being the steward of an idea, making you accountable for putting it out into the world.

Tweetable Moments

“Great writing is not about great grammatical structures and commas and periods. That’s what editors are for. Great writing is about great thinking.” —  @aj_vaden [0:02:38]

“One of the ways you can start providing great value is to start answering valuable questions that your audience has.” —  @aj_vaden [0:07:12]

About Allison Fallon

Allison Fallon is an author, speaker, and founder of Find Your Voice, a company dedicated to training and inspiring anyone who wants to use writing for transformation. In addition to her books Packing Light and Indestructible, she has helped leaders of multinational corporations, stay-at-home moms, Olympic gold medalists, recovering addicts, political figures, CEOs, and prison inmates use the Find Your Voice method as a powerful tool to generate positive change in their lives. 

Links Mentioned

Allison Fallon

Allison Fallon on Instagram

The Power of Writing it Down Website

The Power of Writing it Down

FBind your Voice on Facebook

Rory Vaden

Rory Vaden on LinkedIn

Rory Vaden on Twitter

AJ Vaden on LinkedIn

AJ Vaden on Twitter

Take the Stairs

Brand Builders Group

Brand Builders Group Free Video Short Course

Brand Builders Group Free Call

Brand Builders Group Resources

The Influential Personal Brand Podcast on Stitcher

The Influential Personal Brand Podcast on Apple

Welcome back to the influential personal brand recap. I am joined today by my wife and CEO. AJ Vaden she’s back back with us. She’s been, she’s been gone for a couple of weeks, but great to have her back. We’re talking about Alison Fallon and breaking down the interview that we had, and we’re just going to share our kind of top three and three. So since you’ve been gone awhile, I’ll, I’ll extend you the floor for. Okay, good. So my first, my first kind of recap, takeaway or highlight that I jotted down was this a comment that she made very early in the interview and it kind of set the tone for the rest of the interview, in my opinion, which is great writing comes from great thinking. And I thought it was really good cause she was like, great writing is not about great grammatical structure and commas and periods. And she goes, that’s what editors are for great writing is about great thinking. And I love that because it really tied in to a couple of other things that popped up that I’m sure we’ll discuss later. She said, but the challenge is, is that most great thinking never turns into great published books because of our own writer’s block. And I thought that was really well connected because I think so often we don’t think, well, we’re not good writers. And we think about being a good writer is in the grammatical sense, not in the thinking sense. And so we go, well, I’m just not a great writer. I, you know, I don’t know where all the commas go or I don’t know how to get my thoughts on paper. And I just love it. It’s like, well, it’s not about any of that. It’s that great writing comes down to great thinking. And then you work with editors to take care of the rest and what an amazing relief of going. Oh, there is a way for me to get my thoughts into a book and create this established thought pattern that I so believe in and get it out into the world, but it doesn’t require me being such a writer and the, in the, I dunno, traditional sense. So I just thought that was pretty revolutionary in my opinion. Yeah. I had never heard anyone say that. That was my first takeaway too. I thought that was so profound. I wasn’t even copying off your paper. I came up with that legitimately as it may take away. And there were, there’s a couple things that stuck out to me cause you know, people ask us all the time to say, Hey, this brand builders group helped people write books. And the answer is yes. And they’ll say, well, do you publish books? And it’s like, no. And we do edit them. No, I think what we help with the thinking we help with the organization. That’s why I like it so much. Cause it’s, it’s related to what our skill are. Right. We actually farm out the editing and the publishing to our implementation Partners. Yeah. And We also are not the pros on how to design the book and how to get it distributed and warehouse and all that stuff. We’re good at. We’re good at the, and then we’re good at the selling, but all the actors outsource the production part. We have to outsource the rest of the rest of it. But yeah, that’s super powerful. The other thing that I think is, is a worthwhile you know, lesson here that I’ve learned over the years is there’s a lot of different types of writers, writing and writers and editors. There are content editors, which like, you know, I think of Marianne who is via my content editor, our content editor for the books. There’s a lot of hands going around right now. Yeah. Hands, but they’re just listening. So they can’t, they can’t, they can’t all, not everybody can see, see that. But you’ve got content editing, which is really about the thinking and the organization. And then you’ve got more of like copy editing, which is like the commas and the periods. And then, then you have copywriting, which is different. That’s more of like the marketing and sales copy that would go on the jacket. And those are a couple of different types of skillsets and different types of people. If you’re thinking about launching a book or doing a book that, you know, just to kind of think about that. So we both have the same first one. What was your second? My second one I’m kind of connected to that was around this writer’s block kind of concept and idea. And I’ll kind of say this again, but I wrote it down and the way that I translated what Allie said Alison, this year that Allie or Alison goes by Allie, Allie, I’ve got her in my mind is Allie. So Alison alley, but most great ideas never get published due to your own inability to get your great thoughts onto paper and most great ideas. Never turn into great books because of your own writer’s block. So in order to get past that, it’s really somewhat simple is that great content comes from trying to simply provide value to the end reader. So instead of thinking about yourself all the time of, well, what if no one likes this? Or what if it, no one buys this? Or what if me, me, me, you just stop that and you go, what would provide value to the person I’m trying to reach? What lesson have I learned that could, that could provide impact for someone else? What is something that I have done that I hope no one else ever does? So if I can share this and save you some time, heartache, trouble money, or this is something that I did do. So instead of just thinking about, well, what if it doesn’t hit the list? Or what if no one buys it? Or what if it’s not any good? What if no one likes it? What if people hate it, stop all that nonsense and just go, how do I provide great value? And one of the ways that you can start providing great value is just to start answering valuable questions that your audience has just go through. What are the questions that you wish you would have had the answers to back when, and start answering those and develop your content from there. And she goes just a simple way of getting out of writer’s block as you start answering questions. Thought that was brilliant. We talk a lot about that. But, and the context of a book about it was so helpful and simple, which is so important to all of you who are listening. You know, it’s funny, cause I think of myself more as a writer today, but so many people don’t think of themselves as a writer. And I never thought of myself as a writer and I was worried like, are they going to like my writing style into what you’re saying? The best writing style is just something that’s valuable to the reader, like who they don’t really care about the others. So I think that’s so good. My second takeaway was this a super quick little nugget that she said, which was, she said, think about what’s your favorite book and then who published it? And none of us would actually know the name Unless you’re a publisher, unless you’re a publisher. But even though I bet a lot of publishers yeah. They didn’t publish. And so I think, you know, we get caught up a lot of times and like who’s the publisher and you know that, and it’s like at the end of the day, it’s just what you’re saying. It’s how do I create a valuable book? I mean, the there’s there’s value. Each publisher has different values and there’s, you know, there’s pros and cons of, of different things. But at the end of the day, as, as the author, it’s your ideas that matter. And don’t get so hung up on whether it was self published, traditionally published, you know, vanity publishers, just like in between just create an awesome book and help help some people. So that was a great reminder. Yeah. Well that actually has a really good transition into my third and last point, which is when it comes to asking yourself, should I try to go the traditional route and try to get a traditional publisher to publish my book? Should I self publish it? Should I do this hybrid model? Like what’s more important, right. But which one should I really go for? And I loved what she said. She goes, well, it’s a really simple question. And remember to ask yourself this, what’s your favorite book. Okay. Now who published it? And if you don’t know, there’s your answer because it doesn’t really matter. And I think that’s really just kind of so awesome. I think we do get so hung up on that. And she said, the truth is, is that most great books. You never know who the publisher was because it doesn’t matter. It’s about the great content and truly what’s way more important than the type of publisher you have is your own ability to distribute the book. It’s your own personal distribution plan, which comes down to your platform, which is, well, how many people can you get it in front of, on your own without, depending on a publisher, because publishers don’t sell books, let’s just call that what it is. They’re publishers, they’re not marketers and they’re not sellers per se. They’re publishers. It’s going to be up to you anyways. So why not focus on that in the first place of going, how am I reaching people on my email list? Who am I speaking in front of? Who’s like, who subscribed to my podcast? Or how many podcasts am I on what’s my social media reach, but what, what platform do I have? What distribution do I have with that platform? And that’s the much more important question to ask versus who’s going to publish them. That’s such a, such a good reminder. Cause you think about it. You know, when you start on the journey, you think that the quality of the book determines the sales success of the book. And it’s not really that it, I mean, that’s a part of it, but it’s like the quality of the book is directly and in proportion to the number of people, the audience, the author can get in front of. Yeah. So that’s really good. But the, for me, the third takeaway was, was just kind of a different way of thinking about it. And she said, if you’ve got an idea that’s been gifted to you, you feel this prompting on your heart, this calling, the word that she used really stuck with me. She said, you are the steward of that idea. Like if you’ve been gifted, this, it now means that you are the steward of it. You, it is your responsibility. It’s your obligation. It’s your, it’s your duty, it’s your privilege to carry this idea and sort of, you know, birth it into the world. And that was just really powerful for me to go, okay, you know, you want to be a, a big author and you want to impact lives. But just the idea itself is something that you’re, you’re stewarding. And that, that means that somebody else out there needs that idea and you gotta be accountable for delivering that. So I love that beautiful stuff. Make sure that you’re listening, go back and listen to the episode. If you haven’t. Allie drops a lot of little nuggets and tidbits. And we really love her and recommend her for a couple of different things that we introduced clients to. But that’s all we’ve got for this recap edition of the influential personal brand podcast. Keep coming back. We’re here for you, cheering you on, see you next time.

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