Write A Book – Be An Expert

“Write a book and get recognized as an expert.” How many times have you heard that? Hundreds? Thousands? It is a fact that people acknowledge you as the expert when you have put your knowledge in print. It could be a book, a column, a booklet or a white paper that has been published. If people find what you wrote helpful to them, you become an expert!

The good news is you can write about anything and become an expert. It doesn’t necessarily need to be something you know right now. Yet, I do encourage my writers to write about what they know as it is the easiest way to write your first book. It is important to write about what you know if you are promoting your business and want your clients to recognize you as an expert in your business.

Yet, I have learned from my clients that you can write about what you don’t know and be highly successful at it. Here are some tips to get any writer started writing about what he or she doesn’t know.

1. Have a passionate idea. Some of my clients wanted to do something different: Write a Zen book, a comic book, and produce a positive, motivational rap music CD. These passionate ideas had a thread of relationship to their business, yet they were obsessed with creating these projects. And that is the key: You have to want it so bad that it becomes an obsession. You think about it day and night and you know you will not rest until you do it.

2. Research your idea. Get some basic ideas and resource information by doing research. For many writers this is not fun: Then get a college student to do it for you. Tell the student what information you need to get started. For example, the comic book author would want to see if anything like an educational comic book for adults has been done before in the same topic she has chosen. She will want to check out comic book publishers and their criteria. Also, find some articles on comic book publications and “how to” articles. You can use the Internet, the library, and even the bookstore to get the information you need.

3. Find and ask the experts to help you. “Flattery will get you anywhere,” the saying goes. Experts love to hear that their ideas are helpful. They are willing to help you if you ask. For example, the author who wanted to create a comic book knew nothing about how to do that. She met someone who was a graphic designer. She told him about her dream to create her comic book. The designer was excited about it and showed her his drawings. Collaboration was born to create a comic book. Just keep on asking people who you know that can help you with your idea. The Law of Attraction will take over and in no time you will have the right person to help you write your book. Other ways are to visit networking groups or visit organizations that are related to your topic.

4. Go to seminars or take classes. There are many great writing seminars and classes available to learn more about your subject. We even have Internet online classes and teleseminars we can take without even leaving our house. Learning in an environment with other students is a valuable opportunity to make new like-minded friends. So don’t be a wallflower and keep to yourself. Share your ideas and be actively involved in the class so people will get to know you. Class participants could give you some great ideas for your book, especially if you are writing on a new topic and gathering information for your book.

5. Be an eagle-eye observer. Pay attention to what is going on around you. Read everything with an eagle eye. What are the latest, hottest topics? Do they fit your criteria? Is it something you might want to write about? Start watching TV differently–instead of just for entertainment watch special shows that give you information and news that might perk your interest in writing a book. My rap music CD client wanted to produce a positive rap CD to reach young adults. She began observing Gospel rap musicians and listening to music that had a positive influence. Observe other people’s point of view. Keep your eyes open and watch people in their daily lives.

So by following these five simple steps–passionate idea, research, ask the experts, take classes, and be an eagle eye observer–you can write about what you don’t know. Remember you must be passionate about what you want to write, set up a writing plan, follow the plan, take action and write every day. In no time you will have written your book that makes you the expert.

Copyright 2007, Joan Clout-Kruse. All rights reserved.

Lesson Planning – The Art of Organization

Lesson planning can be an art form, if done properly. For too many teachers, lesson planning can be the black hole of a week – taking several hours out of planning time. Or leaving no planning time, so the lessons, teacher editions, materials, etc. are toted home to be done in front of Thursday night primetime television. For seasoned teachers, the lessons may not take as long, but they are stale. These lessons need some serious updating. For all teachers, new and veteran, I encourage a plan of action to envision interesting lessons that benefit the students, but are not time consumers to create.

Make sure to start each plan with the same lesson plan template. Many free templates can be found online. Purchasing a lesson plan book is also an option. Or creating your own template in a word processing program could also be done. Whichever way you decide, make sure to stick to that template each and every time to create a few shortcuts each week. After deciding upon the template, make sure you have all the necessary teacher editions, materials, and resources in one spot to create the plans. If you are constantly moving from location to location to pick up and return materials and books, you are wasting valuable work time.

When you are ready to begin planning, use a master calendar to input any major events or changes to the schedule for that week, such as student birthday celebrations or assemblies. Next, add in the specials schedule. After that, place all weekly recurring events into your plans. This could be lunch (everyday), silent reading time, weekly assessments, daily read alouds, morning work, etcetera. Now, when you look at your plans, you should have only chunks to fill in. Immediately, you have created only pieces in which to fill in, and you have only been working for ten minutes!

Finally, the last step in your planning is to quickly review materials, websites, resources, and old lessons from each chapter or section of the subject area you will be covering that week. From there, you should have a pretty good idea of how to cover the material. You may need to review your basal and look for new ideas that have not been tried yet. Or, you may look for a new interactive whiteboard lesson that is already created for the concept you will be teaching. Attempt to position in at least one new idea from previous years’ lessons for a little variety for yourself and for the students. Each subject area should only take 10 minutes or so to create if you are quickly staying on task, and not getting bogged down in scouring every website on the internet. In total, your plans should take no longer than 30-45 minutes to complete. If you are spending more time than that, you are not using time effectively, or are not keeping good files of materials previously used. If the lessons are taking considerably less time, maybe they need to be a little more creative or interactive. You want to be excited to teach them!

Lesson planning should not be a chore that is dreaded each week, but rather an exciting opportunity to create lessons that involve students. It should instill a love for learning and teaching for all involved. Have fun and get planning!

Advantages to Converting to Education IRA

Converting to Education IRA may be one of the best things you can do when you are aiming to have some money saved up for your child. Converting to education IRA is not at all that difficult, so you might find these advantages motivating enough for you.

It is deducted from your IRA for as much as $2000 a year for your child’s higher education expenses and needs. Before 2002, the deduction’s maximum is at $500 annually only. Under the category of higher education expenses and needs are tuition fees, books and other things that will be needed for tertiary education.

Tax-Free Deductions from your IRA

The best thing about converting to Education IRA is that when you choose to withdraw the money at any time your child will need it, there will be no 10% deduction on your IRA. This is very convenient since this can be considered a very liquid asset.

Some financial instruments with great returns have humongous tax deductions. With converting to Education IRA, you will be less inclined to lose money or time because of tax and you will find your money used purely for the educational needs in the future.

Complementary to IRA of your spouse

The factors that affect the Education IRA that will be required from you will be complementary to the rates of your spouse and sometimes even the grandparents of your child, the beneficiary. This way, when you are converting to it, you will find that there will be more opportunity for synergy.

Ensured to be exclusive for school expenses

The good thing you can experience when you are converting is that you will find that the money will be used solely for educational purposes only. Some other financial savings receptacles are less strict when it comes to withdrawing the money. No matter what happens, you will find the education of your child secure since it will not be used for other things.

Ample window of time for your child beneficiary

You can start filling up as early as the child is born when you are converting to Education IRA. Your child can avail of the money in the Education IRA when he or she reaches the age of 18. This benefits from it for your child will terminate when the beneficiary reaches the age of 30. Twelve years is considerable an ample window of time with which the beneficiary can finish his or her education.

Flexibility and Openness to Converting to Other Educational Plans

If you think you have made a mistake converting to Education IRA and find that other financial instruments will work best for you, you can convert it at any time without really having to suffer. Sure, there may be some paper work involved but not so much to the point that you will be completely deprived of the right to handle your money effectively.

Converting to Education IRA is a major decision. It will really affect the way your college education savings for your child will be administered, so make sure that you weigh properly the pros and cons of converting to Education IRA. Reduce the need to convert needlessly by really nailing down which of the available methods are going to work for you best.