Once is Not Enough: Or the Art of Repurposing Your Writing

I have never been a particularly gifted writer. It doesn’t come easily or naturally to me. In fact, I never had a teacher tell me, “You know, Cathy, you should think about a career in writing.” But here I am, a book coach writing blogs and books.

I’ve often said, “I don’t like writing, but I do like what having a book does for my career.” I’ve since heard that Dorothy Parker said, “I hate writing; I love having written.”

So, if I’m going to spend my creative energies in writing, I want them to count and count big! It should be no surprise that I’m a huge fan of the strategy of repurposing your writing.

If you think about it, as a professional or thought-leader, you are selling your IP—your intellectual property. And you can repackage it in many different mediums: speaking, writing, training, consulting, coaching.

And in writing your content, you can publish in many forms and formats: blogs, articles, books, training materials.

Let’s say that you’ve just written a weekly post of 350 – 800 words. Just consider all the purposes for that bit of IP. The blog could become part of your next book (as I’m doing here). It could be incorporated in a new training program. You could tailor it for a specific industry publication, or generalize it for multiple industries. You could write it for staff, or change it up for managers or senior leadership.

Similarly, a new exercise you develop for a client training program could be repackaged and used as a series of shorter blogs, or incorporated into your book. Or, if you’ve just published a book, you could extract 350 – 800 word chunks for a blog post.

When moving from one genre to the next, you’ll need to see what works and what doesn’t. For turning training materials into a book you’ll need to flesh out the stories or the narrative that wasn’t written. In turning a short blog into a longer academic article you’ll likely add research, cite sources, and beef up the content. If you move from a blog to a training session you’ll need to consider the elements of engagement and interaction to make your point of learning sticky.

If you’ve put blood, sweat, and tears into your writing as I do, then repurposing your writing is a way to ensure you’re squeezing the maximum benefits from your labor.


This post is excerpted from Cathy Fyock’s forthcoming book, Blog2Book

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