A few words with Anne Miller

Word count: 578 words

Reading time: About 2.5 minutes

Here is another installment in my series of interviews with successful writers….

I’ve never met Anne Miller face to face -– although we did try to connect several times when I was in New York last autumn. But we’ve happily talked by phone, exchanged countless emails and read each other’s books. (Hers is the marvellous Metaphorically Selling.) In fact, Anne also wrote a handy booklet –- called 67 Tips for Presenting Like a Pro –- that goes as a bonus to anyone who buys the premium version of my book.

A former English teacher who became a sales trainer, Anne is obsessed with metaphor. I find many new writers tend to be a bit wary of this literary device. They edge around it as though it’s a wild beast inclined to bite them on the hand. If YOU feel the least bit nervous about metaphor, I urge you to read Anne’s book. Meanwhile, here’s an interview that will introduce her to you. You might also want to sign up for one of her free newsletters.

1. Can you briefly describe your writing day (how much time do you spend at it; where do you do it?) When I write my blog, newsletter or requested articles, I write at night and polish them the next day with a fresh eye. When I wrote my books, I would write on weekends for extended quiet time.

2. Which part of the writing process do you like best –- the thinking about it, the actual writing or the self-editing? And why? The actual writing. I like seeing it come to life.

3. Roughly how many words is your book, Metaphorically Selling, and how long did it take you to write it? Not sure on the word count, but it is 168 pages. I wrote it in three months but spent four months with an editor.

4. Do you think your interest in constructing metaphors and your knowledge of their importance makes it easier or harder for you to write? Much easier. I don’t have to wrestle with a beginning, a key point, headline, or close. I know I will use a metaphor, analogy or story and that technique will automatically make the writing more compelling.

5. I know you give a lot of presentations. Do you approach preparing for them as if it’s a “writing job” or do you tackle them in another way? I use one of your favorite techniques first: Mindmapping. [Ah, glad to hear it, Anne!] In fact, I mindmapped Metaphorically Selling chapter by chapter. I also file clip items I see that might be relevant and write down ideas that occur to me so I never really start with absolutely no ideas when I sit down to write.

6. What do you do to motivate yourself when you really, really, don’t feel like writing? A deadline always works. As well, visualizing the result rather than the process helps. Writing in small chunks or sections if it is a large project works. Rewarding myself for making progress: an ice cream soda, flowers, a new fashion item, going to a movie or art museum, etc.

7. Can you name one other author you really like to read? What do you particularly like about his/her work? If you mean for pleasure, I recently read Doris Kearns Goodwin’s Team of Rivals about Lincoln and his cabinet. She takes known history and makes it into a page-turner. So interesting, insightful, well-written. I loved it. If you mean business writing, I love Maureen Dowd: brilliant, savage, funny and very metaphorical!