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5 Things I Learned About Marketing from Writing a Novel, Part 3

What lights your fire?

· B2B

Two weeks ago, on May 22, 2018, I officially published my debut novel. Writing and publishing The Reluctant Coroner was a frenetic, messy, wonderful process, and I learned a whole lot—especially the way writing and publishing a book correlates to B2B marketing. This is the third of five lessons about what I learned during the writing of The Reluctant Coroner.

Lesson 3: Find the right motivation.

I’ve had the idea for The Reluctant Coroner in my head for eight years. I signed up for National Novel Writing Month, where every November thousands of writers start writing their new novels and by the end of the month get 50,000 words closer to finishing. That first year, I didn’t even get past the first chapter. But I had the coroner’s name (Fenway Sorenson, at the time), the rich estranged father who’s a big Red Sox fan, and the identity of the murderer. (I didn’t even have the identity of the victim!)

And then… nothing. Years passed. And then Facebook, in the midst of some horrible Russian bot and fake news scandals, did something wonderful: it reminded me that I promised myself I’d write this book. Eight years ago today, the Facebook reminder said, you were super-excited about writing this murder mystery. (Well, that’s paraphrasing.) I realized that I had finished my creative writing degree almost twenty-five years ago and had nothing more than a few half-finished novels and a couple of published short stories to show for it. My life was speeding by, and I still hadn’t written a novel.

That lit a fire under me, and seven weeks after seeing that Facebook reminder, I completed my first draft.

With B2B marketing, passion and motivation are equally important. It turns out that people produce higher quality work when they believe in the products they’re marketing. I’ve spent most of my professional career in tech security, and I think I do a really good job at it because I truly believe that security makes the world a better place. I’ve been in several other industries, but I did it for the people I worked with, not the products I was marketing. Some of those products inspired my loyalty, sure – but when they didn’t, I saw my work slip a notch or two.

It’s not difficult to see the impact B2B products make on people’s daily work lives. If that ignites something in you, then it’s easy to find the motivation to create great content, manage spectacular events, or knock your website design or marketing automation tool implementation out of the park.

In the podcast The Bestseller Experiment, one guest was indie author Shannon Mayer. She writes more than ten books a year, and the hosts were marveling and how she was so prolific. Her attitude was simple: you are in control of your muse. Your muse works for you—not the other way around. And when you’re in B2B marketing, the campaign launch won’t wait for inspiration to strike—you have to wrangle your muse. And it’s so much easier to get inspired with a great product that you honestly believe makes the world a better place.

Next week, I’ll share the fourth B2B marketing lesson I learned. And if you’re interested in my debut novel, you can find it on Amazon.