How Expert Help Led to Writing Success
May 16, 2023
Note From Rochelle
Are you ready to get accountable?
I am hosting a special Writing Accountability Group in June. We’ll meet every Thursday at 11:00 AM (CT). During those five sessions, you will get a chance to commit to a goal and check in with your team every week. I’ll teach you tools to establish a writing habit, overcome distractions, ditch writer’s block, and write. Click here to learn more.
I’m thrilled to welcome Walter L. McLeod to the blog to talk about his new book, The Carbon Creed. I worked with Walter several years ago as he developed the content for the book—and I am delighted to see the finished copy! Read on to learn Walter’s secrets to successfully writing and publishing a book. https://amzn.to/42sBfAK
Rochelle, the Write Now! Coach
How Expert Help Led to Writing Success
An Interview with Walter McCleod
by Rochelle Melander
Congrats on your new book, The Carbon Creed. Your book invites readers to take steps to change their own lives and carbon footprint. Can you talk about how you made the book interactive?
Hi Rochelle, it’s so great to have the conversation with you. As you know, The Carbon Creed is designed to help readers identify and adopt the beliefs, values, and practices that lead to decarbonization. To guide readers through that process, I created 7 affirmations as a framework to reach that goal:
Each chapter of the book corresponds to one of the Creeds, and outlines “why” each Creed is necessary to accomplish your personal carbon and climate goals. After the discussion, we round out each chapter with a “Reflection” section that carefully summarizes each Creed and conclude with a “Benchmark” section that poses questions and encourages the reader to set goals related to each Creed.
You worked full time while writing and publishing your book. What are your secrets to being productive as a writer?
One secret was you! I hired an experienced editorial coach to help me write regularly according to a schedule. It takes great self-discipline to write a book, and I think most people just give up because life gets in the way. I’m not going to lie, it was very hard to train myself to write regularly, if not daily, just to get into the practice of it. I also started a weekly Substack which really helped me refine and find my writing voice. That made me accountable to my readers – I felt like I had to deliver something worth reading every week.
Can you talk about your publishing journey? What advice would you give to new writers?
It took me nearly 3.5 years to finish my book, but it was worth every day I spent refining and developing my manuscript. I also went through 5 different editors: coaching, development, copy, proofreading, and line editors. I retained an excellent designer for my book, who handled both my cover and interior design. This makes the layout flow—from cover to text to back—consistent. Finally, my publisher is a hybrid company that focuses on self-publishing authors and helps with printing, distribution, and marketing. It has been an amazing journey that fulfills a life-long goal.
My best advice to new writers is not to give up. You may have to walk away from writing as life happens for a period of time, but never give up the effort. We all have a story to tell and a book inside of us – we owe it to ourselves to leave the world that bit of us.
What are you reading now?
I just read Belonging by Michelle Miller of CBS Saturday Morning, a transparent memoir about her life growing up as an Afro-Latina and being rejected by the person who should love you the most.
I’m reading God, Human, Animal, Machine by Meghan O’Gieblyn, which has to be one of the most creative, mind-bending books on faith, science, technology and the future that I’ve ever read.
About the author. Walter L. McLeod has more than two decades of executive experience in business development, strategy and government relations in the energy and mobility sectors. He is a recognized expert and thought leader in cleantech policy, finance, and development. Mr. McLeod is the Founder and Managing Director of Eco Capitol Energy, a cleantech holding company with multiple subsidiaries and solar projects across the seven state Mid-Atlantic Region. Walter serves as Energy Professor of Practice at George Mason University/College of Science. Join his email list at https://carbon.substack.com/