Duena Blomstrom on writing your first book

In the very first episode of the Media Will Eat Itself podcast, we’re discussing the ins and outs of writing your first book, with Duena Blomstrom, someone I’ve known for a few years in the world of financial technology and banking.

Duena’s first book was published in March/April 2018, so I thought it would be a good time to catch up for a chat, to find out what went through her head (other than a few thousand words). We hooked up on Skype, had a great conversation, and came out with a few nuggets of insight and wisdom that I hope you’ll find useful.

Find out more about Duena Blomstrom on her Emotional Banking website, or say hello via her Twitter channel.

This podcast is also available on PatreoniTunes | Podbean | SoundCloud | PlayerFM | ListenNotes


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01:39 Skip the intro! Duena Blomstrom is the creator and author of ‘Emotional Banking’. What is emotional banking, and what is fintech? We begin to explore how Duena came up with the concept of emotional banking, and the people behind the technology. We also touch on the inception of the idea of writing her first book.

03:34 What was it like getting the book going? How did it evolve from the simple structure of stitching blog posts together to become a form of its own? How did Duena grasp the unfamiliar methodology of structuring long-form writing? Duena talks about how her original ideas evolved into something new, and how what seemed like easy work became much bigger.

07:10 What guidance did Duena get from her publisher and editor? Nobody had written a book about banking culture before, so this was a new subject for them too. They were good at setting a deadline, so was that frightening or exciting?

09:30 What’s it like to be a new author? Is it fun? Duena talks about the joys of building a book with references, annotations, indices, permissions, and so on.

10:32 Did Duena consider self-publishing? The idea was to get as many people as possible to see the book, which Duena believed needed a big audience. She name checks the ‘fintech mafia’, and we discuss how foreign-language books in fintech are popular.

13:00 The discussion turns to personal branding, and how important it is. Duena talks about getting her Twitter feed going, initially on behalf of the company she worked for a few years ago, and of becoming a part of a community built around financial technology. Her unforgiving opinion about the difference between producing your own content or rehashing other people’s content is worth listening to! We also talk about Twitter and LinkedIn, and the roles they play in personal branding.

17:45 How has LinkedIn changed? Is it too late to turn LinkedIn Groups around? The social media platform has successfully turned itself into a content aggregator, though Duena misses good old-fashioned forums!

20:00 What’s it like to get into the discipline of writing long-form content? Was it better for Duena to get up early or work late? She actually found discipline with early morning breathing, yoga and meditation, explaining that getting into a routine is more import than the actual writing! Discipline and routine is the backbone of getting things done. I ask her if there was a soundtrack to her writing …

22:32 A brief chat about Duena’s writing environment and the tools she used to get the book done and dusted. We discuss the difference between Mac and Dell/Windows, and the power of Trello. Did she work in the cloud or save locally? The entire book is in Google Docs. What about the security of the cloud – does Duena trust it?

26:00 Are books still published the old-fashioned way, or is it all digital now? Find out how to get in touch with Duena.

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