Alison Nissen is the ‘jack-of-all trades’ when it comes to writing. she got into writing a book as she was frustrated that she didn’t get a job over another candidate who did. Alison Nissen then went off to write a book in case of a future similar scenario but found it ended up taking her on a totally new career path.
Alison Nissen recommends joining a local book club to further your writing skills
During the chat, we talked about my desire to join a Writer’s Author club. She also explained how she helps business owners get their message across, much like business marketing Manager Melissa tong.
You can get in contact with Alison at https://alisonnissen.com/
This post is based on an interview conducted with Alison Nissen on my podcast, “Let’s Go Brandon Green Podcast.” The full interview can be found on the podcast website here. In our 20-minute chat, we talked about:
- What is the value of a good story?
- How can a good story help me sell a product to a customer?
- What does a ghostwriter do?
- How do I join and take advantage of writers’ groups?
- What should I think about when editing a story?
- What is the difference between writing and literature?
- How can I get started telling my own story?
- How can I find and hire a ghostwriter?
Alison Nissen, based in Houston, Texas, is a woman of many literary talents. She is an author, a ghostwriter, an editor, a storytelling coach for entrepreneurs, a leader of writers’ groups, and a professor of literature. Tying all of these disparate skills together is a common thread: Alison loves telling stories. As Nissen puts it, “We love to connect with everyone, and it’s through story that we do that connection.”
The skeptical among you may ask, what’s so valuable about a good story? Alison explains that in the world of entrepreneurship, a good story can be the difference between making or losing a sale, between a business failing or succeeding. “If someone comes up to you and says, ‘Here’s a widget, would you like to buy one?’ you’re going to probably say, ‘No. Why would I want to buy it?’ But if someone came up to you and said, ‘This widget changed my life. Would you like to know more?’ you’re inclined to say yes.”
Nissen’s passion for stories goes beyond teaching to telling stories as well. In addition to authoring four of her own nonfiction books, she also ghostwrites others’ stories for them, or as she prefers to frame it, “ghost editing.” “I like when they do the majority of the writing and I just go and fix it,” she jokes. But this self-deprecation belies a deep understanding of how to take a story from unsatisfying to spectacular. “It’s really all about the audience,” she says. “When I do an edit, I need to assume I am their target audience…. If all of a sudden a character pops up or a scenario pops up that’s not realistic, it’s the job of the editor to say, ‘Let’s go ahead and introduce this earlier, or figure out a way to weave it in, or take it out altogether.’”
The surest sign that Alison is in the right field is that she naturally speaks in stories. When asked how she got into writing and ghostwriting, she begins, “I fell into it, interestingly enough. I decided I was going to write my own book. My story is that I was not selected for the full-time professorship I wanted because my competition had a book, and I didn’t.” She goes on to describe a chance encounter with a stranger who reached out to her for help telling his story, a request which she accepted on a whim. He was an insurance broker whose business had suffered a horrific crime involving a mass shooting and arson at the hands of a long-time customer, and he found the story too difficult to tell on his own. With her ghostwriting help, he was able to publish this story, and through word of mouth Alison was connected with new clients who wanted her help as well, starting her on her steady path as a ghostwriter.
By this point, you may be sold on the power of stories but still wondering how to get started. Alison suggests that writers’ groups are great forums to learn storytelling skills, connect with other storytellers, and get help and feedback on your own writing. “Definitely go see how it goes. I would give it two times, two visits. The first visit, you may go in and say, ‘Wow, these are my people, this is awesome,’ but you might go in and be like, ‘What? What’s going on?’ So sometimes it takes that second trip to really see if you’re going to be a fit with people…. Definitely check it out, and who knows? It could change your writing career.” A tip Alison offers for making the most of these groups is to start by communicating to others who your ideal audience is, as this allows them to help from that point of view.
And of course, another great way to get your story out there is to work with a ghostwriter yourself. Alison has received work from readers of books she has ghostwritten, people who have read articles about her ghostwriting, through writers’ groups she has led, through a business she and her sister created for other entrepreneurs, and through good old word of mouth, so these are all avenues to discover ghostwriters. Many also offer their services on the internet; if you are interested in Alison’s work and services specifically, you can visit her website at alisonnissen.com for more information.
Above all, the lesson Alison Nissen communicates to us is that we all have a story to tell. Find your story, find your people, and get started telling it today!