82. Create Your Own Lexicon

Do you and your readers have a unique language you speak together?

By the time they finish reading your book, they should be able to.

In this episode, discover how creating a unique vocabulary can help your readers get more value from your book and help your book stand out in the marketplace.

For more writing tips and inspiration, follow me on Instagram @candiceldavis.

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Episode Transcript

Hey there and welcome to Nothing but the Words. I’m your author coach, Candice L Davis.

How’s your writing going?

I hope your week and your writing are both going well.

I’m looking forward to American Thanksgiving next week. I’ll be spending it with my husband, at the movies, watching Lady Gaga and Robert De Niro in House of Gucci.

I love a good true crime story, so I’m into it.

Let’s dive into our topic.

Recently I started working with a marketing coach through her group coaching program.

I had only followed her for a short while before I decided to buy.

It was an interesting decision because, from a superficial level, we probably don’t seem like a good fit for each other.

But I tried some of the tools she shares publicly, and they created quick results for me, so saying yes to her was an easy decision.

Here’s the thing, though.

When I entered her private Facebook group for her group coaching clients, I felt like I had entered a small, tight-knit community—even though there are over 500 people in there.

What made me feel that way?

There were clearly routines and habits that the people there shared and embraced and understood.

And the members used a unique vocabulary.

That could have been off-putting, but she made it really easy to pick up on that vocabulary.

So what does all this have to do with your book?

Creating your own lexicon is an easy strategy to apply to how-to, personal development, and professional development books.

When you create your own lexicon—a language shared between you and your clients, your followers, and the future readers of your book—you create something special.

Using a word like lexicon or vocabulary might make it seem like I’m telling you to develop a whole new language—like you might for a sci fi or fantasy book—but you don’t have to go that far.

When you name your frameworks and your systems and your methodologies, they become a part of your lexicon.

When you develop a name for your community members or your clients that’s a part of your lexicon.

Visual models can also be a part of this.

I spoke with a new client coming onboard for 2022 today, and he had a lovely collection of models he’s created and can choose which he wants to include in his book.

Even one or two visual models can add to the new lexicon you introduce to your readers and your community.

When you take words that may be commonly used in your industry or your niche and give them a twist that either more clearly expresses the idea or is more aligned with your people, you add to your lexicon.

Words and phrases and titles that develop out of your intellectual property are all part of your lexicon.

This practice can feel really forced when the author seems to be jumping on the latest trends, which can feel a bit desperate. You want terminology that will be evergreen for you, so don’t worry about what other people in your industry or your niche are calling a thing, choose what works for you and your audience.

Sometimes, this new vocabulary will come up organically for you, but sometimes it requires more effort.

Often, my coaching clients come to me having created systems and methodologies, but they haven’t done much naming yet.

Maybe they haven’t even formalized their methodology yet.

In either case, we work together to brainstorm ideas, so they can solidify their processes and philosophies and name them when it makes sense to do so.

You know your one perfect reader best. You know your community. Use and develop language that will resonate with them.

Can you write a world-class book without creating your own lexicon?

Of course you can.

But there are some definite benefits to this process.

For one thing, done well, these acronyms, labels, and titles can help your readers remember your concepts or your processes more easily.

That’s an added value to them.

This new vocabulary, exclusive to you at least in the way you use it, also makes your readers and followers and community members feel like insiders.

That’s a win for them, because it increases their sense of belonging and a win for you because it increases their belief that they know you and trust you.

When I hear, “Purpose Chasers,” I think of my client Patrice Washington.

When I hear “Save the Cat,” I think of screenwriting expert Blake Snyder and his work.

When I think of Resistance with a capital “R,” I think of Stephen Pressfield’s The War of Art.

Keep in mind that you don’t need to create an extensive lexicon to be effective.

In fact, you probably shouldn’t. You don’t want to overwhelm your readers or make them feel like they’re in a tedious foreign language class and can’t master the basics of the language.

But if you can add just enough of a unique vocabulary, it can, and probably will, help you.

That’s all for this week’s episode.

If you’d like help with all the moving parts of writing your book, hop on a consultation call with me at CandiceLDavis.com/call.

I’m opening slots for 1:1 coaching in January 2022, and it might be just what you need to finally write your book.

Thanks for listening to Nothing but the Words, I’m your author coach Candice L Davis, and I’ll see you next time.

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