In the last article we looked briefly at some examples of the DML model in action. In this we’ll take one idea and delve deeper.

Our goal at the #DisasterFarm is to become self-sufficient and reduce our negative impact on the environment. We grow our own plants, attempt to reduce waste, farm animals, eat local produce. My other half makes his own knives, choppers and axes. We are collectively quite capable. And in case of a zombie apocalypse* we have a zombie apocalypse room (where we store extra loo paper!) So, I think we’re prepared for most situations! Of course right now I have a mini mental breakdown if the internet disappears for 10 minutes, but I’m working on it.

I read a lot of books, quite a few on becoming self-sufficient, so let’s push a sustainability idea through the DML model and create three different book outlines.

1. Sustainability with a Directions-type book

Q: Does your reader have an immediate, clear and urgent challenge, and need equipping with the right steps?
If yes: Help them get fixed fast with a Directions-type book.

To write a Directions-type book you must know where they are.

It’s all about HOW TO get something done. You are instructing them, telling them the steps, being logical. By the end of the book they’ll be equipped. You need to provide details, explanations, the one way, order. They don’t need detours, they need facts, lists, actions. Keep it logical, every chapter should have a similar structure, keep signposting them so they know they’re making progress. Tell them how far they’ve come, give them positive feedback, reviews and % completed. Make it clear that this is the only and best path to the solution they want so they can confidently take action.

Become Self-Sufficient in 180 Days in Murcia, Spain

Chapter 1: Select the right space
Step 1: Find out where south is by…
Step 2: Calculate how many hours of sunshine by…
Step 3: Do this XXX
Summary & what next

Chapter 2: Prepare the land
Step 1: Buy the right tools
Step 2: The best way to dig the soil
Step 3: Managing barriers and pests…
Summary & what next

Chapter 3: Buy the right plants
Step 1: Where, when
Step 2:…
Step 3:…
Summary & what next

Chapter 4: Select the right livestock
Step 1: Where, when
Step 2:…
Step 3:…

Chapter 5: Manage water
Step 1: Where, when
Step 2:…
Step 3:…

You can only write a great Directions-type sustainability book if you know where they are – then you can provide detailed instruction for their climate, terrain, seasons, sunshine hours, livestock, rainfall…

2. Sustainability with a Map-type book

Q: Are they stuck in a situation and need education to move?
If yes: Write them a Map-type book to show them their options.

Map-type books are for curious people who may not have made a decision because they are still evaluating their options. You need to provide them with information, so they become educated and can decide for themselves. Of course, you need to be on the same map to help them. You need to have mapped the terrain, been there first, be the guide that shows them all their options. You can also tell them your preferences, but you must allow them to explore, with you as the expert guide.

Your goal is to answer the “what” and “where” questions they may have to satisfy their curiosity about the terrain you are mapping.

A Map-type book covers:
Their purpose (scope) – for whom and their need to move
The edges (size) – what you will cover and what you won’t
The depth (scale) – the same amount of detail for each chapter (not too detailed)
The time period (span) – regulations may change…

The biggest problem is that all map type books are detailing the same terrain – you need to work out what makes your book different. And you must map the whole terrain!

Could you become self-sufficient? A simple guide for city-dwellers who want to reduce their negative ecological impact

Chapter 1: Plants and green things
What, where, how, when
Chapter 2: Animals and eaty things
What, where, how, when
Chapter 3: Wet stuff
What, where, how, when
Chapter 4: Planning permissions & planning ahead
What, where, how, when
Chapter 5: Recycle & upcycle
What, where, how, when
Chapter 6: Natural power – solar & wind
What, where, how, when
Chapter 7: Stockpiling
What, where, how, when
Chapter 8: Have you got what it takes?

You can only write a great Map-type sustainability book if you are on the same map, and have thoroughly mapped the terrain you are describing..

3. Sustainability with a Landmark-type book

Q: Are they on a journey and need enlightenment?
If yes: Lead them with a Landmark-type book.

Landmark-type books are for confident people who are ready to take action. You need to inspire and influence them to follow you. Your book needs help them become enlightened for the right path. Show them where you’re going, lead them to your true north. The best way of leading people is by talking to their hearts (first) – you do that with stories. Build tension, passion, desire to move. Demonstrate why other landmarks are wrong, and who the villains are.

Show them why they should follow you, that you can be relied on to lead them to a better place.

The Zombie Apocalypse

Chapter 1: Floods, famines, pestilence
Jim had always wanted his own farm, but the floods in …
Chapter 2: Population explosion
There are an additional 83 million people annually. When Jane was born in
Chapter 3: Resource depletion
The Mars rover trip was a disaster…
Chapter 4: Viruses are virus-y
When Bob sneezed on the train this morning…
Chapter 5: Governments can’t be relied on
[I can’t think what silly thing to say here – it’s just true!]
Chapter 6: Big companies are b£*st*$ds
The plague outbreak in 1347 was caused by commercial interests…
Chapter 7: Are you ready for the revolution?

To inspire and influence people to move towards your landmark they must also desire the same destination, that means you must describe the shining star, bright opportunity so that people must follow you. It stops being a want, and becomes a need to move.

You can see that one subject can be handled in (at least) three different ways. My DML model will give you the constraints to outline a book that is writable. If you need help working out what type of book to write give me a call (I’ll answer it from my zombie-proof bunker).

Finally, an apology. My attempt to be less silly in this article has failed. The zombies are coming, be prepared!

* I love zombies, my ambition is to be an extra in a zombie movie. If you’re interested the scariest zombie movie is a low budget Italian job set in an elevator. Of course the best zombie movie is Shawn of the Dead.

PS: Don’t come round unannounced, my other half really does make his own axes!
PPS: If the zombie apocalypse happens we have plenty of toilet paper for everyone!