This might be more exciting for me than you, but big news is my second book is to draft stage. It’s been three months of head down, bum up, 45,000 words to write. And now it’s finished and ready to be sent to the editors.
The process is far from over—probably another three months of post-production to get it proofed and laid out and printed—but it feels pretty amazing to have set myself a goal and hit it: write a book in 90 days.
I really didn’t like the slog of writing it but loved it at the same time because it was a challenge. It took my mind off other stuff including the inevitable scans, and it felt cathartic to be weaving my own story through it and relate it back to self-leadership, adapting to change and building resilience.
As they say in the movies, this one feels personal. The message of the book is something I sing from the rooftops: to make sure you’re living a life you love rather than one you’re tolerating.
The feeling of typing the last words was pretty fabulous. I got to the end and thought, ‘There really is light at the end of the tunnel. I’m actually doing this.’ Nice contrast to when I was in the depths of it, questioning why I chose to do it!
For anyone thinking about not just writing their own book but launching into a big project, here’s my tips:
- Get help to get you started—mine was a book coach—because having the structure and feedback along the way will be invaluable.
- Plan, plan, plan. For me that following a process as set out by my book coach and meeting deadlines. I chunked down the bigger goals of getting a chapter done into bite sized pieces and focused on each task one at a time.
- Make sure you’re not copying someone else’s ideas. While fresh ideas are rare and most of what we do is a twist on something that’s come before, plagiarising isn’t a good look in life, work or on the page. Be original.
- Block out time for your project. And stick to it, even if it means working on weekends and saying no to fun stuff. I also made sure I blocked out days to focus on writing to get it done. It’s amazing the distractions you can find to take you of course. I switched my phone to aeroplane mode to avoid some of these. Yes!! And guess what, it worked!
- While it’s important to set goals, quality should take precedence over quantity. Having said that, let your creativity flourish during the early stages of whatever it is you’re doing, and don’t worry about perfection stages.
- Persevere through moments of self-doubt. Be patient. Writing a book or creating anything big or new is a marathon, not a sprint. Celebrate small milestones and maintain a growth mindset.
What I’ve found this time is writing a book is a labour of love. I’ve embraced the process and hopefully stayed true to my voice. Now I’m relishing the fulfilment of bringing my ideas to life on the page.
Most of all, I found discipline is key. Like everything in life, if you have a goal, honour it by making it happen instead of keeping it as a dream that seems too hard or time consuming.
What better to do with your valuable time than fulfil a life mission?