I turned in the final manuscript for my book last month, and I've been reflecting on the whirlwind experience. It was a completely new adventure for me, and I'm still reeling from the rollercoaster. Wow, did I ever learn a lot.
Whether writing a book is a life-long dream or your worst nightmare, the three lessons I gleaned while writing mine are worth learning.
Research and planning are essential. It's wise to take some time to prepare before taking action. Hindsight can be cruel sometimes. No one wants to look back and see an obvious error. But that desire to avoid failure can cause us to miss out on opportunities for success.
When a representative from a publisher reached out to me about writing a book about productivity, I was so shocked I thought it had to be a scam. Me? Write a book? Surely they can't be serious.
As I considered the offer, my mind filled with reasons why I wasn't ready. Who would write a book written by me? I haven't been coaching long enough. I don't have a big enough audience. I'm not a good enough writer! So many doubts.
But I still said yes. Ultimately, I knew that it would be better to try, fail, and learn than not try at all. So I looked for reasons to say yes.
The publisher thought I was ready. My mentor thought I was ready. I had writing experience – even though it wasn't book writing experience. I had deep knowledge of productivity theory and practices. Besides, it wasn't my job to sell the book – just to write it. Even in the worst-case scenario, I'd still get great experience.
If you see an opportunity, don't wait for every loose end to be neatly tied. Don't wait for every problem to have a neat solution. Spend just as much time finding reasons to say yes as reasons to say no.
I expected writing the book to be challenging, no matter what. But the publisher's set a grueling writing schedule. I was still working full time, finalizing a divorce LINK, moving, and running my business at the same time too. It was... so... hard.
But it's ok for things to be hard when the reward is worth it. I was excited about being published. It had been a dream of mine and since I started Better with Phoebe. I was excited about how it could support my business goals. Most importantly, I was excited about how it could help me help more people than ever before.
Going for your goals isn't always fun. Sometimes it's exhausting, tedious, or even painful. But when the goal is important enough, it's worth it. It doesn't mean you have to pretend the crappy parts are great. It's ok to acknowledge that the sucky thing sucks. Just don't get caught up in discomfort. Keep moving forward.
I could not have done it on my own. I was beyond fortunate to have a powerful support system that helped me get across the finish line. My editor, Carolyn, was a patient, encouraging mentor who helped me with unfamiliar parts of book writing. My new partner was incredible, picking up all the slack around the house while I kept all the other balls in the air. I also had a massive team of cheerleaders.
When people embark upon a difficult task or set a challenging goal, they tend to make one of two mistakes: They tell everyone, creating an uncomfortable amount of pressure or they tell no one, isolating themselves from support. Success is in the middle.
Instead, share your goals, pressures, challenges, and worries with the people most invested in you. These people will be excited to encourage and support you as you fight for your goal. As long as you are open with them, they'll show up for you.
I'm excited to share my book with you when it's published in Spring 2021.
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