What I Learned From Writing A Book
Just over a year ago, a couple of my advisors told me that a good next step in my growth and evolution was to put my ideas out there for a wider audience. We had established that what I was doing was of value to my clients. We had more requests for time than I could honor. So why not write a book? How hard can it be????
The answer to that question as with many things, was “much harder than I thought.”
My book, Stop Churning..And Start Burning: 18 Battle Tested Secrets to Take You From Stagnant to Successful, is a collection of stories and experiences from over the course of my career. I gained an immense respect for the people of the world that write multiple books, because this was no easy feat.
Here are some of the challenges I faced while writing and what I learned:
Consolidating all of the random thoughts into a readable and contiguous book was TOUGH. I can write short articles like this one, I can give multiple hour talks, but I found that writing part of a book, then coming back to it and trying to make it all have a good flow was VERY difficult.
The answer to this challenge was to get great help. I had several people help me with molding the various thoughts, ideas and concepts into readable chapters.
You better be sure you believe what you write. Generally, this wasn’t an issue for me, but I could see where it could be for some. The problem is that people will actually read what you write and ask you questions about it! I constantly get questions about what I wrote in “chapter 3” or on page 124 or other parts of the book. It is very fulfilling, but I don’t have the book memorized by chapter and page so sometimes it takes a second to understand what they want to discuss. I love the discussion because I get to better explain the concept sometimes, but you can see the question in their eyes when I don’t instantly know the page they are talking about.
To combat this, I carry a few books with me at all times so I can just flip to the page to look at it together. It is truly humbling to have someone want more information or a better example that fits their situation because I know what I am writing makes sense to them and they want to grow. So don’t ever hesitate to ask me questions, I wrote the book to help people, if you need a better example or some clarification or if you even disagree, please contact me. That’s how we grow together!
There are an amazing amount of decisions to be made. From the big ones like titles and covers to the little ones like fonts, spacing, acknowledgments and publishers. The decisions seem endless. At one point, I was discussing how to punctuate a sentence… Those of you that really know me know that this is not a conversation I want any part of. The problem on some of these conversations is that there isn’t a clear right or wrong… It is subjective.
The answer? Get the experts to discuss it first, and then listen to your instincts. Most people would never know the little topics that get discussed and would never know the difference between the decisions that were made! Don’t stress, get good advice, make a decision, and move on.
I didn’t even really want to write a book at first. I am more of an in your face kind of guy whether that be one on one or from the stage. I like to allow the reactions and needs of my client to dictate where I want to go with a discussion. With the book, the reaction is after the fact. However, I am glad I did it. I learned a lot about what it takes. I have an even greater respect for those that do it on a regular basis. And I know I could and probably will do it again.
Like anything that pushes you out of your comfort zone, looking back after it is over, it wasn’t really that bad. If you haven’t read it yet, I encourage you to and hope you enjoy it. More importantly, I hope it helps move you off of the proverbial fence if that is what is needed. Push yourself. You can do more. You can go after your dreams. Sometimes, you just need a little help.