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Ooooh, I Want to Write a Book Too!

Mar 18, 2023

Does the phrase, I Should Write a Book, sound familiar? Do you say, “I should write a book,” or “People say I should write a book,” or “I’ve always wanted to write a book.”  I was part of the latter group for years. The idea of writing a book seemed almost magical and totally impossible. I’d wonder, “how do people do it?”

It’s a process, but like all processes, first you must start. There are a million reasons out there for people to avoid the first step. I’m not … old enough, young enough, smart enough, tough enough. I don’t have enough time, I don’t know how, and on it goes. Let’s start with a new first step… KNOCK IT OFF! JUST WRITE D@MN IT!

The book I just submitted – 30,000 words started out as a one-page story idea. Then it sat for quite a while, maybe a couple years. My friends wanted to go to a writer’s group at the local library – both were working on books. I had 1poetry – turns out that didn’t work for this writers group. So, after some friendly prodding from Carole and Nan, I remembered I had that one-pager I could create a story from, and still hang out with my friends.

We decided to take a 4-session novel writing class. So, on the second Saturday, there I was eating breakfast and working on my homework before class. I needed to make a list of chapter titles and create a character sketch for my main character. I quickly did both assignments, during breakfast – sort of free writing, and a book was born. How did I do that? I just made it all up. I wasn’t worried about anything, I just let my brain loose and there it was, complete with a trace amount of strawberry jelly. This became the book I just submitted…yes it has been kicking around for a few decades. And yes, most of what I wrote that fateful morning is still part of my final manuscript. I call this the long-haul method of writing a book.

The first book I published started in a logbook that I kept at my desk during my last year of work in the corporate world. Every time I was irritated by the way something was being managed, I wrote a new chapter title for the book I would write someday. There were a lot of chapter titles, some quite colorful. As my retirement date grew near, another friend urged me to write a book out that log. That would have been a very long book, so I selected one chapter heading, Poof You’re a Project Manager and Other Delusions of Grandeur. It’s about how would select a great engineer or scientist or marketing manager and change their title to Project Manager instructing them to go fix the problems on the project.

In all honesty, this is how most of us got the job back in the day, but it was always bumpy and uncomfortable until those recently Poofed into the role, could find the needed resources to acquire the skills to do the role. Poof took less than a year from the first step to publishing. I call this process the rapid-fire style.

My last book, C’mon Let’s Play, was my most deliberate book. I felt that there was amazing information out there that I wanted to share about how we think and how the way we think affects our lives. I had a few excellent examples. Whether I was coaching a client looking for a new job, or coaching a client who felt lost in life, the message was the same – I just altered it to align with the environment where my client was coming from. I ask them to play with how they think about their own lives, or situation. What if you thought exactly the opposite of what you are thinking right now, what would that life look like?

I selected a few of my favorite pieces from the experts, my own mistakes, bad choices, and subsequent growth became successful in corporate and again when I decided to become an entrepreneur. I call the way I wrote this book the strategic selection style.

There are several ways to get through that first step, actually both first steps, and I know firsthand how hard it is. I made a few mistakes, ok, maybe more than a few but I’ve learned so much and I love helping people find their way too.

My new clients are those I can help get started on writing a book, those I can help finish their manuscript, and those ready to publish. The first meeting is free, and we spend 45 minutes discussing your possibilities and determining if we’re a good fit. For some of you this might be the jolt you need to get through both first steps and … just knock it off and write!