Cliff Jumping With Book

I had a call today that has some pretty exciting potential.

It was an invitation to contribute to a publication distributed to the chiefs-of-staff at some of the most powerful organisations in the world — Google, the United Nations, Buckingham Palace, the US Air Force.

In other words, a BFD. Very exciting.

But this opportunity has been four years in the making, with its genesis in the book Why Didn’t Anybody Tell Me This Sh*t Before?, which I co-authored with Marcella Allison.

After we got off the call with the editor, Marcella and I were straight back on the phone, thrilled with the offer and frankly a little incredulous.

This book has had one of the most unpredictable journeys of anything I’ve worked on.

It wasn’t an obvious choice for either of us. It wasn’t the type of book I usually write, and Marcella hadn’t yet built the kick-ass mentoring community she runs today, still copywriting full-time.

But there was this pile of stories that needed telling. There were dozens of them, all from women who had made it in business against a multitude of odds.

And so we took a leap. We agreed that it needed to be done, and although we had one obstacle after another, we finally ended up with over 60 stories, when we had thought originally it would be 20.

The book published to some fanfare on a popular podcast, got some good early reviews and some good coverage amongst our networks, and then things quieted down.

But a few months ago it woke up, and is taking on a life of its own.

It got a glowing recommendation from the Writer’s Digest Book of the Year competition.

It was featured in Lioness Magazine for female entrepreneurs.

And now it’s going to be seen by a hundred thousand chiefs-of-staff all over the world.

Something is happening with this book. The universe is on the move, and our job is to trust where it’s going.

Writing is an act of faith, and so is allowing your work to do its thing out in the world.

Faith is not an easy concept for most of us, because by its very nature it’s ambiguous, it comes with no guarantees, it’s a risk.

Faith is a leap off a cliff face before you know how far the drop is.

Of course, writing is usually less dangerous than cliff-jumping, but it can be just as exhilarating and bone-deep terrifying.

It’s scary to take something from that soft, internal part of you, and turn it out into the hard external world.

But it’s OK that it’s scary, as long as you believe that the universe will ultimately conspire in your favour.

It’s OK, as long as you know that someone out there needs this piece, that only you can give them.

It’s OK, as long as you can draw up the courage you need to continue when resistance comes your way.

Writing, and the faith that your work matters, requires courage. Writers are called on, more often than most, to test their courage.

To face their own weaknesses and biases.

To tell the truth in the face of intense pressure to dissimulate.

To hold the space for other people to find their own truths.

And it doesn’t matter if you think your writing is ‘important’ or not.

Whether you are writing technical content or political exposés, social media updates or petitions for change, there is everywhere bias and agenda.

Your job is to find the truth at the heart of the matter, to shine a light on it, and to trust the universe will do the rest.

You can’t possibly imagine what will happen when you lean into the truth of your projects. There’s no way you could predict the opportunities that will come along, or what the universe will reward you with.

But to reap the rewards, you have to have faith, take courage, be true.