You Gave Me An Idea

Normally when I get started writing a book — for clients, or for myself — I have a very clear sense of its purpose, what needs to be included, and where it all needs to go.

It’s all very orderly, the process a reliable workhorse that steadily meets my expectations.

This book, on the other hand, has been something like a tricksy sprite, running this way and that, dressing up in disguise and popping out of hiding spots to startle me.

Instead of pinning down the premise and outline in a day, it’s taken me two months — and while I’m nearly there, it feels like there’s just a tiny bit of fine-tuning still to go.

This is a part of the writing life that I haven’t really had to deal with up until this point, and it’s a not-so-subtle reminder to be careful what you wish for.

You see, I suspect the universe is always listening, and so when I told people I wanted a project that would stretch me creatively, that would force me to get even better at my craft…

The universe delivered!

Thus, this project has involved many more days of rigour than I had expected.

Days of rigour, according to Jacqueline (my writing coach, which seems a woefully inadequate term for what she’s doing for me) are the days you spend away from the writing itself, in order to really nail the purpose of the project.

They are the days when you take off your ‘author’ hat and put on  your ‘authorpreneur’ hat.

The days when you figure out who the reader is, and what this book needs to do for them. The days when you think about how the book is going to fit into your business. How you might promote it and spin other products off it in the long term.

Over the past month or so, Jacqueline and I have been talking most days about the point of the book, the reader, and what this book’s role is going to be in the world, and in my future.

She has helped me be rigorous in a way I would have struggled to do on my own, simply because this project has been so much more mercurial than anything else I’ve attempted (which meant I was at risk of skipping this bit… but this is the bit that will make the book actually sell once it’s done).

Together we have explored dozens of ideas and directions this book could go, and believe it or not, you’ve been right there with us.

Every time you reply and share an idea or your experience relating to the day’s writing, it spurs a new idea, a new direction it could go. Simply by being here, by observing, YOU are influencing what this book becomes, and what I believe it needs to be.

So as I head off into one more afternoon of rigour, finally coming to the point that I might be able to fix an outline in place, I simply want to say thank you.

I appreciate you coming along on this experiment with me, and please do keep sending your replies. It helps more than you know.