Last night I realised that I really, really wanted to finish my book. The one I’ve been writing since the start of this year. The one I’ve been talking about for a lot longer than that. The one that just hasn’t managed to get written yet.
I work well under time pressures, with deadlines to meet. It occurred to me that with no fixed deadline, my book would forever be talked about, but never completed.
So I started planning a completion date. I scribbled ideas and notes. I got to bed absolutely pumped to get this job done.
I woke at 5am to start working on the book some more. I buzzed right through the day today, until I broached the topic with my wife.
I explained my two choices of release date – my birthday, or our anniversary. Both have significant milestone quality. Both are so close that they frighten me as deadlines, which is perfect.
“You’re a knob,” she said. She wasn’t being horrible, more just commenting on my choice of ridiculously close deadlines.
Shortly after, and on the advice of my wife, I phoned a dear friend who has successfully written and published many books about effective leadership. Her advice was constructive, and brief; she was also on deadline herself.
Doubts started creeping in. I began wondering whether I had what it took to write my book, especially in such a short timeframe.
My body responded brilliantly. And when I say brilliantly, I mean terribly. After a day of feeling physically the healthiest I’ve felt in months, I started sneezing and coughing, and my nose started running like a tap.
I was reacting to the prospect of actually fulfilling on this dream of self-publishing a book. I had let the doubts in, and they started crippling me – almost instantly.
I chatted online with a good friend about his book publishing experience. My budget for publishing, and my ambition for my book, were both far too small.
I’m laying in bed considering my options, as I write this on my phone.
My lack of ambition comes from fear: I don’t have anything worthwhile to say, therefore no one will buy the book, so don’t put any money into making / distributing it globally.
My physical reaction is just fear taking over. But I’ve learned that when confronted by our fear, we should lean into it instead of backing away. The good stuff is on the other side.
The concerns about timeframe just mean I need to be über focussed about my writing process. No distractions, and no cop-outs.
The act of writing this post has helped me answer many of my own questions about the outcome. Wow.
Here’s what I now know:
I want to tell my story. I also now truly want my book to reach as many people as possible. I want this book to be read all over the world, in dozens of languages. I have a message to share and I am ready to take it to the world. Bigtime.
My health will respond to me taking action. I bet tomorrow, when I get up at 5am again and start writing again, my sniffle goes away. In fact, it has already started going away.
Off to sleep now. The alarm is set for 5am again so I can write this baby and get it published!