According to Lucy, my publishing minder, there’s a book in everyone. So why haven’t we all written a book? The answer, I suspect, lies in the fact that most of us are not aware of this well-known fact and also because the thought of 40,000 words is a scary, daunting one, usually firmly despatched after a period of lying down to make the feeling will go away.
Can I write? What on earth do I have to say? Surely, it’s been said already? Where will I find the time? Why should I? How do I publish? Will anyone buy? These and a multitude of unanswerable, unfathomable questions gnaw away at the back of this wannabe author’s mind.
After years of prevarication, to everyone’s surprise, I‘ve taken the plunge, joined a book-writing programme and become part of an enthusiastic team, writing on everything from how to run a kid’s entertainment company through to the art of luxury hotel landscape design
The process so far, and make no mistake it’s a process, has been revealing. Of course it helps that I now have an idea. In fact, I have more than an idea, I have a 1,000-word publisher’s pitch which includes a chapter-by-chapter structure. How did that happen? Lucy cracks the whip. Eager, supportive buddy writers provide encouraging feedback and peer pressure. We have a Slack group, submission deadlines, word count milestones (with rewards) and a target publishing date – mine is the end of the year, just in case you are minded to rush to Amazon.
A 45-strong writers squad is being guided by the lovely Lucy, who has written several books herself and helped more than 200 others to do the same, many of whom have risen up the Amazon business book charts. Some have written further books. Serial authors indeed. If they can produce two, surely I can write one. Feeling slightly more optimistic already.
“All you need to do” says Lucy “is write a thousand words per day, every day for 40 days. 40,000 words. Book done”.
“How the hell can I do that?” I ask.
“What do you do between 6 and 7 in the morning?”
“Nothing. I’m asleep. Obviously”
“Well, get up and write”, said with the authority of a bootcamp commander.
Transfer all this to business and it’s the same deal. If you want something difficult done, follow this proven formula. Find someone who has done it before. Follow their system, not your version of it (take note Mrs May). Chunk the task up into small manageable bite-sized pieces. Work with others and feed off their energy. Use the group leaders to encourage and problem-solve for those who are struggling. Establish clear milestones. Give meaningful rewards along the way. Be prepared to put your back into it. Celebrate success.
Will it work in my case? No idea, but it feels good so far. Through my blogs I will report on the progress of “Don’t Get Funded – the 22 most common mistakes in raising business finance (and how to avoid them).”
It will be out by mid-2018.
Ready, steady, alarm set.
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