This weekend marked a final milestone in my book-writing goal when the print version of Work-Life Brilliance went live on Amazon.
Friends of mine who have “write a book” on their bucket list, have asked me how I did it. There’s no mystery to it; I followed the process I teach my clients about achieving any goal. But about a year ago, I nearly sabotaged my goal by failing to follow one of the crucial steps in the process.
Let’s start with what I did right.
First, I made this goal a must. It had been sitting on my guilt-inducing “should do” list for years, but I was too sick, busy, or (insert excuse here) to do it. I made it a non-negotiable “must do” commensurate with working, eating, breathing, caring for my daughter, and walking my very needy mutt Andy.
Then I took one pathetically tiny baby step to help build momentum. I created a file folder called Denise’s Book, into which I saved a Word document with the same two words. Done for the day.
I created an inspiring visionof me signing my book and it helping others live their best lives.
I upgraded my identity to author who writes every day (even if it’s one sentence!).
I removed distractions, found a light-filled place to write (kitchen counter), and created a ritual of waking at 4:45 and writing for at least an hour per day.
I felt intrinsic reward every time I met my writing goal. I also felt satisfied even if I edited and improved a section I’d written days earlier.
But there was one step I neglected, and it nearly tanked the whole project.
I neglected to get support.
I thought writing a book was a solitary project.
So when I hit a bump, instead of seeking help that would move me forward, I got stuck.
I stopped writing for months.
Finally, I asked a former client and friend how she finished her book, and she gave me the name of a coach who helped her. I signed up for a 9-week boot camp with Angela Lauria, author of The Difference (as in, “Get off your butt and write a book that will make a difference”). She helped me untangle the many-thousand words that were tied in knots. I followed her process and in less than 9 weeks, my book was ready for final edits.
And the support didn’t stop there. I used a web site (Reedsy) where I could hire amazing talent—freelancers who once worked in the big publishing houses. My team included: cover designer, book interior designer (I didn’t even know that was a thing!), line editor, proofreader, and web designer.
Then I did something terrifying. I emailed executives and authors who I deeply admire, and asked them to take time out of their busy schedules to read the manuscript and publicly endorse it. Every fiber in my being said this was a selfish, intrusive act. Who was I to bother them?
The result was gracious endorsements and a foreword that gave my book credibility, making it more likely to get in the hands of people who need it. As a bonus, I now have connections with amazing people who are using their talents and platforms to make the world a better place on a major scale.
Finally, I reluctantly asked my network to help me promote the book. The response was humbling and awesome. Their feedback after reading the book made me realize that I had to get it out in the world. With their help, the e-book became an Amazon best seller on it’s second day on the site.
You are never alone. There is always support out there.
What are you trying to do on your own?
No matter what you’re struggling with, there is a coach, app, or freelancer out there ready to help.
When you get stuck, instead of asking yourself terrible questions like, “Why can’t I do this?” tell yourself, “I am figuring this out…”
Then take one baby step. It may be opening a search engine and typing “How do I _________?”
You don’t get points for martyrdom.
You don’t have to stay stuck.
You don’t have to settle for less than your brilliant potential.
The world needs your creations. The world needs you to be your best self.
Go find your sage support.