One of my clients (I’ll call her Sylvia) knows it’s time to take the plunge.
She’s writing her first book.
She announced this during a recent phone call. And before I had the chance to congratulate her or even coach her about the writing, the structure, or the process, she uttered a single sentence that went something like this:
“Okay, so, I met this guy who runs a publishing warehouse place, and he said that authors who self-publish have to print at least 5000 copies, kind of like you have to print at least 1000 CD’s when you’re a musician, but 5000 was the minimum, unless of course you do a print-on-demand arrangement and you get as many or as few as you want, but I wasn’t sure which option would be the best thing to do so I’d like to know what do you think about it and if you have some resources for me on this one and if you have thoughts on what I should do…”
The coaching I gave Sylvia was simple.
But first, I told her about the “I have nothing to wear to the Grammys” loop.
When I used to be a bad-ass rock-star, I occasionally taught songwriting. Along the way, I heard every single excuse known to man for why songs didn’t get written.
They all had exactly two things in common:
1 – They were projections into the future.
2 – They had nothing to do with the task at hand. (Sitting down and writing the freakin’ song.)
Once this loop begins, it projects bigger and wider out into the future, until conveniently, you can’t POSSIBLY write the song because – let’s face it – you have absolutely nothing to wear to the Grammys once this song you haven’t written is nominated.
The good news is you save yourself the hassle and stress of having to measure up to Lady Gaga.
The bad news is you get nothing done.
Sylvia knew what I was going to say before I said it. (In fact, she laughed in recognition of how sneaky her own fears had been.)
Start writing your book, and then let’s explore publishing options.
We broke the process down into do-able chunks, and now she has a plan. She’s excited.
Our fears (and yes, we all have them) like to make everything more complicated than it ever is or ever will be.
All you need to do is the very next step in front of you.