Weekday Wisdom Episode 90
Do you celebrate each milestone in life? Are you going for your goals? Today I share a milestone I’m celebrating and some things I’ve learned about book writing goals in particular, but goals in general, as well.
I’m so excited! I met a milestone this weekend — one I’ve been working hard toward for close to a year — and I wanted to share it with you and use it as a point of edification.
If you’ve been following me at all, you know that since 2010 I’ve been working on my book Public Speaking Super Powers. And if you’ve been following me recently, you know that I’ve been really pushing hard on it because I want to be in the running for an award. In order to do that, it needs to be available on Amazon, at least in presale, by August 1st. That means I need to get it to the interior designer by July 1st.
It is now what? June 11! And the manuscript has just been taking so much longer to write than I thought. I had hoped to get it done by June 1st. Well, I got it done this weekend. This was my third draft and I have now sent it off to a paid editor.
Just so you get an idea of the process because this might be helpful for you, here is what I did:
- I interviewed 85+ speakers. A couple of the interviews didn’t pan out. I didn’t use them at all. Some of the people are quoted in the book, some were not.
- I edited and transcribed all the audios. I’ve been posting them twice a week as a podcast. You can catch them on the book’s website.
- I pulled quotes from all these interviews, and then organized them by which chapter they should go in.
- Chapter by chapter, I printed the quotes out onto individual pieces of paper. Then I pulled all the quotes together and that was my first draft. My first draft was basically quotes strung together with a little bit of transition.
The second draft, I went through and I made sure all the chapters were congruent and parallel, meaning if all the chapters needed to have three exercises, all the chapters had three exercises. If several chapters had additional resources, all of them had additional resources. I also went through and made sure that all the quotes flowed because there were parts of the book where it was, so-and-so said, and then so-and-so said, and then so-and-so said. It was awful.
I cleaned it up as much as I could and that was draft two. Then I handed it off to my husband. Not only is he a good communicator in his own right, but he is also a comic book geek. He was able to provide me with a lot of really good feedback about:
- the flow of the book,
- Areas where I was talking above the level of understanding of my intended readers,
- And, he was able to inject a little bit more of the superhero metaphor I am using into the manuscript.
This weekend, I went through all his comments, took the ones I agreed with, worked through the ones that indicated more work or clarification on my part, and then finished up all the little niggling things, like the speaker directory, the back matter, and the front matter.
On Sunday, June 10th, 2018, I emailed the manuscript to the editor.
Alas, I’m asking her to turn it around in just two weeks because I need about a week to go through her edits in order to get it to my interior designer by July 1st. I hope she can do it!
[Note: She responded since I shot this video. She’s going to turn it around in a week because she’s out of town next week and is charging me a small rush charge. I’m ecstatic!]
This gives you an idea of the process that can go into writing a book. I’ve done a post earlier that shows you this is not the only way to do it. But I wanted to share with you some lessons learned.
First of all, things are probably going to take a lot longer than you think they’re going to. So, allow a lot of buffer time. Part of the reason why I’m running so late on this project is that I took some weeks off during Christmas through February where I was procrastinating like crazy. I really needed to either not do that, or I should have started really pushing on the project earlier so that I didn’t come to crunch time. Because now my crunch time is becoming other people’s crunch time, and that’s really not fair.
Lesson number two: Have an outline that includes all your back materials. And don’t save the boring stuff for last. Yesterday I was doing all the boring stuff, like getting my speakers’ titles for the directory. And double checking quotes.
But a lot of that stuff I could have been doing while I was waiting for other people to edit. But I just went and did the fun stuff instead, like playing around with my marketing plan.
Lessons Learned In a Nut Shell
- Plan ahead.
- Start sooner than you think you need to.
- Allow lots of buffer time.
- And, realize that you’re probably going to go through at least three drafts before you ever hand it in to a final editor.
Now here’s another thing: Have a drop deadline that you can’t change. That will really motivate you. I have been pushing hard because I’ve got that hard deadline. If I didn’t have a hard deadline. Who knows? This book might not have come out until next year.
And, you know what? It feels good to accomplish your goals, one milestone at a time.
So, my question to you is: What goals are you working toward? Or, are thinking about working toward but haven’t started? If you’re in the latter, set hard deadlines! And realize it’s going to take you longer to get there than you think. Time’s ticking! Get those goals. Go toward them, because they are so worth it. Even if they don’t pan out to your wildest dreams, they’re going to pan out to something that will build your confidence, and your courage, and your belief in yourself.
And be sure to set — and celebrate — each milestone along the path to your goal.
Think outside the box. You don’t really want to box yourself in.
Spread your wings and fly.
Because you — yes, you — are capable of more than you know.
I’m not special. I’m not capable of more than you. We’re all capable of more than we know. We just need to push ourselves. And I hope that you’ll go for your goals.
I hope you enjoyed this video. If you did, please give it a thumbs up on YouTube. And while you’re putting your comment in there, let me know that you like the Weekday Wisdom. I like to know.