Three weeks ago I had a mini epiphany when I was out driving the car, as often happens. Driving in a trance has become my new shower equivalent when it comes to creative ideas generation and excavating solutions to problems, mine or yours.
I’ve been thinking for what feels like ages about writing, writing more and becoming a writer first and foremost in the sense that I would put Writer in my passport instead of Coach. And yet I am SO not ready to give up coaching and mentoring, in fact I am enjoying that work more than ever right now, so much so I doubled my availability in my online diary last week as I hinted I might. I even think it may have been this love which led to the idea for the book.
Book, you say?
I’ve noticed that I no longer rush to make decisions about anything which I know is going to be demanding of me, as once I might have done. Instead I am far more thoughtful about what I am going to do and how I am going to do it.
So I wasn’t scarce about this. I knew if it was meant to be, the right way would be shown to me. And so it was last Friday in the car.
On Saturday I had a really long telephone conversation with my friend Marion but somehow I omitted to tell her about my small writing epiphany. It was the receipt from her in the ensuing 24 hours of a hint that she might be contemplating writing more herself that prompted me to write back to her as follows. I might say she didn’t mention her thoughts about writing either, but… so much to talk about, so little time.
“I want to write more too. Didn’t think to discuss that yesterday, shame. Next time. Soon.This isn’t the sort of writing I am talking about when I say I want to write more, but I did genuinely have a tiny epiphany myself when out driving on Friday. I think one of the reasons I’ve never written a book is because the thought of putting everything I know about business into a book is firstly boring to me and secondly, as I always say, I’ve forgotten everything I know until someone asks me. But if I could make it about my clients, then I could sit up and take notice, excitedly.As you know, these days, I have genuinely (and surprisingly) become more of a psychologist than a business expert. This has been thrust upon me, which happily does make my work fascinating. So I thought I’d start to collect say the top twenty or fifty or one hundred bonkers reasons, questions, problems and issues my clients show up with and respond with my signature kind, wise, accepting answers which also provide solutions, so that people could read through, see their own issues, realise they are entirely normal and not shameful then simply allow them to fall away, feeling empowered to employ themselves for money.I know this isn’t a new idea, perhaps not even a new idea of my own. I know also that I have repositories of these historic questions in my two FB groups but, again, going backwards into that or the podcasts or the 30 Day Challenge is a depressing thought. I shall collect them daily going forward I think. Feels easier and keeps them fresh and current, not least for this writer. It would be both sort of myth-busting and empowering. You know I believe that business at our solopreneur micro-biz level is easy, this book would demonstrate that and encourage people to want to have a go. I think the book would be great for my marketing too as, like anything, some clients would still want and need help. So, in writing it, I would be committing to coaching for at least another five years I think, maybe longer.Two more aspects. Most of the advice would be kind and loving and common sense and the antidote to all that ra ra testosterone-fuelled propaganda about the received wisdom ways of getting stuff done and achieving success, the harder I work the luckier I get etc. So it would be an alternative route to getting what you want, kinder, more yin (is that the feminine one?). And overnight I had the idea of a dictionary section where you can look up words such as authenticity, as discussed yesterday, and I would explain why this has become jargony and thus meaningless and why I’m using e.g. real instead. I have a sense of readers agonising over being authentic or not, but totally getting how to be real. That’s just one such thought of many that I know they struggle with. And those thoughts stop them creating, they put the brakes on.Anyway, I am just thinking aloud.”
That’s the gist of my book. What do you think of it so far? If would be called something like Your Biz Your Way, or My Biz My Way to encourage the reader to take ownership of that straight away, and teach readers that’s entirely possible, that they can trust themselves to create their own income in their own way and entirely congruent with their values. They can resist the received wisdom and all the sell, sell, sell promotions and it will still work out OK if they will just trust themselves more under my encouragement. I think that after a while all my clients come to realise this for themselves, especially those that dig in and build on their learning and confidence year on year.
My ideal reader will be the same as my ideal client, someone I can show how they can employ themselves for money, someone who frequently says to me “I don’t want a business, I just want to make money doing something I love”. I hear you. That’s me these days too and if that’s how you feel also, then fabulous. On all counts.
If you are a client I am going to be coming to you at some point soon and asking what blockages you feel you may still have which stand between you and what you want to achieve in your business or creative pursuits for money. This is my current stock in trade and I so love busting these myths and fantasies and enabling you to see that business is easy and anyone can do it, if you will just put down these silly nonsensical ideas we have all acquired somehow since personal development went mainstream. Topics such as what will people think, and I’m not good enough, and who on earth is going to want to pay money for what I’m selling? All bollocks once unpicked. Hmm, might have to be a strong language warning too.
I shall particularly be looking at clients who still say to me “what I struggle with is…”. Let us have those struggles be gone!
If you are a reader and you have something – a blockage – you would like me to bust in or out of the book, do please hit reply and send it to me at any time in the next couple of weeks. Yep, I’ll be getting stuck into this during July and August. Or use the Contact form at my website. You know I love to hear from you.
Many, many clients will recognise themselves in the book, or think that they do, because you all teach me so much about what people find difficult in these areas of business, what we called in last week’s podcast “swirling emotions“. And because we are everywoman, every solopreneur.
If we’ve spoken this week, you won’t need to do that since you’ve already given me some great ideas. I cannot guarantee they will all make it to the book, but they might, you never know. I don’t know yet myself basically because it is very early doors.
I’ve written books before, at least four ebooks, perhaps more. No, five if I include the one about juicing. And 192 newsletters since returning to Mailchimp in March 2014 and that doesn’t include the ten years I wrote In The Pink before that on Just Add Content and Aweber. And 1466 blogs since starting with WordPress in October 2006 (can it really be that long?) and that doesn’t include Typepad before that. Gosh! That’s quite a quantity of output. And if I were a better writer or a multi-millionaire, someone would be whipping all that into the shape of a book or books for me, no doubt. One day, Rodney. One day.
This is My First Proper Book, the first time I’ve known what I really wanted to write a book about. I have lots of gorgeous and genius ideas for the content already. I shall be writing my book my way, just as I have created all my businesses my way and I believe you can too.
So, I am committed. My boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. And I shall begin it now whilst, at the same time, noticing that Goethe (to whom these sentiments are most often attributed) was also a fan of the Oxford comma.
The Book’s the Easy Bit
I have clients who write books, and actually the writing of the book isn’t always all that easy. This gives the lie to one of my favourite sayings “when it’s right, it’s easy”. When it comes to writing a book, that doesn’t necessarily follow.
However, I think it will with this one of mine. At the time of writing this newsletter for you, it is four or five days after my teeny tiny epiphany and thoughts of my book have excited me and dominated each day and night since, both waking and sleeping. I am writing in my head, in a special yellow notebook and on the back of upcoming podcast crib sheets (!). I’ve signed up to learn how to use the copy of Scrivener I already own, and I am even looking at an alternative ‘cos honestly learning hard software might put me off and my personality is for a fast start. But Word sucks, especially since I don’t really know how to use that properly either. Not any more, if I ever did.
However, I know that this time around, a fast start isn’t what’s called for. Oh, it won’t be long, but before I start painting the walls I am going to prep them properly this time and get my tools in order, sharpening my pencil and so on, with perhaps a little thoughtful sucking on it, looking out the window, being distracted by emails and Facebook, because that’s trad amongst my writing clients. And because I have a feeling this book won’t be my last and therefore Scrivener’s going to be my tool of choice and will come in very handy in future. Might as well break my duck now then.
My clients like to spend a lot of time prepping their tools. It is often a frustrating form of procrastination and perfectionism. I shall be on the lookout for that, for sure. You see? You’ve taught me well the pitfalls!
When I say the book’s the easy bit, I am alluding to the marketing of said book which is time-consuming and nearly never-ending. Want to sell books? Keep marketing them, then. But I am sufficiently excited about this one that I believe I would enjoy throwing myself into the marketing of it for a couple of years at least. Yep, I do think that’s what it might take to see the best return on the book I have in mind. And, of course, I believe it will also show me a return on that marketing time because despite what I am going to write in the book being empowering, I know it will bring me clients too because so many will always need help and support, thankfully.
All aspects of the marketing of this book excite me. Talking to clients and colleagues and featuring them in the book either anonymously or with full credit, their choice. I shall be taking a leaf out of Daphne Kapsali‘s book too as I can tell she loves to market her books where so many of my clients do not. Yet
OK, that’s it for today. Back to learning Scrivener. If you are just hovering on the brink of committing to something like a book or a project or a business, I do hope you’ll write and let me know.