I officially launched my blog over two years ago. Writing has been an unexpected path for me, full of trials and gifts. I write one blog entry a week around topics I find interesting or have found challenging as a business leader.
Along the way, I have also been experimenting with different types of material as I write. I started by writing about processes and systems and have moved to other topics such as productivity and overall company management. My articles have taught me and helped me clarify my ideas.
It was about a year and a half ago when I decided to write a book derived from the ideas from the articles I had already written. I always had the thought of writing a book in the back of my mind, but I had not written enough to envision it as a feasible project. Once I had a good number of articles, however, I felt empowered to start and made it my impossible goal of 2019. To me, it’s impossible because it’s something I have never embarked on before — at the beginning, I had no idea how I would achieve it, but it was the only way I felt like I could make it.
Getting Started and Other Challenges
The first thing I did was to hire a coach to teach me how to go through the process. I knew that if I worked with a coach, I would be much more committed and accountable for writing the book.
I started working with my coach in January, and she helped me navigate the first months. During that beginning period, I felt stuck. The amount of writing I was tasked to complete was significantly more than I had been doing previously. It took me a lot of time to get through the additional writing, but I gradually adapted to the new pace.
My schedule also suffered changes. Because writing was requiring so much of my time, I had to move activities around in the morning to ensure I could complete the needed amount of writing. Furthermore, I had to make better use of my time since I had less of it in the morning.
Some days were easier, and the words flowed, while other days, it took me longer to write the amount I had set for myself as a goal. There were times when I did not know what direction I wanted to follow in the book — I would take a break, unsure of the next step to take. It took me some time to find my path.
As I wrote my book, I researched topics that I wanted to include, so I spent a considerable amount of time understanding the new material before seeing how it applied to my company and others before adding it to the book.
Completing a book in a year seemed like an enormous undertaking to me, so I broke down the project into daily and weekly milestones. Every day I had to write a set word count to ensure I could finish writing the book by the end of the year. I had doubts about using the number of words as a metric because this strategy has advantages and disadvantages.
The benefits are that you can measure your progress, and for me, it helps push me to reach my goal before I stop writing. If I did not have that target, I would have given up on those days where I found it hard to move past the obstacles. The disadvantage is that the quality of my writing may suffer. I found that sometimes I would write to get to my target without worrying about anything else.
To mitigate this drawback, I added in time to edit and rework the entire book at the end of my process. My challenge was getting to the right word count, so I erred on the side of action and ultimately decided to clean up the work in the end.
Currently, I am still working on my book. I finished the writing effort in July, and my editor and I are working together to polish it before it reaches the publishing process. This part was initially my least favorite since I have a hard time reviewing the work I’ve already written and editing it to improve it. More particularly, I especially hate cutting out passages I have already written.
I plan to finish the editing process by the end of this year and to start working on publishing it early next year, and the book has already given me more than I have put into it. One of its gifts is the amount of time I have spent clarifying my ideas about how I manage my company. There were also many gaps in my understanding of some of the topics I included that I have now resolved.
An additional benefit is how much I have learned about new subjects. I devoted tremendous time researching topics that I had been curious about or that I did not understand, which have broadened my learning on the topics that matter the most for my company. In my research, I also found places where my knowledge was limited and hadn’t realized that I needed to expand it. I’ve already implemented these newly learned tools in my company.
More than anything, my book writing journey has been a beautiful exploration — a hard one to be sure — but one I am grateful to be doing.