As many of you know I am in the process of writing my second book. My first book was a children's book called Special just the way you are (You can find it on Amazon by clicking on the book)
For my second book I decided to write for a different audience, a much older audience. I am writing a book about freedom. What if you were no longer stuck to the same pattern of thinking? What would that look like, feel like, smell like, and be like? How do you get there?
The process of writing in my humble opinion is a three part process. #1 Taking an idea and writing as much and as often as you can, #2 Giving that writing away to a few trusted individuals to give feedback on #3 Resurrect the idea, research, rest your mind, repeat #1 and #2
The map seems simple when you look at it in steps but it is very difficult. Each stage offers you excuses and reasons to give up.
This is typically the way it works.
You get an idea that you are willing to move on (because we all have a million ideas about everything but these ideas do not propel us into starting for many different reasons. I will tease that idea out in another blog).
You are so fired up to begin that idea. So you begin phase #1, writing. For the next 5-10 days you are writing and writing and writing. Things just seem to go so smoothly. I did not realize all of this content was sitting in my brain you say to yourself. This is really easier than I thought. Then you hit a wall. Mostly because you read what you wrote and started criticizing it.
The critic cuts everything only to wonder why they started in the first place.
Because you hit a wall you turn to your trusted group of friends to ask for feedback, which is phase #2. You ask questions like: what do you want to see more of, less of? What does not make sense? Where is it confusing? It is easy to write down a list of all the questions, the difficult part is hearing the feedback. The goal of the feedback is to help narrow the sandbox. It was supposed to help you create new boundaries around your writing so that instead of writing with a shotgun, you are writing with a rifle. What feedback usually does is take us out of the game. We give up because it is too hard to read the feedback.
If we did not murder the idea in phase #1, we certainly will in phase #2.
Most ideas die in phase #2 though.
Why you might be asking?
We logically reason that if the feedback our trusted group is wiling to give reads like that, what is the brutal market going to say? We surmise that it is best to just be silent and not risk the embarrassment.
Phase #3 is most likely the most important and least understood. I call it resurrection.
If phase #1 or #2 murders the idea, phase #3 brings it back to life. Resurrecting the idea is the hardest part because it has more to do with thinking than it has to do with acting. Phase #1 and #2 are about acting, pushing forward, putting words on a page and sending it out into the world to see what happens. Phase #3 is about sitting and working through why you stopped. You have to ask yourself questions like, "Why did that feedback affect me so much?", "Do I really believe in this idea?" "What should I do differently?" The best way to face phase #3 is to sit somewhere with no distractions. Let your mind wrestle the answers to the ground. Phase 3 only submits when confronted.
The longer you sit in the mess the more clarity you stand up with.
Every idea works this way.
#1 Great idea: Put in the work
#2 Ask Questions: What does the market say?
#3 Get back in the ring: If you are not swinging, you are not hitting
What great idea have you shelved?
There is something the world needs that you have.
Get back in the ring today.