Last night I started writing the intro to the third chapter of my book. Then I got interrupted and wasn’t able to come back to it. There was a 50/50 chance, I knew, that I might forget what I was working on. Fortunately, it seems to have stuck with me.
Don’t you hate it when you have an idea and you can’t write it down, and then you lose it? I’m serious when I say I’ve probably written dozens of books over the years…in my head. I have to work on the “writing it down” part.
I actually dreamed the entire plot of a novel back in 2003. It was Thanksgiving weekend and I woke up with the entire thing in my head, from start to finish. And oddly enough, I’ve never forgotten the plot. It’s as fresh today as it was back then. One of these days I’m going to write it out and publish it.
I’m a Star Wars fan, but I wouldn’t call myself a “hard-core”. I like the movies and have sporadically gotten into some of the “expanded universe” stuff. Every now and then, I’ll get the Star Wars bug to delve into that franchise a bit more than usual. With all the news about the upcoming sequel trilogy, I’ve gotten that bug again – but in a different way this time. To be honest, I’m still processing what Disney’s purchase of LucasFilm and the furthering of the franchise actually means. As a way to figure out what is what, let’s explore what’s happening with the Star Wars franchise and the potential results from it.
I confessed to my coach last week that I was frustrated with my book’s outline. I need to prepare the first four chapters to submit to a agent. From my perspective, the first four chapters are the least interesting, and yet they’re absolutely critical.
My coach stepped in and pointed out that by subtly changing my viewpoint, I can make those dull chapters more interesting. It was almost too simple. All of a sudden I looked at my outline with a new set of eyes. I didn’t need to rewrite the outline or change things around in the book–I just needed a new approach.
I have a business coach. As you might have read, I’ve been having trouble getting my book done. My book is tied to my business. I explained my challenges to my business coach, and by the time we ended our conversation I had much more clarity, along with a clear vision of how to proceed. My business coach is now my writing coach.
The benefit of having a coach is that he won’t hold back. He told me to refocus my efforts and head in a different direction, which is exactly what I needed.
A writing coach can be anyone, from a friend to a relative to a trusted colleague. The important thing is that you find someone who won’t be afraid to push you or challenge your ideas. The idea is to help you, not hinder you. Having someone who will keep you accountable and focused on your goals will only move you toward your end goal even faster.
I ordered a book last week and it arrived on Thursday. I’m almost done with it, and so last night I ordered another one so that I have a new book to start when I finish this one. They’re both business books by Alan Weiss and Marshall Goldsmith. (This is the third book I’ve read by Weiss and the 4th is due to arrive next week) The book I’m writing is nonfiction, and it centers around a philosophy I developed. Reading their books helps me to get my own book done.
I don’t think reading falls into my procrastination trap. I think this is more like research. However, I do find that I get lost in the books, to the extent that I’ve devoured several hundred pages in a few weeks. (I can read fiction much faster; nonfiction requires a different area of my brain, which is why I developed my own personal writing process)
On the one hand, I have tons of new ideas floating around my head. On the other hand, I haven’t done as much writing as I should have.