Story Behind the Story: Top 10 Reasons People Never Get Started

How the sausage gets made around here

I’ve been reading (and listening to) a fair amount of Derek Sivers recently, and he gave me permission to launch a new blog post series I’ve been contemplating. I’m starting the series for my own purposes, as beyond me it will probably have all the appeal of a snow cone stand in Siberia.

Making the sausage

I thought it would be fun – even if it’s only fun for me – to give a behind-the-scenes view on the creation of some of the things I write. I won’t do it for every post, but there are a few where I enjoy reliving the journey from concept to final product. This particular one follows the actual post directly (or fairly close), but moving forward I’ll probably reach back a few posts or more to tell the story. Due to the nature of this series, the writing will be a lot more casual and “stream of consciousness” than my normal posts. (This is where the savvy reader thinks and that’s different how, exactly?)

The origin of “10 Reasons People Never Get Started”: I noticed that at least half of the “click-bait” I stumble across these days are lists of things. I also noticed that some of the writers and authors I admire and read have a fairly heavy ratio of “lists topics.” I made an entry in my Evernote “Writing Topics List” that I should include a list topic every once in a while.

Later that week I mentioned the idea to Clair (my bride) and she especially liked the idea and encouraged me to try my first one. I don’t know why, but I couldn’t come up with a list idea so I abandoned it for a couple of weeks. Sometime after that Clair asked me if I had tried one yet, and when I told her I gave up because I couldn’t seem to get started, she volunteered, “Then why don’t you write one on the reasons people can’t seem to get started?” Obviously, she’s the smart one of the house.

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It was a good suggestion as I already had 4 reasons written as part of my “Creating A Life of Your Own” seminar. With 4 as my starting point, my goal was to come up with 7 total reasons for the post. It took some work to get there, but after I made it to 7, even more reasons came about organically as I started to write the first draft and by the time I finished I had 10 in total.

As I rearranged the 10 items into an order that made sense, I noticed some of them naturally fit together. I reworded a couple to make them mesh even more tightly and then separated them into the groups. I hope the end result came off as natural, but it was an evolution to get there.

If you’ve made it this far, I hope it wasn’t lost on you that I’ve been wanting to launch this series for a while, but never got started until Derek Sivers’s comment/note on “People really do want to see how the sausage gets made” gave me the permission I didn’t realize I was seeking. Reason #1, folks.

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