Getting started is hard. Also, sustaining something consistently is hard. Now that I think about it, ending gracefully is also hard. So, I guess everything is hard. Including writing this post. And using correct grammar.
However, none of that is the reason I abruptly stopped writing last spring. I had published fifteen posts between March 15th and May 15th of 2017. During that same 60-day span in 2017, I also completed an outline and two sample chapters for a book I was working on.
I then asked an expert for his opinion on my book proposal. And not just any expert, but someone widely considered “THE” expert right now in the world of book marketing.
Fortunately for me, he told me the truth. The hard, honest truth.
“You don’t have a book here. At best you have a gimmick, and not a very good one at that.”
We discussed a lot of other things that day, all of it valuable, but the statement above was the big takeaway. Upon ending our call, 90 seconds of reflection was all I needed to realize how correct his assessment was. It took an outside perspective to help me objectively look at my book and the underlying concept for it. My baby was poorly planned and casually conceived.
At around the same time the situation at my day job changed, leaving me very little time for anything extra-curricular. Or maybe I just used that as an excuse. I don’t know. It’s probably 20% real and 80% excuse. Either way, the combination resulted in a drastic reduction in my writing output: from once every 4 days on average before the call, to once every 236 days afterwards.
During that time, but more so over the past few months, I’ve thought a lot about writing. Should, or shouldn’t I? And if so, why? And if so, what?
The first two answers have been easy and clear. “Yes,” and “because I have to.” I feel sick when I don’t write. Not physically sick, but closer to a mental sickness. Like something is backing up inside me and when I don’t voluntarily let it out, it comes out anyway in a manner that is unproductive and not pretty.
The answer to “what” has been less clear and a more difficult task, but I’m getting there, slowly and steadily. I think I’ve figured out a few things that really work for me that will help me stay productive and on track. But today is Day One of what I expect to be 1,825 days before I start to gain any real traction. As a quick reminder, my current record is 60 days. Clearly, I have some work to do.
Thanks to anyone who was watching from the grandstands back then and thanks to anyone who happens to be watching now. There are guaranteed to be some spectacular wrecks along the way.
Time to get started.
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Thank you to Domantus Jusionis for the blank book image at the beginning of this post. You can follow him on instagram.