These posts document where I am on my author journey.
This week was a significant milestone for me- I handed back my manuscript after four months of editing (cue happy dance!)
This will be the second round of professional edits, specifically a content edit, I will receive.
I feel much more confident with how the book is progressing, and it’s becoming clearer to me who my target audience or readers would be.
Your target audience is the people who will most benefit from reading your book.
And in my case its professionals who don’t like their jobs and know they want to do something else, but don’t know what that ‘something else’ is.
My book will help frustrated corporate cogs to do work that turns them into creative catalysts. And the more creatively you live your life, the happier and more fulfilling your life will be.
Note that most authors say you need to have figured out who your ‘ideal’ reader is before you start the book! I clearly didn’t do this.
I guess I had an idea of who I was writing for, but the more time I spent on the book, the clearer it became who my intended audience was.
So don’t worry if you haven’t figured out everything. The key is just to get started, and the rest will follow.
This week’s progress
This week, regarding ”getting stuff done”, although I had a huge to-do list, I was not very ‘productive’ in the common sense of the word.
But this is not necessarily a bad thing.
Let me explain.
In the old days. I would have thought burning the midnight oil was the only way to show I had used my time wisely.
But what I am learning on this creative path is that as creatives, there is no path.
Instead, we must create a path for ourselves. And this path is as unique to us as much your DNA is unique to you.
After I sent the manuscript to the editor, I just felt completely exhausted and tired.
It’s as though I had all this pent up energy inside myself and after I had released the book to my editor, I felt like all I wanted to do was to hibernate to rest and recover.
So that is was I unashamedly did.
I slept 10 hours a day, and took some time out to breath and relax.
I walked 5 miles to the next town as a form of walking meditation, I attended my first calligraphy class (which was awesome!), and I also had a few workshops on pitching, coaching and presenting that I attended. I see all these activities as part of my growth as an author-entrepreneur.
This is the first time I have allowed myself to just rest and recuperated guilt-free.
I had some back and muscle pain this week which hit me out of the blue.
Of course, it didn’t come out of the blue. I think I was just ignoring it to get past the finishing line with the book.
Lesson learnt: I cannot overwork myself or my body.
This author journey I have embarked on is one I want to commit to for the rest of my life. So it’s in my interests to take care of myself; otherwise, I’m just recreating the corporate structures I desperately escaped from!
Thinking Like an Author-Entrepreneur
I also had a little epiphany this week; my book has exploded to 60k words, and I think there may be potential to split the book into three separate books with the following titles:
- How to find your passions
- How to live your purpose
- How to unleash your potential
What do you think of this idea?
In this way, I create four products from one piece of content; 3 books and a box-set!
This is how author-entrepreneurs need to be thinking. How can you create more value for your reader? How can you distribute one piece of content in multiple ways?
I think a 60k word non-fiction book may be too long which is why I thought of this idea.
As a voracious reader of non-fiction self-development, I prefer to read short, actionable reads that get me quick and tangible results.
So I think this could be a good idea for both me and for my readers.
I have proposed this idea to my editor and will see what feedback she has to say. Will keep you posted!
Following My Curiosity
This year, I also want to follow my creativity and curiosity, and that means allowing myself to do things for the sake of it, with no end goal.
A bit like meditation I suppose. The purpose is in the process of the activity.
This is why I started calligraphy classes. As well as wanting to learn something new, I also wanted to do something where I used my hands in a different way. I wanted to do something else that was creative.
At this point, I have no plans to be a calligraphy master (if such a term even exists!). But all I want to do is try out new skills and activities for the sake of it.
And I noticed how I got into the ‘flow’ state of mind very quickly. The 2-hour class felt like 20 minutes.
They have hundreds of old books and ancient manuscripts on display. I saw Jane Austen’s notebooks and letters she had written. It’s incredible to see their actual handwriting!
I also sacred texts and scrolls. Just wandering around the dark rooms allowed ideas to percolate.
I didn’t come out with a solid storyline, but I certainly allowed my mind to create potential stories and entertain other ideas.
Going to exhibitions or different places allows your mind to think and expand in various directions and dimensions. I got this tip from this brilliant post by Joanna Penn here which is worth a read.
So I would recommend you follow your curiosity and see where it leads you, especially if you are stuck in your writing.
Progress & Plans This Week
This week I didn’t get much done regarding word counts etc. but I certainly feel refreshed and re-focused to tackle this upcoming week and have laid out my plans which include:
- Studying the SPF course, I signed up to
- Figure out social media stuff (I’m thinking of curating relevant content and scheduling it a week in advance)
- Email list- get this opt-in page sorted out
- Write and calendar in a few week’s worth of blog posts
Also this week, I’m going to be co-hosting a personal development seminar with Nico, who is a coach.
What are your writing goals this week? Please do share in the comments below.