Project Updates — December 2, 2018

This is a quick update. I’ve been writing :)

Change in All Quadrants: Personal Change Planning

Writing a non-fiction book, for me, is not a linear process. It’s more like writing a Master’s thesis.

During my time in the University of Georgia History department (early 1990s), I learned the “index-card” trick.

  • Grab a bunch of index cards and many index card boxes
  • As you do your research, write the note on one side and the citation (APA-style, please) on the other
  • When you are ready to write, take your thousands of index cards and organize them into your thesis outline.
  • The thesis (supposedly) writes itself

In practice, it wasn’t so tidy and the thesis DIDN’T write itself. I found that I had to return to sources, fill in gaps, attempt to clean up jargon-laden sentences, and find my own voice.

I may not use index cards anymore, and the pile of books and papers has been supplemented with many (many) open tabs on my laptop, but the process of writing this book is the same.

Another lesson I’m learning is that the Resistance is sneaky. I had plans to finish the chapter on the Change Planning Model (Chapter 5) and send out the “do it yourself” experiment to the pre-order group.

Steven Pressfield named this hazard to the creative process brilliantly in The War of Art and Do the Work (Amazon affiliate links). I find that the more important a task is, the more likely the Resistance will appear.

My workaround has been to work on another chapter. The pre-order group received the first section of Chapter 2 (Vision and Values) earlier this month.

Current status:

  • Introduction — 12 pages full draft. I expect a rewrite once the entire book is in full draft.
  • Chapter 1 (Theory) –6 pages partial draft.
  • Chapter 2 (Vision and Values) –20 pages full draft, 1 page partial draft. I’ve spent the past few days sitting on the Values section. Something about what I am seeing in the literature has made me deeply uncomfortable. Since the pre-order crew consists of individuals that I have personal relationships with, I may run this section by them and get feedback before I proceed.
  • Chapter 3 (Roadmapping) — 2.5 pages full draft, 2.5 pages partial draft
  • Chapter 4 (Focus and Prioritization) — 3 pages full draft, 1 page partial draft
  • Chapter 5 (Change Planning Model) — 6 pages full draft, 6 pages partial draft
  • Chapter 6 (Planning) — not started
  • Chapter 7 (Execution) — 7 pages full draft, 1 page partial draft.

Full draft = Something you can read. Looks like part of a book.

Partial draft = Sentence/paragraph snippets, outlines, personal notes, sources I need to look at or revisit.

Other activities

Next month

  • Get the Change Planning Exercise out to the pre-order group
  • Begin outreach to the Publishizer publishers/book publishing services who expressed interest during the campaign.
  • Ideally, have a full draft of the entire book written. Judging from the pace I am currently maintaining, this is unlikely. March 1 for a full draft is more realistic. I’m targeting Chapter 5 and at least one other chapter into full draft by January 1. We’ll see where the Muse and the Resistance take me.
  • Launch planning for the coaching practice.

The Transformation

On hold until I get the Change Planning book out to publication.

Thank you all for your support!