Ever thought of writing a book? How you can make your dream come true.
In 2016 I attended a workshop facilitated by my later career manager and mentor Anthony, and for the participant introduction he asked us to tell four things about us :
- One day I will …
- What I do on the project …
- Outside work I …
- My first job was …
And I remember that Anthony said for his “One day I will …” : I will write a book when I am retired.
I had often joked I could write a book with all I know, but from that moment onwards it was in my mind.
It came up ever so often, but I did not give it more thought until a coaching session earlier this summer with my coach Karena. And talking about what I really want to do. By talking it out loud the first time, it not only felt good, but we were talking about the more how and when and what.
And what happened next was: I was meeting a Cranfield Alumni later that day and when introducing myself to Adam and what I am doing I confidently said: And I am currently planning to write a book, don’t know exactly yet how, but I will publish next year.
After our conversation continued he suddenly said: And if you are serious about the book, we could do it together, I have it on my todo list for years but have no time to take 3 months off to go to Paris writing a book, as this is how I would do it alone.
We were laughing and discussed it a little further and left it for the moment so we could think and sleep about it. The next meeting we picked it up again and tried to consider why it is a bad idea, still both evaluating if this could work together.
And now we are meeting on a weekly basis and are on the rollercoaster of identifying how on earth we make this happen. Some meetings we leave wholly enthusiastic that we cracked what we actually want to write about that is not written about before. Some meetings we are devastated as our house of cards just fall apart.
But each meeting brings us closer to a storyline we feel passionate about.
What made the difference?
- We had the idea on our mind, but we were missing the real intent (it was on our todo list)
- I spoke about the idea with Karena and made a plan and defined next steps, so the intent was shared with somebody who would hold me accountable
- With the confidence of a plan I spoke about it as a fact, not “One day I will write a book”.
- Adam and I discussed the opportunity to do it together, but we didn’t make a decision right away. We explored how we both were working, what could go wrong and didn’t put any pressure making a decision.
- Now that we are sure we want to do it together, we take it one step at a time. We enjoy the process, the learning and go through many of the newbie mistakes, which does not make it a straight line and much more interesting.
- We are meeting every week and keep walking. Often when one day was not as successful, most of the thoughts helped to explore a dead end and bring us back on the right track. Consistency is crucial to that.
- We are talking about it to others. Talking about our plans and have our first meeting with one of our professors to talk about it a little more in detail, seeing if our storyline holds up some external scrutiny.
- We have already taken pre-orders from friends and colleagues :) so we should have at least 10 copies sold at the end.
I am not sure if we will publish in 2019, as there is the whole process of finding an agent, a publishing house etc. but we are clearly on the way to make our dream come true.
Just remember, you can do anything you set your mind to, but it takes action, perseverance, and facing your fears. — Gillian Anderson
or a German saying I learnt a long time ago
Wenn es denkbar ist, ist es machbar.
So, if you ever had the dream to write a book, maybe it is time to think of some actions.
And if you are reading this working for a publishing house or agent, interested in Business Books about how companies and their CEOs can focus more on the long-term strategy rather than being dragged into the day to day crisis, please contact me :)
Looking forward to hearing about your dreams and how you set your mind to achieve them, your stories how you wrote your first book or any other comments.