Books photo from Hope House Press on Unsplash

Why I’m writing a book and a glimpse into my process

I was listening to a podcast during an uninspired workout in Newark, Delaware when I heard a prompt that changed the way I thought about my next steps.

There were only two parts:

  1. Write down the top 5 days of your life.
  2. Ask yourself, “How can I create more days like these?”

So simple, yet something that I have never done. Aside from meeting the love of my life (which was number one), all of my top five days involved being around passionate people making change in the world.

I realized in that moment that the people I wanted to work with were those who wanted to change the world. I realized that I was one of those people and that there was something missing. There is an electric environment when you get all of these world-changers in a room. After these days I left with unparalleled energy, yet, events this special happen one or two times each year. I couldn’t imagine what I could accomplish if I could spend more time around such inspired and passionate people.

I decided that I had to make something for these people because I felt the pain of trying something new. I felt the loneliness of realizing most people don’t want to change anything, but I knew the joy of finally connecting with my tribe. I had to write a book for people like me. Young world-changers who felt disconnected and misunderstood.


My process so far

I started a daily blog in September as a way to record my own thoughts and form opinions on these very topics. They were my observations of what it’s like to view life through a world-changers’ lens. My musings on creativity and how we can believe in our own ability. My writing is everything that I wished I’d learned earlier.

I copied all of my posts into a Google doc to highlight the most important lessons

After reading through all the 20,000 words I’d written over the past four months, I had over a hundred bullet points of important lessons and powerful stories.

I organized my 100+ bullet points into broad sections

I took my bullet points and started to develop an arc to the book. This is what I have so far:

We desperately need people willing to change the world. The time to start is now. It’s not easy, so you need some habits of mind to keep you sane during the process. Here is what you need to know as you start, sustain and grow your movement.

I sorted the points according to this arc. Now, I’ve started filling in each section with my words and new stories that I’m integrating as we speak. I want to keep the book engaging, visually appealing and easy to digest.

A sample of a couple pages from the book so far

I’m at about 12,000 words and I’m happy with the structure. Now, the biggest task is adding stories, making the sections flow and editing. I talked to my friend and graphic design wizard, Kenny Testa, about adding some illustrations. I’m excited to say that I’ll be working on those soon.

During the the next month I’m going to work on making the book more than words on a page. I envision a source of understanding for those who feel misunderstood. I want to create something that can connect the disconnected and the lonely. There will be another layer to this experience. I’m not sure what it will be, but those who buy the book might get access to a special Slack channel or Facebook group.

I’ve never written a book and usually keep my projects like this secret. This time I’m choosing a different path. I received Show Your Work by Austin Kleon for Christmas and I’ve already been moved by his ideas. I thought it’d be valuable to share some of my process in creating this book. My process is definitely not the only way or the best way, but it’s my way.

During Chase Jarvis’ brilliant interview series, 30 Days of Genius, he asked Seth Godin (author of 18 books and a blog with millions of readers), “What is your secret?” And Seth’s response was brilliant. He said:

“There is no secret. And that’s the best part.” — Seth Godin

I love that. There is no secret. You have to show up every day and create something valuable for the world. That’s no secret, but it’s a great way to operate.

Every morning I wake up excited to work on this project and create something for people making change. My daily blog has been active for over 100 days and I’m thrilled to be crafting the most important lessons into a book for you all.

I hope for it to be available on February 1st. If you’d like to be the first to hear about news regarding the launch, please sign up for my personal newsletter. Thanks for being a part of this journey.

Zack