When I talk to friends and family members lately, a common question is “How is the book coming?”
I’ve been a bit stuck lately on the book because of my angst about the title, since my working title bombed in the title survey. Because I structured the chapters and content around the title, I want to finalize the title and reshape the table of contents before I write much more.
I thought my work with authors over the years might prepare me better for my own author journey, In some ways, it has — I know what to expect related to the various milestones on the way to publication. What I hadn’t adequately anticipated is how emotionally unsettled I feel related to the various decisions about the book. While rationally I know that the title is not such a huge hurdle, it feels like one, and one I need to leap over before I can be free to write.
I’ve often observed that authors I’ve served have this linear mentality related to writing the book, wanting to put off other decisions or initiatives while completing the book or during the editing phase.
This is the trap I’m in right now, putting off other work on the book until the title decision is marked off.
This linear approach gets in the way of marketing initiatives, as I’ve coached authors to invest in laying the foundation for marketing their books while working on their books. Now that I’m on this side of the author journey, it makes more sense to me because the energy required to make book decisions and write the book does seem to leave little room for parallel projects. I’m curious to explore this further to see if anything I learn can make me a more effective coach for authors.
Another barrier to progress: juggling my full-time job and full-time parenting duties. I expected these, and blocked days off to write, but I find myself wishing for more concentrated and focused time, imagining an idyllic weeklong writer’s retreat, which is unlikely to happen. Instead, I’ll need to carve out moments in the early morning or weekends in addition to the writing days I’ve blocked.
In the back corner of our yard, we have a pond, dug by my husband (by hand!) I picture myself set up out there in a camp chair, with a bonfire to stave off the brisk air as we wait for spring to fully arrive. My laptop is fully charged and the only sound besides the birds and the wind through the trees is my fingers, clicking away at the keyboard. I picture myself writing there: the warmth of the fire, the chill of the air, the luxury of time to be creative. I’ll tell myself, the way I do when I’m enjoying a long run on the trail: I’m doing what I love right now. How blessed I am to have the opportunity to do what I love.