Hi, friends! I’ve been thinking about you a lot lately. Well, thinking about some of the blog posts I want to write, how I need your help with more ideas for my upcoming adventure (which now includes some travel through the USA!) and wondering what you are up to over there. But I haven’t let myself sit down to finish a post yet, because I’m finally, finally, finally head down in my book proposal – and I’m scared if I take myself away from it for too long, I’ll lose my focus and the whole project will crumble.
If you’ve been on my mailing list for a while, or we’re friends in real life, you know I’ve been talking about this book proposal for months. Unfortunately, that’s basically all I’ve been doing: talking. Talking, brainstorming and trying to figure out exactly what the book was going to be about. There were so many parts of my story that I thought I should include but I couldn’t figure out how. I was trying to combine pieces from multiple puzzles to make one big puzzle and it just didn’t work.
In January, things finally started to become more clear. I felt inspired, grabbed a blank notebook and, over the course of a week, filled it with a timeline of events. The idea began to form, but I was still stuck on the ending. In February, I typed up most of my notes and began to piece it all together, but then had to put it on the back burner (again), so I could complete enough freelance work to feel comfortable taking a few weeks off post-operation. (And then I needed that operation…)
Since “coming back to work”, however, I haven’t been able to think about anything other than this book – and the writing is finally flowing. I know exactly what the beginning, middle and end look like. I have a long list of all the stories I want to include. The prologue and epilogue are mapped out. I even have a title and an entire social media campaign (and web domains) in my back pocket. It’s happening. But it’s only happening because I’m finally giving it my full attention. And I have Rework to thank for that.
I received a handful of books as gifts from friends, to read while I am recovering, including a copy of Rework from Sarah. At first, I wasn’t sure that I needed to read a business book. But it only took a few chapters for me to get sucked in, and realize how much of it applied to the business of blogging. Not only did Rework give me permission to ignore what other people are doing, accept fewer interviews and take back more of my time, it taught me that inspiration is perishable:
“We all have ideas. Ideas are immortal. They last forever. What doesn’t last forever is inspiration. Inspiration is like fresh fruit or milk: it has an expiration date. If you want to do something, you’ve got to do it now. You can’t put it on a shelf and wait two months to get around to it. You can’t just say you’ll do it later. Later, you won’t be pumped up about it anymore. If you’re inspired on a Friday, swear off the weekend and dive into the project. When you’re high on inspiration, you can get two weeks of work done in twenty-four hours. Inspiration is a time machine in that way. Inspiration is a magical thing, a productivity multiplier, a motivator. But it won’t wait for you. Inspiration is a now thing. If it grabs you, grab it right back and put it to work.”
That’s it. That’s literally the entire chapter from the book – and it gave me the approval I needed to work on nothing but this proposal. For as much as I used to pride myself on being able to manage multiple projects with multiple deadlines, it makes sense that I perform better when I have a singular focus. Think about it: that’s how I paid off my debt in two years, how I got rid of the first 40%+ of my belongings in three weeks – and it’s how I’m going to finish my book proposal.
I’ve said before that you should manage your energy, not your time, and the same rule applies here. I’m inspired now. I have the perfect lull between big client projects now. And I have the idea now. I’m going for it. I’m also not scared anymore. Writing a memoir isn’t easy, especially when you’re sharing things you’ve never written about before – or even told some of your closest friends. But I’m ready now… so, if you’re looking for me, that’s what I’m doing!
I’m hoping to wrap it up in the next couple of weeks, so will be back as soon as I can! I have a list of things I want to write about soon, and I owe you my first quarterly budget of 2016 too. In the meantime, when you think about something you want to tackle and feel the surge of excited energy rush through you, promise me you’ll jump up and start. Don’t add it to your to-do list or say you’ll do it “soon”. Soon isn’t coming. Inspiration is a now thing. Please grab it and run.