Marathon runners hit a wall of physical failure near the end of the race. The will may be strong, but the human body has limits, and one of them arises at about 23 miles of constant forward movement. Issues with glucose and other chemicals I don’t know the names of shut the legs off, make the arms refuse, turn the trunk to oatmeal.
I don’t know if it’s that my allergies are especially bad (curse you, California plant life!) or the broader concept of approaching the senior discount at the movie theater, but I’m tired. We have 2,152 miles to get home, and I’m tired. Today we drive from Newport Beach to Surprise, Arizona. Not a bad day for us. Six hours door to door. We’ve done 16 at times. But I’m tired. I’d stay right here except that I’m 2,152 miles from home. I keep hearing The Clash doing Should I Stay or Should I Go? except the answer is obvious.
If you’re tired of me parroting Tom‘s recommendations, you’d best turn your head away because here comes another one:
Jon Morrow is the agent provocateur who regularly kicks writer’s butts with his posts on not just thinking or talking about writing but actually taking writing risks and getting real work done. He was the associate editor of Copyblogger (a marketing/copywriting site I can’t recommend enough), and now throws lightning bolts from his site at Boost Blog Traffic.
Copyblogger, including Jon’s work with them, altered my perception of writing on the web. If you’re marketing without consulting Copyblogger and Jon Morrow, you’re making it unnecessarily hard on yourself.
Jane Friedman’s site and work examines with an analytical but empathetic eye the windings of many writing roads, from individual authorship to self- and traditional publishing to diverse matters of writing craft and business. She is on top of the latest developments—and offers clear interpretations from that peak.
Another snippet from Tom Bentley’s blog. I’ll weigh in as well, because I love Jonathan Fields and the Good Life Project.
Jonathan is good at letting people talk. These aren’t interviews so much as led conversations. He’s not showing up with a list of questions to elicit the facts they want to share. He’s in the moment, helping someone he’s excited about share their passion with us.
His book Career Renegade changed my life. I’m still working on Uncertainty after my second reading, trying to move it from head knowledge to heart action.
Jonathan Fields is a guy who almost seems like a data-delighted high priest of writing, with his winning blend of using logic, science and especially the human touch to plumb and understand the depths of communication. His Good Life Project is a probing, reflective series of interviews with people who have struggled in their work and personal lives and gained great (and instructive) ground in understanding and elaborating on the human condition. And how to live richly and well within that humanness. Fields is a fine author as well.
The greatest challenge to getting your book out of the “someday” box isn’t writing, it’s starting. It helps if you spend some time finding why; if you clearly establish your real reason for writing a business book.
Are you writing a book to make money? Don’t. Virtually all books sell less than 500 copies. Ever. Even if you make $12 a copy (which is pretty good), you just made $6,000.
To establish yourself as an expert. Good reason. If you literally wrote the book, you’ll be recognized as an authority on your subject.
Imagine, though, if you were dying of thirst (you are, you’re a writer) and the person holding the hose kept shutting it off so they could adjust something. Spurt of water; shut it off, adjust. Spurt of water, shut it off, adjust.
You’d strangle ‘em, screaming “Just give me the water!”
That’s what your heart is doing when you write slowly, methodically, with your head. Because you don’t write with your head, you write with your heart. You edit with your head.
No one but you will see your unedited words, so don’t worry about whether they’re perfect.
Because if you worry that they’re perfect, nobody but you will ever see your words, period.
In an email, Cheryl mentioned her writing schedule, and pointed out that she keeps it flexible. I asked her to tell us more about it.
My writing routine typically works out that I am at the computer for a couple hours on Thursdays, hopefully an hour or so on Saturdays, and a few hours on Sundays. I spend several hours twice a week traveling and bouncing between airports. Couple this with long work days when I’m on the road and I do not sit down to write. Being out of town much of the week, my weekends are busy catching up with things around the house, doing errands, and prepping to fly out again on Monday. … more … “My Time to Write – Guest Post by Cheryl Campbell”