Well, I’ve been writing a book, and it’s taken up all my time. It’s finished now though! So I should be able to make a few more entries on the blog. More about the book in the next entry.
At the beginning of November 2005 a respected publisher contacted me out of the blue and commissioned me to write a book on ‘Achieving Your Goals’ (I realise that after that opening sentence, I’m going to have to work hard to re-establish rapport with any aspiring authors, whose first thought would have been “Lucky b*****d!”).
The bad news was that because of commitments in January, I had to complete the book by Christmas.
As it happened, I had already freed up that time to write a book. The one I had been planning was the “Practical EQ” book on emotional intelligence that I have been promising myself to write for a while now. At the last meeting of my goal-setting group (more about goal-setting groups in a future article) it became very clear that there were not enough hours in the day to do this and all my other goals as well, so as the book was the most important, I cleared the decks of everything else until after Christmas.
So, I had the space available, and I was able to get the manuscript to the publishers on time. Incidentally, the number of people who have said “Wow, how did you manage it in that time?” is beginning to make me think this was quite an achievement, although while I was writing it I was mainly aware of how much time I was wasting.
The book I wrote, as it turned out, was not the one I had been planning – but I’m not complaining, because things turned out better than I was expecting. If I had written my original book, I would have been happy – but then I would have had to find a publisher, something I had no clue about.
This way, I have a publisher, I was paid an advance while I was writing the book, and of course having to commit to other people to meet the deadline provided an extra incentive on the days I didn’t feel like writing.
I have learned a few things from this experience:
Firstly, this tremendous lucky break would not have happened unless I had made myself ready for it by clearing the time to write a book. OK, the publishers would probably still have contacted me, but if the time was already committed to some other project, I could not have said yes – or at least, the lack of enthusiasm as I thought about the hassle of making the time available would have come across in my reply and put them off signing me. So:
– make yourself ready for what you want, otherwise it won’t happen.
– when you do make yourself ready for what you want, sometimes what you get is better than you expected!
Finally, I undertook a few assignments in 2005 that I wasn’t totally enthusiastic about – because deep down I didn’t feel ready for them. Not surprisingly, they were the ones that didn’t turn out that well. The money was pretty good, but the wear and tear on the spirit was such that I’m going to be much more careful about what I accept in future. By contrast, it took about a tenth of a second to decide to accept the book commission. This suggests that:
– if you’re not 100% enthusiastic about your goal, you’re not ready for it
– so what do you need to do to make yourself ready?
My book, Achieve Your Goals, will be published by Dorling Kindersley in August 2006. To be notified when it’s published (and get a free guide, The Six Best NLP Books For Business) sign up for my mailing list at the top of the right hand column.
Update – the book is now published in the UK! (I’ll let you know the US publication date as soon as I know – apparently it is going to be published in the US, but don’t hold your breath)
The designers at Dorling Kindersley have done a fantastic job (the cover is a bit plain but inside there is a wealth of diagrams, attractive layout and beautiful colour photographs) making it easy to read for even the busiest reader. I’m knocked out by how it’s turned out.
Anyway, if you order the book from Amazon and send me a copy of your email receipt, I’lll send you a free PDF article on ‘The Seven Biggest Mistakes In Goal-Setting’! Email the copy of your receipt to: firstname.lastname@example.org