I know I want to write a book. I know what I want to write about. But it never gets around to being written. That thing called life gets in the way. I see similarities to my Tower of Intention (if you don’t know what that is, please look back at my historical blog posts from December 2022). I can’t get around to reading books, what makes me think I can get around to writing one?

It’s not like I haven’t been trying. During the past Christmas holiday in the neighborhood newsletter, Christina posted she was starting a book-writing group in January that would meet twice a month at the neighborhood clubhouse. We’d meet on Thursdays from 7:30 pm – 9 pm. We’d go around the group to catch up on everyone’s progress, listen to pages written, and provide feedback. In the last part of the gathering, we’d all separate and start writing.

The group is called Promising Pages. There are a few already-published authors, some tweaking longtime manuscripts, some struggling with character development and some just writing and will worry about it all making sense later. Me? I’m still at the outline stage. In fact, I have been so busy with other stuff that I’ve missed the last three meetings (correction – really only missed two meetings because the last meeting was canceled).

Sometimes (like tonight), I’m spending my time writing my blog for this week (hey, at least I’m writing). Maybe I’ll get to use some of these pieces. I spent more time trying to decide if I should use Scrivener or not. Right now, all I’ve got to show for my efforts is a decent outline of a book. I’ve got the foundation, now I just have to build everything else.

I remember my good friend Stan Phelps once told me that the first thing you need to do to get a book written was to pick the date of the launch party. What does Stan Phelps know about writing a stinking book anyways?  Well, Stan is the author of 12 books that I know of (probably more) on customer experience. He says by picking a date, you are making a commitment to yourself and the rest of the world by putting a stake in the ground to get it done. And get it done you must.

I just got booked for an engagement in mid-October. It’s for a conference in a convention center. I’ll be doing a 90-minute keynote. I asked about the possibility of getting a table to sell some merchandise. They said absolutely! Oh my, wouldn’t it be great if I had a book to sell after my keynote? If they like my keynote, the book would just enhance the experience. But I’ve got no book.

To get things done, you really need two things; 1) Incentive, and 2) Commitment. Back to the Tower of Intention. Last year, the number of books I read was zero. I had good intentions, but I’d fall asleep after reading four pages. This year, I’ve already read six books. What changed? I went from pages to audio. I listen to my books now. I’ve always had the incentive to read, but going to audio helped with my commitment.

I know some of the logistics about getting a book published but let’s put first thing first. Like Christina said tonight (and she is a published author) you’d better get writing. So let’s put a stake in the ground to get this book done. If the conference is in mid-October, I’m picking October 1st for the book launch. Can I get ‘er done in four months? The heck if I know. At least there is a stake in the ground. But I am holding true to our neighborhood book writing group, I’m Promising Pages. 

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