3 tips for making progress on the project you have within you
If the Universe pokes you to do something, say yes!
Not long after I decided to branch into teaching, I was strongly nudged to write a book by my Save the Cat screenwriting classmate, Scott Allen. Sure! I’ll write a book on energy healing, I told myself. With over thirty-six years in the field, I can speak volumes about the subject and a book only needs 120 pages. I had said yes to book-writing!
Waste as little time as possible – invest in expert coaching from the get go
After learning from a couple dozen “how to write” resources, I churned out a clunky little e-book on how to use tapping for emotional healing: A Field Guide for Happiness. While the tapping instructions are solid, I’d grade the book C- looking back on it. This was not the book the Universe wanted me to write, but it was the best first run-through that I could’ve done on my own. My writing had plateaued, and it became clear that I needed to engage and invest in a higher level of expertise than blogs and books. I kept writing.
You learned how to drive from a driver’s ed teacher, not from a website or book, right? Doesn’t your assignment from the Universe require mentoring from expert coaches too? After struggling on my own for over a year, I enrolled in the Author’s Program with Ann McIndoo, an Author’s Coach who has produced over 1,250 books. Ann’s method of mapping out and writing a book is excellent, tangible, and attainable. I now consider Ann a friend, too. After completing her course, I still didn’t have my book, but I was beginning to understand why – and it was not due to a shortcoming in Ann’s Author’s Program.
Identify and implement your must-haves for success
In the process of racking up my hours, I made a huge decision that changed the entire book writing process. I realized that the most loving gift I could give myself was to work with a co-writer rather than a writing coach. At first, the idea of co-writing was hard on my ego, but I had to ask myself, “Will this project ever get done at the level of quality I’m aiming for if I go it alone?” This process required me to set my ego aside and take the path that would guarantee me the best possible quality, support, and success.
Another essential? Collaborating weekly, in person, until my book is published! My co-writer, Emily Hudson, vibrates a writer’s energy that I can tune into. She is a treasure, for like Scott and Ann, she understands me and gets excited when new ideas flow (which they do in abundance from our synergy!).
Update: Where am I now in the 10,000 hour development of my book?
My most recent goal was to complete the book by spring of this year. Deadlines come and go, and yet Emily and I are not deterred. I learned in my UCLA Extension screenplay writing class and in Robert McKee’s legendary Story Seminar, and from Ann McIndoo’s program to spend 80% of my total writing time on the outline. After that, the writing will be clear, have the necessary story arc, and I won’t get lost midway through my first draft. At this moment, Emily and I are reviewing our annotated outline, which will morph into our first draft.
I think I am approaching 7,000 hours… I’ll keep you posted.