My Dream of Writing a Book

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A young bride on the day of her marriage gushed to her father, “Oh, Daddy, I'm at the end of all my troubles.” To which he replied. “You're absolutely right.  But, “Which end?”

That's a bit how I feel with Dare.Dream.Do. We just finished the last round of copy-edits.  I've received the galleys. Now we need to launch.  Or as Seth Godin advises, “you need to ship.”  Ship date is May 8, 2012.

{Insert exclamatory remark — thrilled, terrified, overwhelmed, delighted}

This realization made my conversation with Jesse Lyn Stoner, a de facto member of my dare to dream team, especially timely.  As I was cataloging for her what I need to get done in order to ship, she asked, “Why aren't you blogging about the process of bringing your book to life?  A-ha moment.  Writing a book is one of my dreams.  Why wouldn't I write about the process? Talk about what I've learned to date?  Track what's next?  Analyze the process in real-time?  Terrific suggestion Jesse!

So here's what I've learned to date:

1.  Start:  For much of my adult life, I've thought someday I'll write a book.  About what, or even when I had no idea.  Given my perfectionist leanings, blogging was, in retrospect, the best way to start.  It's a low-end disruptive move. Other than my fear, there are no barriers to entry.  Having begun blogging in 2007, by late 2009 when Laurel Christensen dared me to write a book, I had started to find my voice.  If you don't believe me, go back and read some of my earliest posts — they are rather wooden.

2.  Assemble a team:  Pulling together a team of trusted advisors sounds so benign, but when I look at the practice v. the theory, it's tough to do.  I am smart enough, however, to know I really couldn't have done this by myself, especially in the time that I had.  Specifically, any number of people will tell you I'm a good editor, including me.  So long as I'm not editing myself.  When I get really stuck, instead of typing, and deleting, writing in circles, I know I can send off a piece to Amy Jameson, for 15-minute look-see.  Even a few comments help me get unstuck. She is worth every penny.

3.  Be impatient for small wins, patient for big ones:  When it came to hiring an agent, if Julie Berry hadn't intervened, I may have just gone with the first person who approached me.  At Julie's urging, I did the due diligence that my too eager self didn't want to do.  Once I decided to go this route, and reached out to colleagues like Cali Yost for introductions, it took months before finding the right agent. While I was waiting for this big win, I was looking for small wins, ones I could control.  More blogging, gathering stories.  As Rachel Esplin advised, my motto was: don't be The Man from Song.

4.  Know my dealbreakers:  I am willing to comply with pretty much any deadline/request a publisher/agent imposes.  But there were some dealbreakers.  For example, one gatekeeper, suggested I re-write the whole book talking at my audience, rather than with, a tone completely antithetical to how I think dreaming needs to happen.  We do this together.  Another suggested that I re-write every story to be in my own words.  That I also couldn't do because it would have meant my taking away the voices of the women to whom I'd committed to provide a space.  In other words, there was a lot of — “I think you are absolutely wonderful.  But can you change your hair, your make-up and how you dress? Then we can date.”


5.  Trust your instinct:  I knew I wanted to work with Josh Getzler.  He was recommended by Cali Yost; we had a wide-ranging, fascinating discussion when we first spoke.  I liked that he'd been the COO of the Staten Island Yankees and negotiated against George Steinbrenner. As Josh submitted the manuscript to lots of large publishing houses, he also submitted it to the start-up Bibliomotion.  Almost from the outset, I knew they were the right fit, in part because of their disruptive model.  I fought it.  I considered going the route of the household name.  Eventually, I did trust my instinct.  And as one of their previously published authors said, “you have no idea how good you have it with Bibliomotion.”  He's right.  They are phenomenal.

So — here we are — January 2, 2012.

I've just sent off galleys to request a few more blurbs; we recently taped the audio Q&A for Amazon; I'm in the thick of re-doing my website, and I'm prepping to do the video trailer in the next few weeks.

The daring would seem to be just beginning…

What are your thoughts?

If you have wanted to write a book, any specific questions you have?

Anything about the process of dreaming?

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