My original goal was to finish the book and launch it on the second Sunday of March 2011. I missed that deadline, but the book DID launch on April 1, 2011! If you didn’t know it was out, that’s OK – I haven’t made a big deal out of it… Yet…
But, yes, the book is DONE and yes, it ROCKS! It’s called “The Paleo Dieter’s Missing Link.” You can click on the image if you want to know more about it…
It Usually Takes Longer and is Harder Than You Thought
Most of you who know me know that I love to write. Well, let me tell ya… Writing blog posts is a lot of fun for me. Writing stuff in the 10-20 page range is enjoyable, slightly challenging and satisfying. Writing a book that’s over 160 pages is HARD. The longest technical papers I ever wrote in college were in the 20-30 page range. I’ve never done anything of the magnitude of this book. I definitely got up close and personal with some of my demons during this project.
This project could have gone on forever too. The closer I got to “done” the more work I seemed to have. The fact that I wanted it to be PERFECT had a lot to do with it. And perfection is hard when a proofread takes 2-3 days… BTW, if you have a hardcover book nearby, take a look at the first few pages. Likely there’s a STAFF of people who worked on it. A STAFF. This thing was just me. The cats were surprisingly uninterested and unhelpful with the editing…
The point is, writing a book was A LOT harder than I thought and it took LONGER than I thought. But I did it. There were many, many times I wanted to quit and find an easier way. There were a bunch of times I decided to take a break for a few days and found myself waking up the next morning stressed and obsessed with finishing – even though my mind wasn’t really recovered and fluid. I had to write very often when I didn’t want to. And I had to stay off of Facebook and Twitter, not post a lot on my blog and stay off of the SINS page on Facebook. Not fun, but sometimes you have to drop the hammer and make stuff happen.
The PROCESS wasn’t fun and wasn’t pretty, but the book is DONE – and DONE WELL. And it’s only a few weeks late (even though the ORIGINAL deadline was Jan 1, 2011…).
Pushing Through “The Dip”
Most of you know I’m a HUGE Seth Godin fan. One of the things that really got me through this project was his little book “The Dip.” I actually reread that book right around my lowest point in the project. It was VERY CLEAR to me that I was in The Dip and needed to push though it. As Seth says: “Starting is easy, finishing is hard.” I thought about that a lot. I also thought about how it seemed to get HARDER the closer I got to the end.
Here’s how Seth Godin describes The Dip:
“Every new project (or job, or hobby, or company) starts out exciting and fun. Then it gets harder and less fun, until it hits a low point-really hard, and not much fun at all.”
But this made a HUGE impact on me. If my business and marketing hero can admit that projects get hard and less fun as they go on, how could I NOT push through The Dip and finish this thing?
BTW, there are little Dips too – Like the middle of a WOD. Right around the 3rd round of 5 when you want to stop. Or around rep 12 of a set of 20 Rep Squats. Starting is easy. Finishing is hard… The Dips are EVERYWHERE once you know to look for them.
Something else I thought of – A LOT – is how many people I know who have said they “should write a book” or they “are writing a book.” Think about it. How many people have STARTED a book versus how many have FINISHED one? To that, let’s ask how many have actually FINISHED a GOOD one…
Starting is easy, finishing is hard.
There’s a REASON this is a running joke on Family Guy and there’s a reason it’s FUNNY:
Starting is Easy, Finishing is Hard
For me, it was really helpful to remember that finishing is SUPPOSED TO BE HARD. That’s what separates the winners from the losers. A lot of people start things. A lot fewer finish…
Finishing on time is nice. Finishing perfectly is nice too. Finishing on time AND perfectly is pretty special. But most of us – and many very successful people are included in this – finish well and reasonably on time. And, as far as I can tell, doing things well and reasonably on time – again and again and again – has something to do with being successful.
But you have to START and you have to STRIVE for great results
I had this argument with someone I was close to for a long time. I start anything I do with the intention of doing it at a very high level. I strive for perfection. I know I won’t achieve it, but I strive for it anyway. I did this in college. I studied for my exams and wrote all my lab reports and papers with the intention of getting 100. I almost never got it, but striving for it kept me turning out outstanding work. If, like the person I was close to, I was constantly starting things thinking “I’ll be OK with a C,” I’d never have done anything outstanding.
I’ve only finished two classes with Cs in my life – Biochemistry and Multi-Variable Calculus. Other than those classes, I was an A and B student. What do you think would have happened in those classes if I had gone INTO them thinking “I’ll be OK with just scraping by with a C?” I went in expecting an A and wanting an A. I didn’t get it, but I got out intact and was able to go on to the next year without repeating the class. And, what saved me in biochem was that the LAB portion of the class was worth 25%. I got an A in that part. I just got murdered in the lecture because I wasn’t a biochem major and was in an entirely different department in a class with people who had already been doing that stuff for a while. The A in the lab evened out the mess I was in with the lecture portion of the class. Perfection, no. But I finished a tough one and put it behind me.
Start Something, Finish Something or Do Something Well – TODAY
That’s about it for now. I have A LOT of blogging to catch up on, but it’s BEAUTIFUL out and I’m going to go for a run.I also have a fun day planned with a new friend and you just might, MIGHT be hearing that another one of my SINS Challenge goals happened soon… 😉
If you’re starting something today, start with the intention of being outstanding. If you’re finishing something today, push through and really finish it. And, if you’re doing something today, do it as well as you possibly can. You won’t always get an A, but there are a lot of people who never even start and plenty MORE who don’t finish.