How the Journey began
On the 25th of January 2016, I began a journey that has and will change the direction of my life forever. Whether this is on a positive big or small scale I am yet to know, but I have come to learn a few things on the way. This was the day I wrote the first words to my up-and-coming book, Understand Reach Expand: 15 Super Effective ways to Manage your Mind. In my mind I believed that I would have a finished book by May, yet the reality was very very different. There is even evidence of me doing a 30-day challenge, recording myself via video in order to capture progress. However, as time went on, I became disheartened and abandoned the idea of capturing progress via film. Now my process was to effectively answer questions to a structure I had adopted from a seminar I had attended the year before, and I was convinced that I was doing it correctly.
11 months later at the end of November, I had finished the manuscript… So what happened between the end of January and November, how did I do it? Well for starters I realised one thing, the book I had written was done on A4, and I wanted my book to be 5.5″ x 8.5″. When reformatting the size of the page to these dimensions I realised I had over 800 pages of a book with over to 350,000 words written! I thought to myself “No one is going to read an 800-page book… I wouldn’t.” So I decided to split up the book into 10 mini books. It had taken me 11 months to write 10 mini books, i.e. 1 month and 3 days per book. Now that astounded me!
The System I adopted
This was my basic system and to be honest with you, it was nothing else apart from this:
- I was told that I was doing too much in life and that I need to cut everything off and F.O.C.U.S (Follow One Course Until Successful) on one thing. This really resonated with me at the time, and because I was told this so much, at that moment in time it connected with me. This led me to make a REAL and GENUINE decision to start something and complete it no matter what
- With this decision, I cut off everything including gym. This led me to gain some pounds, however, I don’t regret it because it made me truly focused and determined
- I then had a calendar timer on my phone as a widget, adding up the days I spent that contributed to the writing. Seeing the numbers tick down motivated me to want to finish as quickly as possible
- I never ever looked back at my writings, I wanted to finish the manuscript before I checked anything. I would highly recommend that you do it this way if you decide to write a book
- I told everyone I was writing a book, this created internal and external pressure for me to not just say it but do it. Some people had a lot of belief, others weren’t too bothered, and to be really frank with you, they will never appreciate a self-made self-published author
- I vowed to write two topic ideas a day minimum i.e. I broke it down into chapters, sub-chapters, and topics. Each topic was anywhere between 300 – 750 words. As long as I did two topics I was happy. Did I do this everyday? No. Did I do more on some days? Yes, if I was really on it I would do up to 6 topics!
- After month 5 I pre-calculated how long it would take me to finish if I did an average of 500 words per topic. This served as real motivation for me as I began to realise that meaningful numbers mobilise me to take action; as well as desire carrying me through. For example, If I had 5 chapters, 10 sub-chapters per chapter, and 3 topics per sub-chapter, I really have 150 topics to write, which in effect is 75,000 words. An 80 – 120-page book has anywhere between 15,000 to 20,000 words! When you see the numbers it puts things into perspective
- I was writing at almost every opportunity I had, and I attribute a lot of my writing on public transport using Google Docs! I would write on the way to work, on the way back, when I was going to a meeting, just before I went to sleep. The aim was to write 2 topics in the first half of the day, and two at night. It didn’t always happen that way but nonetheless, the idea of it helped!
- I had three atrocities that happened during these 11 months:
- My laptop stopped working in April/May, which explains the heavy use of my phone. It was not working for 4 months, plus I had no money to fix it
- I began to get excruciating headaches and migraines that lasted for about 12 weeks; I need to be more creative and sensible with how I used and manage my time. It meant being extremely disciplined and strict with myself without compromising the goal
- I got RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury) in my right hand in August; can you imagine! That didn’t stop me. I would hold the phone in my right hand and type with my disabled left hand. The struggle was real but it DID NOT STOP ME. Why? Because I was committed and made a REAL decision, not a fake one like most people do
- I had and still have an accountability buddy. We would ring each other on a Wednesday, every week to check progress. To put it into perspective, she had a company that helped her with her writing, marketing etc. and I didn’t. So I felt the pressure to learn and do things quickly to prove myself so I was not left behind. I can say that this mentality has taught me a precious skill that not many people have, and that is: write, edit, and package a book from scratch by themselves (please note I will not do this for all my books and did use my friend to proof read the first book)
- And finally, I listened to audiobooks at any opportunity where my hands were occupied, that was when I was getting changed, in the shower, on the toilet, in the car, and when I was completely exhausted and fed up of writing. It really helped me a lot!!
I cannot stress that the right environment is so key because it supplements your decision to want to continue to write. I may add that my family members were supportive of my book writing, especially my sister and my mother. My sister has always been a deep and real motivational character. She’s the best hype you can get, no lie, those who know, know! My mother was a broken record and kept on saying with deep admiration and concern “Is the book finished? When are you selling it?” My cousins and friends also played a key role, as they continued to inspire, congratulate and motivate me towards writing and getting closer to the finish line. And I can proudly say, I am at that finish line, a month away from releasing my book on Amazon in Kindle and Physical copy…
That is it my friends, whether you want to write a book or work on another project, it is:
- Pure determination and desire
- A basic process and plan to follow
- …and the right aids of motivation in the form of numbers, people and environment.
Keep it Real, Keep it Strong, and stay Focused.
If you would like to hear more about my book journey, why not come down to celebrate my launch with me on the 25th of August 2017! Click on this link for more details
Have a great day,