“Are you kidding me?! Don’t even go there,” I tell my husband and son when they ask about my next book. With the recent release of Share of Mind, Share of Heart: Marketing Tools of Engagement for Nonprofits and the 5th anniversary of Taking Care of the People Who Matter Most: A Guide to Employee-Customer Care, they keep asking me, “So when are you going to write book number three?”
The truth is writing isn’t easy for me as as I am plagued by perfectionism and paralyzed by the blank page. That’s why I consider my first book a major personal and professional accomplishment - nearly eight years in the making from conception to publication. I’m also thrilled with my second book - it only took two years.
How did I shorten the learning curve between my two books? Thinking back on my experience, I realize that I benefited from:
- More confidence as an author based on: 1) my first book’s success, and 2) my familiarity with nonfiction book writing and publishing. I knew what to expect with my second book, including understanding that marketing a new book can be as intensive as writing it.
- More consistent writing experience as a business blogger (since 2005) with some ideas and content that I could build upon, instead of starting totally from scratch.
- The prodding, encouragement and constructive feedback of three fellow writers who support each other in a Book Critique Group. We pushed ourselves to write and share content on a monthly basis. Then we’d meet to discuss our “review comments” and talk about our writing progress and setbacks.
In maintaining this blog, I still struggle with writer’s block brought on by fear of the blank page. I have to remind myself to just get something (anything!) written down. To overcome the perfectionism that impedes my writing, I find it helpful to remember that what I’m working on is GEMO (“good enough, move on”). Then I give it a rest by taking a break so I can go back to it later for fresh editing. The process is sometimes laborious, but it works for me.
That’s why I’m extremely proud of my two books. Do I have book #3 in me? I’ll let you know …
Note to family: in the meantime, quit bugging me!