I have a confession to make: I have done a really lousy job promoting and publicizing the 2015 launch of my e-course The Conscious Booksmith. After having one of the best, most fulfilling and inspiring experiences of my career with our 2014 community, I have treated the impending re-release of this offering with the merest efforts in the PR department. Not for lack of excitement or commitment, but because, well, I've been writing my book. I set a deadline for myself to complete the first draft by the end of 2014, missed it, and am now feeling more determined than ever to bring it to completion, however messy it might be. I've come this far, so now I'm in the home stretch.
I've used the tools I teach in The Conscious Booksmith, and they helped me get my ideas organized. One of the main goals of the course is to enable participants to take a book idea - which usually feels big and scary and overwhelming - and break it down into smaller, more manageable parts. Another goal is to let participants know that as far as the writing of the book goes, there actually isn't a whole lot I can "teach." In order to make a book real, a lot of writing has to be done. Having broken down my book idea into different parts over and over again and then (after much resistance) put in the hours at my keyboard, I am compelled to explain even more emphatically that no matter how many gold stars we give ourselves for creating an outline, formulating an elevator pitch and researching publishing options, none of that will make any difference if we aren't willing to sit down and write. Again and again. For hours and days and weeks at a time.
I entered a period of focused, intense writing in mid-December and have been going strong ever since. I am piling up the pages and becoming more skilled at dumping crappy sentences onto a page without immediately trying to perfect them. My first draft will be complete very soon, and then I get to start tinkering. And while I know the March 9th launch date of The Conscious Booksmith is going to be here before I know it - registration has been open for a few weeks, for goodness sakes - it would feel ever-so-slightly out of integrity if I were to shift too much focus away from my writing towards publicity efforts for my e-course. I love my e-course! I can't wait to meet and get to know this next circle of would-be authors! I also have a book to finish, so for now I am choosing to trust the circle will form exactly the way it needs to even if I'm not posting multiple Facebook blurbs a day.
If you have a book idea, and are considering signing up for The Conscious Booksmith as a way to kickstart your book creation process, here's my no-holds-barred honest advice to you: If you are on the fence about whether or not you really want to write the book that is swirling in your imagination, sign up. You'll learn about a lot of the ins, outs and in-betweens of making a book real. One thing I tell our participants on day one is that they might, after finishing the course, realize writing a book is not something they want to do. I don't teach this course because I am attached to the idea of everyone walking away with a completed manuscript. I decided to teach it because the act of writing a book is not for the faint of heart. It is not glamorous, exciting or certain. I spend a lot of time at my kitchen table - hours at a time - and sometimes walk away with nothing more than a big pile of crappy writing. I want to give participants tools and support to make their book idea feel more manageable and do-able, and I also want to give them a realistic idea of what writing a book really involves.
Writing a book involves a lot of writing.
Which brings me to the second piece of no-holds-barred advice about whether or not you should register for The Conscious Booksmith: Remember that if you aren't, at some point, going to be willing to sit down and write, then all the organizing, planning and pondering won't do a thing. It is one thing to invest in your book idea by registering for The Conscious Booksmith and utilizing all the course content; it is quite another to make that investment soar by sticking with a commitment to write.
"Planning to write is not writing. Outlining, researching, talking to people about what you're doing, none of that is writing. Writing is writing."
E. L. Doctorow