A few times a month I hear from folks who ask me to promote a workshop on how to write your book in a weekend. Huh? Write a book in a weekend? Unless you have access to the drug in the movie Limitless it's just not possible! When I question them about this they generally agree that the attendees "won't really leave the workshop with a finished book but they might know what they will be writing about." Hmmm... perhaps it should be called "How to Conceptualize Your Book in a Weekend" so as not to engage in false advertising.
How long and how many helpers does it take to give birth to a new book? I certainly cannot speak for all authors, but in my case it's 26 months from conception to accepted delivery and 128 people (friends, family, freelance editors, readers, researchers, EFT therapists, and a coach) and counting. My eighth book has just gone into production and will be published by Harper One on January 24, 2012. The title is Wabi Sabi Love: Finding Perfect Love in Imperfect Relationships. Unknown to most Westerners, Wabi Sabi is the ancient Japanese art form of finding perfection and beauty in imperfection. The book is a guide to implementing Wabi Sabi into your life and relationships and it's certainly my most personally revealing book.
If you are an aspiring author or working on your next published book you realize how much time and energy it takes to write a book. But when do you find the time and how do you stay motivated?
For me it was nights, weekends, early mornings and while on vacation. (Mille grazie Carla for the use of your portico in Italy and all those amazing meals). As for the energy component of it, I've often compared the arduous process to having a baby. If the book is inside you kicking and screaming to get out, that's how you know it's time to write. (And, yes there are other reasons to write a book, which will be topics of for another day.)
Minutes after my editor emailed me with the big news that my baby was accepted and had been shipped off to production a friend called and suggested I buy myself a "push" present. I quickly learned that new mothers are now receiving "push" presents for after the delivery of their new babies. I didn't need any arm-twisting to accept this idea. A present for giving birth to my book? What a motivator! Thoughts of diamonds and rubies and all things sparkly appeared in my head and I mentioned this to my husband. Menschy guy that he is he agreed a "push" present was a great idea.
The next day we were out running errands when we came upon a new Best Buy store. It's been seven years or more since we last bought a new TV. Within minutes we were captivated by the 3-D, surround-sound, flat screens with mind-blowing color and depth. I don't even have words to describe it. I love watching TV. Nothing relaxes me more. We quickly decided a new HD/ 3D/ LED TV was the perfect push present. With the book finished, I actually have extra time to watch it. (At least for a few months before I have to gear up to create all the marketing for the book. )
I highly recommend you start making a list of your dream "push" presents today. Whether you only have a rough outline or you're a chapter away from a finished manuscript, an indulgent, well-deserved, simply-for-pleasure gift may be just what you need to get to the all-important "The End."
What's your "push" present? What trip, adventure, high-tech or gloriously shiny object would rightfully symbolize such a wonderful accomplishment? Please share them in the comments section below.