When I turned 30, I remember going to the gym and thinking, “This isn’t as easy as it used to be.”
The same thing happened when I turned 40.
And here I am, once again, in a similar situation regarding my new book…
Last year, I started working on a manuscript with the working title of “Podcasting Book.” It was supposed to be a short guide, maybe 40,000 words, about how to market yourself (or your business) via podcasting.
The original plan was to complete it within three months. About three weeks ago, 15 months into the project, I completed the first draft. Right now, that draft is 137,500 words.
And it’s sitting on my hard drive collecting virtual dust…
It’s a solid book, at least for a first draft. But first drafts always suck and there is still plenty of work to do before it becomes something that I feel good about releasing.
And that’s not going to happen for a while. Not because of the work needed to edit everything down and tighten it up, but because I’ve decided this isn’t the book I need to release right now.
If I want this book to reach its maximum (and intended) audience, I need a stepping stone.
So that’s what I’m working on right now. It’s a book that takes everything I learned in 20+ years of working with musicians, to help them increase their authority and influence, and shows you how to do the same in your industry.
And I’m sitting here, taking a break from the new manuscript, thinking, “This isn’t as easy as it used to be.” Wondering if I still have it in me to knock out another big manuscript and work with an editor to chisel it into something great.
If you’re struggling with creating something great, you’re not alone. Everybody struggles to create great work.
Turney Duff, author of The Buy Side: A Wall Street Trader’s Tale of Spectacular Excess, described the writing process best when he said, “I love how some people think writing five pages is like pouring corn flakes out of a box.”
Why is there so much noise and bullshit online? Because it’s easy to do something forgettable, like throw up a bunch of Snapchat videos and call it helpful, post images of “inspirational quotes” on Facebook and call it meaningful, or have somebody transcribe the ramblings you made into your iPhone and call it a book.
None of these things makes a positive difference in the lives of people who consume them.
Resist the urge to focus on quantity over quality. We need less noise and more great work. And great work takes just that, great work.