“When do you think you’ll finish your book?” I asked the young woman at the table next to me in the coffee shop.
“I hope to finish it next year sometime,” she said.
I smiled and went back to my keyboard.
As a veteran of countless disasters throughout the course of my life I can attest to the fact that hope is a key part of carrying on when the world has crashed down around your ears and you are plum out of ideas on how to move forward. We need to hang onto that one shard of hope that will help us keep putting one foot in front of the other as we tread the fragile path to wholeness that we want to believe exists.
But when it comes to writing a book, I can also attest to the fact that hoping to finish writing one’s book is not a very sound strategy. The strategy that has always worked for me, and which is still a key part of my modus operandi, is to continually work on my mindset and to continually work on me. To set a goal and then map out a plan to make it happen. Sure, things might happen to take me off task and delay my liftoff. But if I’m serious about completing a book manuscript at this point in my writing career, you can be dead certain I’m going to make it happen.
I earned a quality degree from a respected institution years ago and I supplemented the first degree with a Master’s degree in English Literature. But a degree didn’t automatically qualify me to do anything like write book. It did, however, give me an invaluable platform from which to grow. The shaky start to my writing career began with two part time gigs for local newspapers when I was fresh out of university. From there, I earned a full-time job at a daily newspaper. The full-time job became a launching pad for a job with Canada’s national newswire service. That one led to a position as a media relations officer with Canada’s largest provincial government ministry, the Ontario Ministry of Health. And from there I vaulted into a position as a copywriter with a successful marketing agency.
And although that seems like a pretty straight path, I’ve also taken courses continuously throughout my career, something that is significantly easier now in the age of the Internet: free webinars and YouTube videos abound, and the only excuse for not learning something new every week is a lack of motivation. Nobody paid me to take courses to improve my knowledge, and money was often tight. But when the Internet arrived to revolutionize how everything is done in our world, I did what I was accustomed to doing, and I started taking courses that would allow me to evolve my writing and my writing services so I could stay current.
While I might have done so “in the hope” that I would learn something that would make me better at my chosen profession, what I didn’t realize was that all that learning proved to be invaluable in giving me a stronger book writing skillset, too
Stay tuned for my next blog in this series to see how that applies to an authoring career!