Writing a book seems like a glamorous experience that every thought-leader takes on with ease. I always envisioned waking up with a cup of tea in hand, sitting down and letting the words flow onto the page.
If anything, I imagined it to be a therapeutic experience where I’d put all my thoughts, expertise, and vision on paper and then send it off to press for the world to enjoy.
The reality: after running from training clients to coaching calls, I would find myself countless times in bed, staying up until the early-morning hours. Unfortunately, that was the only time I would have to write my book on top of running a growing business.
Though it turned out to be a much less glamorous vision than the one I had in mind (and far more work than I imagined), my life-long dream of becoming an author is now a reality. All my efforts are coming to fruition this fall with the book coming out in September (Canada) and October (U.S.), but this two-year authorship journey has led to some rather unexpected surprises and bumps in the road.
I changed my mind.
My very first challenge was getting midway through writing the book… only to realize I wanted to take a completely different direction with it. Yes — I got halfway through the process only to start all over again!
Choosing a topic was the first step, which was quite tricky, especially because I had 21 different concepts to choose from. Yes, you heard it right — 21 different book ideas. But when I narrowed it down to my original choice and started writing, I was not as passionate about my chosen topic as I was about my six-step self-coaching to enhanced emotional intelligence model, which led me to change the concept altogether. I learned that you have to be prepared for the possibility of your mind changing.
Research, research, and… more research.
Another thing that really shocked me was how much research goes into writing a book!
It was like writing my thesis all over again. Had I known it would be this much work… I don’t know if I would’ve signed up for it, haha — every single belief or view I had needed to be backed up with data. I’d write my ideas and then have to backtrack myself to make sure I could prove every single point I was making. It was not a straight-line process at all.
I was also challenged to tell personal stories that, during live events, would not have been nearly as hard. Writing a book is a very solitary process — you are alone with your thoughts and ideas.
I love engaging with people. It helps me think off-the-cuff and share personal stories in the moment that resonate and connect to the points I make to my audience. When writing The Emotionally Strong Leader, I found it hard to think of relevant stories of my clients and students without having anyone to interact with.
One of the last, and probably most unexpected challenges I faced, was letting go of the book. You’d think that this would be one of the easiest parts of the book-writing process. Instead, giving the last version of the book to the publisher was very hard for me. I was so scared to have missed a grammar mistake or typo or that the cover of the book would not look how I envisioned it.
Regardless of my fears, though, I did it! I let go of it, and though it was scary, I have to recognize that it was also an exhilarating moment. It meant that I was one step closer to seeing all of my blood, sweat, and tears come to life in a book format, accessible for everyone to read, learn and grow.
So yes, that is a quick summary of my behind-the-scenes experience of writing a book. It brought all kinds of unexpected challenges, but still, I wouldn’t change it for the world. There is something special about having a tangible book (a record of your work) in stores.
All the effort I’ve put into this project for the past two years has been worth it, and I can’t wait to hear what you all think!
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