On June 15, 2015, my first book was published. Note that I wrote "first." I am hoping that it's the first of many.
It was one of the hardest, craziest, and most gratifying experiences I've had - and I thought it might be useful to share some of my experiences.
The first thing I had to do was to get over my lack of confidence. Writing a book, I found, dredges up every insecurity that might be lurking in the corners of your insides. I was always a math & science person in high school, whereas writing always felt hard. I’ve never quite fully shed that self-identifying as a “non-writer.” So, what did I do?
I got a coach. The first thing she did was to put me on a schedule. We divvied up due dates around the 10 chapters, giving me a little short of a week to write a draft of each. Then, I’d send her the draft. Just having that accountability to someone else made a big difference.
I channeled Arianna. Yup, I sure did. I thought to myself: OK, if Arianna Huffington can write 13 books (she’s now at 18!), I can write one. So, I literally put Arianna right in front of me. That is, I propped up her book Thrive - which features an Arianna portrait - right by my computer. This meant that as I pecked away on my laptop, Arianna was staring at me the whole time.
This was an idea I gleaned from a friend, who at the time was a very competitive cyclist. He had a friend who was also competitive – and just a little bit better. So, my friend had a photo of his friend to spur him on to get better. In fact, his goal was to BEAT him. And, having the framed photo in front of him motivated him.
I really got over things being perfect. I’m a lifelong perfectionist – and therefore, a procrastinator. (If it’s not going to be perfect, why start? If I wait long enough, I can blame any imperfection due to lack of time. Right?)
Well, the good news is that I had so little time – 4 months – I was forced to not wait. AND, as it turns out, I was forced to get over things being less than perfect, in fact, REALLY imperfect. The number of errors that eluded editors, friends and me, was absolutely astounding. Of course, once the book is actually in print, all of these overlooked errors are screamingly obvious.
Little did I know the impact this book would have on workplaces or how essential the messaging would be now, especially during the pandemic. The words inside and the strategies outlined have revolutionized workplaces, and it's still continuing to do so. Even recently, Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota experienced higher levels of overall well-being in 2021 (after the pandemic) than before based on my strategies for infusing well-being & vitality into the workplace (as opposed to just starting a "check the box" wellness program).