The Writer’s Dilemma – Caught in the Swirl
by Laurie D. Battaglia
I was so overjoyed to see Mary! We hadn’t seen her in about a year. Mary’s life has been pretty crazy since we met her a few years ago, after she relocated to the West. As she was arriving here, she published a book – a very good book!
Mary described how it took her about four years to write this book that was very close to her heart. It was something about getting it just right that slowed her down. All the pieces were there, but she couldn’t seem to finish it. She finally called in outside help, and her colleague put it all together for her so she could get it out there into the world. I read it and it was touching, informative, and memorable. She notices the mistakes. Me? I can’t find them.
Why does it take so long? W-W-W-H-H-H-Y-Y-Y does it take so long to write a book? I have many friends who have written books, both traditionally and self published, and they all describe a certain thing I’ll call “getting caught in The Swirl.” And that is that it took them quite a bit of time, often many years, to get at least one of their books written. Sometimes they write other books while they have a book in process. That floored me until I decided to become an author too, and now I’ve got a few things in process, yet nothing quite ready to put out there.
Even if you never write a book, you may fall into the Swirl. It happens in jobs, in relationships, in life in general. The Swirl happens when the heart and the head are in conflict. Here’s what it looks like:
- You’re in a relationship that is not bad enough to leave, but not good enough to stay.
- Your job is boring, but it allows you to manage the rest of your life; so what if you zone out every day for eight or nine hours?
- You feel like you need to make changes in several areas of your life, but you have no idea how to make them or whether you have the energy to do so.
- Whatever it is, you know you ought to go, but you convince yourself to stay.
Like so many things in our lives, writing a book is more of a marathon than a sprint. It takes a vision, and then a lot of grunt work, steadily over time, to get it done. Writing the book is only the half of it. You’ll need an editor, a website, maybe an intellectual property lawyer, some way to get your book printed on demand or formatted for e-book distribution. And what about audio books? Do you understand how to use social media to launch and publicize your book? And on and on it goes…
The Swirl kicks in when you have no idea how to proceed, how to get yourself on a schedule to write, or how to make your book a reality. It’s very overwhelming to the novice author.
Here are three tips to get started writing and get that book completed:
- Take one small step each day toward your goal. Small steps really do get things done, and more quickly than you think.
- Get an accountability partner. Find someone in a similar situation and partner with them to hold each other accountable to whatever plans you have to write. Stick to the plan.
- Hire an expert. When The Swirl happens, a third party who has your best interests at heart and who has the expertise you need, can help you see things clearly. Laura Orsini, of Write | Market | Design, is a one-stop shop for novice and experienced authors to get their books to market. Experts like Laura can provide the support, technical knowledge, and guidance that authors need to escape The Swirl!
Hear that? It’s your book calling! What can you do today to swim out of The Swirl?
Laurie D. Battaglia is a Career, Leadership and Life Coach who works with her husband Joseph, a Relationship Coach, to coach people over 40 who are ready to reclaim their power and spark. Together, they own Living the Dream Coaches, LLC, in Scottsdale, Arizona. Her forthcoming book is Take Your Whole Self to Work. Call Laurie at (888) 505-5762 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.