I am writing a book.

It was only meant to be a .pdf.

I’ve been working on my business and positioning over the last months, and one of the things I have been developing is free content for my site.  I wanted to get something quick and dirty together that I could put on the website to cover the main pieces of my work.  Couple of slides and a few bullet points… pulled it together quite quickly … I just need to turn it into a .pdf.

Then I needed to put some flesh on it.  “Remember, it doesn’t need to be pretty – just get something down on paper”.  Famous last words from my coach Charlie … I procrastinate for weeks, then sit down and pull together a few thousand words in the space of 36 hours.

Well, I did spend 16 years writing tax memos, where we would charge by the kilo of paper – its hardly rocket science to pull together a few blog posts and pull together some exercises ….

Hmmm … more famous last words


Out of body experience


I am writing a book.

Feels like I have lost my mind.

I am sitting in the hairdresser’s chair with gunk on my head.  My mind is running ten to the dozen from the fumes of said gunk, and I am writing a bunch of things down on my phone – ideas are coming from everywhere as to what I could write about.  I have the structure, I have some exercises ….

The few thousand words had been ten thousand words, and when my coach read it he told me I should maybe go write some more and see what happens…

I’ve given myself a week to shut out everything else, and just write.

And I am starting at the hairdressers …


Apparently, I might know something


I am writing a book.

And it seems that I have something to say.

Since I started my business I have spent the last eighteen months doubting everything I am doing.  I know this is important work, but what happens if I am mediocre.  I couldn’t stand not being any good at this.

So, I signed up for another qualification – this time in positive psychology.  I figured if I was going to work with tax people, auditors, lawyers and work on them about stepping into their awesomeness through speaking, I better get some tools.  But if I just go “pink and fluffy and completely whoo whoo” with them, they will run a mile – better get myself some research-based tools or they won’t take me seriously.

But you know what?  After a few months, my brain started feel like a metal tube full of data flowing in a fast stream and I had no bandwidth to do anything else – like create new offers, or go get clients, or even serve my clients.  And that hurt.   And my business started to hurt too.  So I pull out of the course.

And a couple of weeks later, I am vomiting words on to a page.  In a week I have 25000 words of content – pulling together lessons from speaking on stage for twenty years, as well as two burnouts in five years and all the learning around that.

Apparently I might have something to say.


If my sister and dad read it, that’ll probably be good going


I am writing a book.

But who would want to read it?

So, Charlie asks me what my aspirations are for the book.  I tell him it’ll be a good result if my sister and dad read it, and apart from that I will probably just impose it on my clients.



I want to start a conversation


I am writing a book.

And now I have an editor.

SHIT!!! I have an editor.  When did that happen?  Her name is Erin, she lives in Austin, and she reassures me that she knows how to write in British English – none of these Americanisms.

I sent 40,000 words to her.  I know the manuscript is only at about 65% perfect, and it goes against my very nature to send something that is anything less than 120% perfect.  But I am leaning into the discomfort, trusting the process.

But what I do know now, is that I really want to write this book.  It was just meant to be a pdf then it turned to 40,000 words from nowhere, with no real direction.  But now I have thought about it – and now I know that I want this book to start a conversation, a conversation about choices.  Like that you don’t need to choose between your health and your career, that you can have both.


Can I really be that bad a writer?


I am writing a book.

Can it really be that bad?

The manuscript has come back from the editor and just seems to be awash with track changes.  I know it was just a first draft, but was it really that bad?

It takes me about 6 weeks to sit down and look at the edits in any detail, and when I do I realize that a lot of the track changes are simply moving things around.  I need to go through a whole thought process about allowing myself to not accept the changes if I don’t want to.  This is my book, and it needs to be my voice.



I am clearly the laziest of the lazy people !


I am writing a book.

And apparently I am really lazy – because this is still not done.

It is going so slowly.  I am writing a couple of hours a day – but that’s all.

My only point of reference before now of writing was pushing out a 20 page tax memo in a matter of days.  And to do that I could spend hours on end reading, creating and writing.

And I am getting it into my head that writing a book should just be like that, right?  Simply the equivalent of half a dozen tax memos, right?  Why is this taking so long?

It’s bringing up some long-held fears about being lazy and not doing enough.  I figure if I am not sitting at my desk for twelve hours a day I am not doing it right.

Though of course, that’s the whole point – I used to sit at my desk for twelve hours a day – look where that ended up.  Two burnouts in five years.  Oh, yeah, and that’s what I am writing about now.


Holy crap it is hot


I am writing a book.

But it’s too bloody hot to think.

In Europe we are going through a freak heatwave, and my apartment has no air conditioning, so it’s about 35 degrees inside all day every day.  I am managing about an hour of work a day and then sleeping the rest of the day.  It can’t go on like this.

So, I am taking myself to a hotel for a few days of air conditioning.  Ok, its expensive, but I have coffee on tap, don’t need to think about food and there is air con.

I have to say that when I think about renting a hotel room out for a few hours of work, it makes me think hooker.  So, I am telling any of the staff who will listen that I am writing a book and have no air conditioning at home.

So now when I say good morning, They say “oh, you are the writer!”.  Hmm, writer, that seems a bit steep – but I guess I am.



Gotta keep my ass in that chair


I am writing a book.

GAWD this is getting boring.

Ok, maybe not boring, but its taking a hell of a long time, and am trying to keep up my motivation to keep going.  Progress not perfection – I know that, but still.


You teach what you need to learn


I am writing a book.

And I am learning a whole bunch of things.

I am writing the last chapter – its about community.  Its about looking after yourself and putting yourself first, that serving others doesn’t mean sacrificing yourself – and its about showing up so others can see you.

The two things that I still find hardest, 45 years in.

I guess we teach others the things we most need to learn.



So, what is it really about?


I am writing a book.

And its all done bar the shouting.

All five chapters are done, bar some final checks and tweaks.

Its time to do the intro and the conclusion.   I know the book opens at 5 am on my 35th birthday – and I just finished work – and it will finish at 5 pm on my 45th, eating cake for my birthday.  Ten years, two burnouts, and a whole lot of lessons.

Now I just need to finalise the chapter about “what this book is about”.

And I now know what its about.  Its about shining a light on how we believe life is meant to be; how those beliefs and truths can kill our careers; and about how we can start to make choices about a different way to work …

And I am very excited!



Watch this space for more over the next weeks as I get some feedback on the book and then send it for formatting …. and publication …