The book is there. Its written, and over the last few weeks I have been finishing it.
But in reality, I have been hiding.
A very intricate and complex exercise along the lines of “Sure, I am going to tell people I am writing a book. But the reality is that I am absolutely terrified of pressing publish, so much so that I am going to come up with a bunch of ways to avoid doing so, and I am just going to sit here and hide.”
Since the first real draft was completed last September (2018) so many things have come up to stop me getting it out into the world. Moving countries. Two TEDx speeches. Rewriting bits and finessing exercises. Choosing titles. Choosing layouts.
Perfectly logical reasons to not get it out there. (So many in fact, that I wrote an entire blog about all the reasons I found to not finish it).
But actually, the one real reason I had for not finishing it, I don’t even mention in that blog.
I was hiding.
I’ve been torn between the fear of getting the book out there in case people hate it (which, I now know they don’t), and the fear that when the book is out there I am going to have to get down to business and start arriving properly in Belfast, and really get out and hustle for new clients.
So, to make life simple for myself, I have just been hiding.
Hiding is completely normal. Putting new and exciting ideas out there can be terrifying, and we can become so used to having our ideas shot down in flames that we can be put off from pressing publish.
So, we simply find ways to hide. For me that mainly involved deflecting – i.e. finding other things to do instead (move country, do the speeches) – and finessing: spending hours redoing bits, checking things through, verifying the bullet points.
For others, their strategies for doing the same thing might take different formats: they might stay in design mode, making things more and more complex and complete, but never actually getting out there. Or they might spend time adding in bits and pieces that come from others, but not actually putting their own mark, their own story into it.
But for me all that hiding, that stops here.
What I have come to realise in these last couple of weeks is that the fear of getting the book out there is dwarfed in comparison to the fear of NOT getting it out there.
I know why I wrote this book. It started as free content for the site – but it became a plea. A plea to folk like me who think they have no choice about how their life is meant to be – to realise that the truth is different, and for them to take back their choices. To see the stories they tell themselves about how life is meant to be, so they can challenge and change them. Before those same stories run them completely into the ground.
And my hiding became ironic in light of the subject of the book – because I was clinging on to my own stories – a story that I had only one shot to get the book right; a story tied up in the idea of really arriving in Belfast and getting out to hustle for more clients (mainly around the idea that if I did, I would get to be too successful and then run myself back into burnout). I have had to move through those stories.
And the most helpful way of doing that is by tapping into the why behind all this – a why that is too strong for me to stay hidden.
And so, I am delighted to let you know that the book is now out there. And I will just have to put my big girl pants on, and see what happens. And see it as a chance to learn and grow – just as I write about in the book. I need to stop seeing the experience as a black and white situation of “it either works or it doesn’t”, and turn it into a chance to get feedback on what works and why, and see how I can learn from it.
And what about you? Have there been times that you have found yourself hiding? Not publishing the article, or standing up and giving the speech, or sending out the client proposal? What ways did you find to hide? What came up for you as you thought about doing it? What were the strategies you used to avoid pressing publish?
And then, what made you press publish in the end?
I would love to hear your experiences, and what you learned from them.
PS – want to buy a copy of the book? You can get it on Amazon, here