6 Months and 50,000 Words Later…

Last week I turned in my Right-Brain Business Plan manuscript to my editor at New World Library! Woohoo!!! After being heads down for an intense six months of writing, it’s hard to believe that this huge achievement is finally behind me. Of course, I promptly proceeded to get sick for the next week. My body obviously needed a break big-time! So, I’m just now starting to slowly re-emerge.

While the “hardest” part – writing 50,000 words – is done,  I still have several milestones to go, including finalizing the photos of featured Right-Brain Business Plans, collaborating with my fabulous illustrator on the artwork, getting feedback from my editor, and other things that I probably don’t even have a clue about yet (hence the quotes around “hardest!”). I mentioned earlier that writing a book is like running a marathon. But the more I think about it, the more it seems like doing a triathlon. Or a decathlon even?! There’s not just the intense period of writing. There’s the editing, contract negotiations, interviewing/hiring/working with outside services (lawyer, proofreader, etc. and things don’t always go smoothly!), managing artwork, permissions and releases, thinking about what the book will look like, marketing, sales, and getting familiar with a whole new industry. Whew! It’s certainly been a growth and learning process.

Besides my book coach, the thing that has kept me sane throughout this adventure has been my trusty Post-it Note project plan. It helped me map out my milestones and track my progress from October through now. I’ll make a new one once I enter into this next phase of the book. And can I just tell ya how satisfying it is to put a big check mark after finishing each task?!

Post-it Note Project Plan

Post-it Note Project Plan

Even though this roadmap was for the past six months, my journey to get to this point has spanned years.

  • 1999/2000: Started toying with the idea of writing a book but didn’t really do much about it for the next several years…
  • January 2007: Mocked up a book cover to inspire me about my goal of writing a book
  • Fall 2007: Began working my book coach Jan King
  • July 2008: At a conference with my book coach I set the goal of going to the 2009 Book Expo America with her and spent the next several months drafting up a book
  • March – April 2009: Worked on book proposal
  • May 2009: Attended Book Expo America in New York to meet publishers
  • June 2009: Wrote a brand-new proposal (for a whole different book idea than what I had been working on since 2007) and sent it in to publishers
  • July 2009: Got first rejection
  • Early October 2009: Got an offer from New World Library (Yahoo!)
  • October 2009 – February 2010: Wrote about a chapter every other week and talked with book coach almost weekly
  • October – November 2009: Legal review of contract
  • December 2009: Contract signed – it’s official!
  • February 2010: Conducted a peer review of my manuscript
  • February – March 2010: Did rewrites and edits based on feedback
  • March 2010: Manuscript proofread and prepped for submission
  • April 1, 2010: Sent my baby in!

While the seeds were planted 10 years ago, it wasn’t until last year that I really got my butt into gear to make my dream real. Sure, my dream needed some time to take take shape and grow wings. But it was when I moved from dreaming to doing that things started to shift. I had real deadlines, I had to share my idea with other people, and I had to put myself out there, even in the face of rejection. And I committed to writing, writing, writing!

I wish I had read Patti Digh’s kick-ass post “how to write (a book). a wee rant” when I first embarked on this journey. If one of your dreams is to write a book, definitely give it a read.

What dream are you wanting to make real this year? How can you move from dreaming to doing right now?

12 thoughts on “6 Months and 50,000 Words Later…”

  1. congratulations on finishing the manuscript and getting it off to your editor. my goal this year is to scrub up my work in progress and send it off my desk. i like your idea of a post-it note project plan!

  2. Congrats! I am sure the book will be insightful and thought provoking because the author is. Doesn’t that word sound great, “author”?

    Hope all is well miss talking to you.

  3. WOW! this accomplishment is phenomenal!! and thank you for stating that it was an idea 10 years in the works…this is something i have been struggling with lately, as i take actions toward a life that is in alignment with who i am and what i do and it feels like nothing happens, though steps ARE being taken =-)

    thanks for the reminder that it may take MANY steps to achieve some big dreams =-)

    and Patti’s post about writing was AWESOME!! she rocks!

  4. Sending congratulations to a job well done! Can’t wait to see the finished project. Everything you do is colorful and creative…the post-it note project plan and calendar is a beauty to behold!

  5. YAY, JENN! Book #2: The Post-It Business Plan :). You’re making my post-it notes very very jealous. So excited to watch the rest of the journey unfold — it’s going to be amazing (hard, but still amazing!).

  6. I love the tip for organizing your ideas with post it notes on a poster! I ran out right away and bought colorful ones to jot my ideas on in the middle of the night. It’s way more fun and productive for me than writing in a notebook, thanks again for the inspiration Jenn!

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