You are getting ready to write your book, and your Critic tells you that you should be doing something else.
Let's get straight to the point. Your Critic is right! You should be doing something else. Your time is already filled with chores that you have to do, people depend on you to do them. So what your Critic is really asking you to do is to make sure that you carry out all the chores. Say to your Critic, "Thanks for reminding me that I should be doing something else too. Help me remember what they are and when they need to be done."
One way to remind yourself about your chores is to write a Checklist for the days when you will be writing. And add to that list the time you will spend writing. Perhaps certain chores can wait a day or two? Perhaps you can get certain chores done in less time than usual? Some days lend themselves to a reshuffle of chores, some days do not.
Chores are Opportunities
You can also turn the chores into an opportunity to continue writing. What's that? Every chore needs some of your attention, but not all of it. Yes, I'm talking about a kind of multi-tasking. For example, chores like cooking and washing-up can give you the perfect time to reflect, ponder, wonder, visualise, taste the success, smell the victory of having written your book. And all of those actions contribute in a positive way to the successful completion of your book in the time you allow.
Some years ago, I wrote a book. It was a labour of love that took me months to complete. It was such a great feeling to hold my own book in my hands, to show it to my children, my friends and colleagues, and my mum.
In the middle of retelling this story to a coach colleague, he asked me, "When is your next book coming out?"
Coaches! I told him that it was too much work to write another book.
So he countered with, "What do you need to reduce the amount of work?"
Coaches - ha! My request was for a personal secretary who would write down my thoughts on paper.
My colleague took out his phone, selected an app and said "Speak". I spoke. And the app wrote my words, in text on the screen. My colleague then sent me the text in an e-mail. "OK?" my coach asked, "so when is your next book coming out?"
Coaches!?!? What to do? Write the book, of course.
In the Online Course I will tell you the programs and apps you can use to transcribe your thoughts.
Your personal secretary is waiting for you. What are you waiting for?
Writing your first book?
As soon as any of us says that we want to do something different to what we usually do, to what other people expect us to do, we are taking a risk. In any change process, Getting from Here to There, we have to cross over the Gap, and that's the risk we must take if we are to keep growing personally and professionally.
And yet we are afraid to jump the Gap. It does not matter how difficult it is being Here, it does not matter how wonderful being There might be, the one thing that holds us in place is our fear of taking the risk of crossing the Gap between Here and There.
And the truth is, that risk is imaginary. You cannot physically know what the risk actually is until you take steps to cross the gap. And until you do, the risk is only in your mind. You are imagining it. You are making it up. You may be basing your assessment of the risk on previous experience, or tales told to you by other people. But whilst you are still living Here, you are making up the risks involved in getting to There.
And that is OK.
Perhaps being Here is not as bad as you thought. Perhaps being There will not be as wonderful as you hope. Your imaginary critics will tell you that writing a book in two days is difficult or impossible, not worth it, beyond your skillset, going to get you into trouble with the boss, will shock people, will make people laugh at you ... We all have these voices, they are normal and healthy. They are unfortunately very good at their job of keeping us safe, of holding us in place, of keeping us from naively stepping into a large gap and falling to our deaths.
And that gives us a clue as to how to deal with them.
Whatever else your imagination is making up to keep you from taking steps to cross the gap, your book will be lost. And that is a loss for you and every family member, friend, acquaintance, colleague and people you have never met who need to know two things. Firstly, whatever you would have told them in your book AND more importantly, that they too could face up to their imaginary critics, cross their gap and write their book in two days, or whatever it is they are hoping to do.
So, what can you do with your imaginary critics? What do you say so that you can lead the way in crossing the gap and showing your family and friends, and people you have never met, that they too can cross whatever gap they are afraid of crossing.
During the next two months I will be sharing specific techniques for dealing with your inner critics.
And since you have read this far, here is a clue.
Say "Thanks for warning me. What do I need to learn, in order to cross the gap?"
Because the words from the inner critic come from you! They are your voice keeping you safe from harm. They are doing a great job of warning you, but you need not let them hold you back from what you are inspired to do. Heed their warning, as a request for you to do some research, to continue learning and further your personal and professional development.
Its a request not a command.
Turn the statement into a question.
Write Your Book in 2 Days
The Writer's Online Course
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Martin Richards is a teacher, a business communication trainer and a certified coach.