I recently started reading a book called “Get Your Shit Together” which was a suggestion from my older sister. Given that the book is nearly 40% profanity/vulgar words, I’m surprised she recommended it – let alone, read it. Yet, the book has had a few golden nuggets of wisdom that I have stated to apply to my life, and I’m glad I did.
One of the things that stood out to me was a line the author wrote about her writing process. “Write 500 words a day” was one of the things she admitted to struggling with. While I’ve never been much of a word-counter, I made a small mental note about that observation and continued my way through the book.
As an entrepreneur, I think it’s very easy to get sidetracked on things that don’t necessarily contribute to your bottom line any more than my use of the word “necessarily” in this sentence. I’ve been mindful of my filler words lately…but that’s another topic for another time.
This afternoon, I spoke with a mentor of mine and was chatted about the soul of an entrepreneur. I told him one of my biggest challenges is battling feeling of failure when I look at the number of projects I’ve worked on that haven’t had the desired outcome I hoped for during their conception. I also feel this way as a single Dad, and that is most certainly a blog for another time.
I told my mentor that one of the best things I ever did was reevaluate my projects and view them as failed cooking experiments. The dish might have failed, but each project gave me an ingredient, cooking time, temperature and proper plating to use for my next course. This mindset helps overcome the pass/fail mindset that is just as dangerous to carry as a poverty mindset.
“Every hour I spend working on something that isn’t making me money yet is one less hour I’ll have to work in the future doing the things that currently bring me money.”
As my ‘work’ day came to a conclusion, I made the decision to go on a date, with my iPad. I’ve had a few book ideas percolating in my mind mind, and I decided that today was the day to breathe life into two of them. Sitting at Perc, a local coffeeshop, I put my phone on DND and got to work.
Sitting there, I realized two things about writing. One, it helps to have a change in scenery and devote that time exclusively to crafting your work. Two, you don’t need to go far away from home in order to do it. Don Miller, a well-known author, perpetually writes about how he requires a quite cabin alone in the woods in order to create his books, which are far from exceptional, and I’m thankful that I’m able to make a ‘mental cabin’ in a coffeeshop because it lets me pour my guts out onto a page in a much more accessible way.
Four cups of coffee, two introductions and three chapters later, I felt like it was time to call it quits and head home – a 45-second drive away from the entrance of the coffee shop. When I got home, I sat at my countertop and spent a few minutes editing each chapter before deciding it was time to finally call it a night and shut my brain off.
Before powering off to write this blog, I decided to do a word count. 3,188. Not bad. And it wasn’t a battle to write those words, either. If anything, they flowed easily because the two books were are somewhat complementary to each other.
All things in life come to a point where they reach a change. In my life, I think I’m reaching a point where it’s time to pivot from how I’ve done things, and transition to a life where I do what I’m best at – making beautiful things, writing and helping others in their journey, no matter how small of a lift it may be.
“I ain’t goin’ down no more.”