So, I mentioned previously how I’ve been trying to get my 4-year-old book finished. Not my 4-year-old’s book. I don’t have kids. Children are the spawn of Satan.
Anyway… glad we cleared that up… so anyway…
Recap: 4 years ago I started a book; 4 years later it still isn’t done. And finishing it has been my goal for every summer for the past 4 years. This summer is really like: “Get it done or I’m burning it!” I mean, I’m sick of looking at this now!
So, let me skip back to January briefly: I had 20 chapters of hot mess and no motivation.
Beginning of February: I knew it was too bloated so I hacked off 8 chapters. I felt motivated!
But then… it was still 12 chapters of hot mess so I lost motivation again.
Last week I was feeling ready to throw it out the window.
But, along comes this guy I know – Successful Guy (TM). I mean, he wins at life and makes me feel like a massive loser. But I like to hang out with him to try to sponge off whatever good vibes he’s got going on.
So, I went on this long rant to him about my book and in one word (or two…) he gave what was ultimately the simplest and best advice ever but for some reason I hadn’t thought of it: “Sub-headings” he said matter-of-factly over the rim of his cappuccino.
Sub-headings! Why the F didn’t I think of that?! Man, I was so motivated after talking to him (and I’m usually about as motivated as Grumpy Cat), I immediately went to the library and printed off one-third of my book…
The idea is I’m just gonna tackle it as 3 sections, I’m gonna spread it all over my floor and get out highlighters and colored pens and get my sub-headings in, and bullet points, and wrestle this tiger!
I’ve already started on the first third and – wow! – suddenly things are coming together! And all it took was a change of perspective. Where previously each chapter was some big, untameable beast, they’re now contained into neat, happy little sub-sections. And it’s had the added benefit of improving the readability and design of my book (I’m also adding some pictures, which helps too!). I had previously started to hate it ‘cause it was just a big black and white lump but the hate is fading now it’s starting to look like something concise.
I’m not usually good at advice but there’s some: if you have some project you’ve been fiddling with for x years: change your perspective, think of how you can look at it in a new way than before – ask people for advice. It’s funny how just talking to people sometimes can clue you into something when you can’t see the woods for the trees.
Now all I wish is that I could just write and create all day and didn’t have to go do boring grown-up stuff!