I am in the midst of writing my third book and I am struggling right now – but not where you might think. You might assume I have writer’s block and am not sure where to take it or what to do next. Actually it is quite the contrary.
I have the entire structure complete and each time I set down to write I can easily churn out page after page of what I consider to be great and worthy content to include.
But every time I open up my manuscript I see another vein I need to add in that will require another 40-80 hours of writing and add in another 50-100 pages of content. This could quite literally go on forever and constantly be delaying my book from being finished and going out to the public.
I’m assuming that perhaps you’ve dealt with something similar. You are looking to launch something. Perhaps it is a book, or a training course, or a program you have been scripting. But you delay launching it. You keep toiling over it, changing it, fixing it, improving it, adding to it, revising it, then adding more to it. The cycle goes on and on as long as you will allow it to.
Thinking back, I actually did this with my first book as well. And I allowed that cycle to go on for several years. That was several years of me delaying my own book release!
My second book however, I started it, wrote it, edited it, completed it and shipped it out for publication all within my time frame I set for myself.
So what was different between my first book with my second book? The difference was I made the commitment, a hard deadline of when I was going to launch my second book. At the very start I wrote out everything that needed to be included in the book and detailed the entire framework. I came up with every objection, alteration and revision I could think of right at the start – before I even started writing.
Then when I started writing, I kept to the script, I wrote the book, I edited it, hit my deadline and hit publish to release it.
Seth Godin has written about this in his book Linchpin. He calls it Thrashing. When we set out to do something as entrepreneurs we thrash. We thrash by coming up with every iteration, revision or medication we can to try to make it perfect before we launch
What we must realize is that there is no perfection. We have to commit to launching. We have to commit to releasing it and then realize that we can later revise it.
But it is impossible for us to know what we even need to revise until our product is in the marketplace and we are getting feedback on it.
You want to release a podcast but want it to be perfect before you start recording and publishing? I say start publishing right now and get better as you go.
You want to release a blog but want it to be perfect because you start writing and publishing I say start posting articles right now and get better as you go.
You want to release a guide to sell online but keep editing it so it is perfect? I say set a hard deadline, get it done and post it. Get feedback on how it sells and in a year release a revised version of it.
The only way to break the cycle of delaying your launch is to commit to a date, get the thrashing done early and understand that you may just end up revising it at a later date.