You may have noticed I’m stepping out more these days, saying YES to anything, and laughing at the mundane and craving the interesting. That’s because I’m DONE writing the manuscript for my new book, Smart Sales Manager (AMACOM, Spring 2013). Yippee!
Writing a book isn’t for the faint-hearted. For 7 months this year I retreated into near-total isolation to write this book, with occasional forays for food (and trainings, of course!). I guess it’s my adventurous side that compels me to dive into the discomfort zone, unplug, and just charge forward.
Here’s my advice for pulling it together and writing a book-length manuscript in 7 months:
1. No Cell Phone Zone: It is so liberating to turn off your cell phone for long stretches of time. For me, it was about 4-5 hours at a time of no phone or texting or email. The bummer was when I would finally turn it back on to find that no one had called the entire time.
2. Content Incubator: Since Feb 2006, I’ve had my trusty blog, and my collection of stories, ideas, research, and trends are always incubating. These all became the foundation for my book. The first step was sorting through my relevant content and realizing I have tons to write about. The second step was actually writing!
3. Total Isolation: If you have ever wanted something so badly that you put your entire life aside and isolate yourself from your loved ones, that is the true test of achievement. People who achieve great things must go through a time of total seclusion in order to make it happen.
4. Advice Council = My Lifeline: It was very important for me to assemble a top-notch group of managers/directors/VPs/CEOs who understood my space and could give me sound advice. These peeps were so generous with their information — they were a huge inspiration. I knew that any time I was stuck on something, I could tap on their virtual shoulders and get an immediate reality check.
5. Read Tons. It’s true — if you want to write, read. I found so much great information to include that expanded and supported what I was saying.
6. The World Can Wait: This year, so much was happening in the world — the Summer Olympics, The World Series, The Presidential Debates. I wish I could have just relaxed and followed it all, but some of it just had to wait.
7. The Pieces Really Come Together: There’s a mystery to writing that’s difficult to explain. One sentence can throw the entire paragraph off, or one favorite section pulled out of the the chapter can revive it. This was the journey each day. When it is finally done, it fits together like wedges of pie! The sentences work, the chapters work, and this book works!
8. My Diamond: My editor, Naomi, knows my voice and my writing more than anyone I know. She knew my best work and she kicked back my mediocre work. I am so grateful that she never let me settle for “good enough.” I definitely don’t think I would have taken this on without her.
9. So what is this book really about?
Smart Sales Manager is a top personal trainer and playbook for managers who must learn to manage disruptive young talent in the New Normal Sales 2.0 ecosystem. Smart Sales Manager is your new trusted adviser and friend who will lead you if you’re ready to play.