I set out to write a book in July 2021. The plan was to interview creators: people who built something cool, shared it with others, and made money doing so.
Since then, I’ve sat down and had conversations with people I’ve looked up to for years. I interviewed the woman who wrote the article that inspired me to run my own online business. I spoke with my favorite YouTuber who’s the reason I love chess. I’ll also be including my chats with my favorite author and my biggest inspiration in the entrepreneurship space.
My harshest lesson: it’s so incredibly easy to not write a book.
If you’re ever looking to procrastinate more, just tell people you’re writing a book. It sounds amazing. Hearing the praise from friends and family about your new venture. Setting up Zoom calls with people you never thought you’d meet. It’s been exciting and wildly rewarding.
But hidden underneath all these rosy scenes is the most boring and painful activity: sitting down and actually writing the damn thing.
Here’s a list of tasks I’ve done instead of fighting the resistance to writing:
- color code each sublabel in my Gmail accounts
- buy Christmas gifts in March
- outline ideas for my next book
One of the most common questions asked when creating something is, “Why is it so hard to do my work?”
While there are hundreds of factors at play, I think the answer is simple: Because when we actually try to do something, it’s possible to fail. Planning is simple. Executing is messy and uncomfortable.
NBA players never miss shots in practice. It’s stunning how accurate they are. Then in games, their percentages go way down. Things are tougher on the main stage when the stakes are higher and everyone’s watching.
For me, sitting here and writing these blogs each week is basically effortless. I get up between 5am-7am, make a cup of coffee, then black out for 45 minutes until I’ve crafted a masterpiece for you all. That’s my basketball practice.
Chipping away at this book feels like game day.
It takes longer to write the same amount of words because I feel like there’s so much more on the line. A mediocre blog will be forgotten in a day. But the difference between an excellent and crappy book could change the trajectory of my career.
Not entirely logical but that’s certainly how it feels.
That’s why people get so caught up in prepping: business plans, roadmaps, and outlines. That stuff is useful to a point, but most people just use them as ways to avoid doing the real work: reaching out to people, building something people can use, getting feedback and iterating on it…
There were periods when I didn’t write anything for months. So I had to create a weekly system that ensured I put at least something down every other day.
Blog writing two mornings a week. Book writing three mornings a week. Even if it’s just 30 minutes of deep work. That absolutely crushes the alternative of zero minutes of deep work, which was my default state for a while.
Anyway, here are my biggest updates to prove writing this book hasn’t just been one big scam…
- I’ve finished all my interviews.
- I’ve transcribed each interview and completed round 1.
- I have a list of every individual chapter I want to write (one to three pages each).
- The first draft should be completed in the next two months.
- I’ve decided to self-publish and market it with the help of all of you and by partnering with the folks I interviewed.
To those of you who ordered pre-sale copies for half off, sorry for the wait. I promise it’ll be worth it.
This project has been more fun and fulfilling than I ever imagined when I started this journey. I get to WhatsApp with some of my favorite creators and entrepreneurs. I bond with other friends who are in the midst of writing their first books.
It’s funny. The book is called Do The Thing! That’s the simplest advice. It’s also the hardest thing to do.
If you want to order your own copy before it comes out, here’s the link. I’ll sign it and write a personal note to you.
Now please stop distracting me so I can write.