How publishing a book is STILL teaching me a Masterclass

 

bookI cried on my first day at school because they made me play with toys. I wanted to learn to read. Somehow, I knew even at that early age, that I would unlock magic when I could work out how those funny squiggles unfolded into a story.

I devoured words as soon as I learned how to decipher them and it wasn’t long before I was making my first comics (Minnie The Hat, a comic about a leading lady in the form of my Mum’s bobble hat, was a legend in her day). I wanted to write a book more than anything.

Fast forward many many years to 2016. I’m starting again. My third attempt at writing a book and there are two half written scripts looking forlornly at me on my desk.

The first draft was easy enough. A couple of false starts and suddenly, there I am, with a completed script – I’ve only gone and actually done it.

Except you know, not. Because in my elation, I knew that it wasn’t all quite in the right order and there were a couple of chapters that needed some attention. Even so, I thought, how hard can it be? That won’t take me long at all…

Turns out editing a manuscript is like committing to jabbing pencils in your eyes all day. Painful to say the least. I hated editing. And so, this book, that had finally been completed, was never completed after all. Not in a way that meant I could put it out in the world. I left it to fester with the other two. Another failure.

Months later in a coaching session, my coach turned to me, ‘What’s the thing that would move your business forward in the next 3 months, Danielle?’

‘I have NO idea’ I said, and went away to think about it.

Imagine my surprise to discover the thing that kept popping up in my head was to finally finish the book. I realised that it was taking up space in my mind constantly, nagging at me for not being able to complete it. Even more surprising, a second book was waiting to be written and I had the sense to realise that I’d be creating a beautiful Perfect System of starting but never finishing if I didn’t put this one out in the world.

So I declared that I would have it in the hands of my brilliant editor, Katie, within 3 months. I wrote ‘do the book’ on my to do list every day and I simply committed to opening it up and working on a single chapter each day until it was done. 8 edits later (including Katie’s) and it was finally finished.  Just the design work to do and the brilliant Claire of Clarissa Design took that on with panache.

The Proofs arrived and I felt this stabbing pain in my chest.

They looked beautiful. I rang Nic, ‘The Book is here!’ I shouted, ‘and it doesn’t look shit!’.

Nic sighed. ‘Why would it look shit, Danielle?’ she asked me. Knowing exactly where we were going…(even as I type this, the pain in my chest is back).

I stared at her as if she was stupid. ‘Because I made it’. I said. Without adding the words, ‘And I’m not a real author’ although I said them in my head.

I am one of the most confident women I know, and this book has taken every ounce of courage I have.

Every so often in life, we have to take a Masterclass. A lesson that we would never choose to learn (hence we have been avoiding it for a very long time) and so it presents itself to us in a way that is deeply painful until we take it on board. My disc collapsing two years ago was definitely a masterclass. Publishing ‘Remarkably Easy’ has been another.

You see, this is the thing that has shown me that I don’t fully own my strength and talent as a Remarkable Woman out in the world. My desire to release it quietly and without noise has shown me that there are places in my life where I don’t want to be vulnerable at all and where I do not want people to see me.

Why? I’m still working on it. I’m not sure to be honest. I do know that it’s taking every ounce of self will to talk about it publicly, to encourage women to buy it and read it and to ask for reviews without dampening the request with emoticons and winky faces and anything else I can think of to give people permission to walk away and smile politely.

I am committed to modelling what I’m asking YOU to live and learn.

You see there are moments in our life where our minds would have us believe it is NOT easy. And the pounding in my chest that has been consistent since the proofs arrive have shown me that my whole being is not up for believing that publishing this book is easy at all.

Except it still is my friends. It still is.

After all, what is really hard about writing this blog and pressing send?

What is really hard about asking friends to encourage and support a book that I absolutely know is a game changer?

Nothing at all, except for the voice in my head that on this occasion, is very clear that I am not good enough.

So I’m pressing send anyway.

Because I know that that voice has nothing good to say to me. I know that I am good enough

And I want you to live your life knowing that you are too.

‘Remarkably Easy – how to get out of your own way and unleash your brilliance’ is doing remarkably well already and has already been chosen for a major book club in 2019. For a couple of hours it sat on the Amazon bookshelf right next to Brene Brown, one of my all time heroes.  As you might expect, it’s a super easy read full of practical tips and powerful questions.

It’s going to change your life if you let it. I really hope you do.

Happy Christmas friends – it’s time to finally own our brilliance and shine bright in 2019!

Big love,

Danielle x

Author: Danielle Macleod

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