It has taken me close to two years to go from idea to almost-finalized version of my upcoming book “Work Like Mäd”.
This morning, I committed to making some last-minute edits and giving it a thorough read-through. I believe it’s now as close as it will ever be to being publication-ready.
In hindsight, this is a true case study in procrastination. I didn’t spend much time writing the book. It was only about 30,000 words. But during the same period, I wrote more than 400,000 words in essays.
I kept putting off writing the book, perhaps due to an inner sense of inadequacy. It felt safer to say I was writing a book than to have it out there for people to read. This is because when writing, the book had limitless potential – it could be the greatest work ever written.
Once you’ve written it, you realize it’s not as good as you’d hoped.
Paradoxically, this concern with quality inhibits quality. My concern with writing something “perfect” has hindered my writing from reaching its full potential. This has been a valuable lesson for me, and I hope to remember it when writing any future books.
Editing is much harder than writing a first draft. This is probably because I don’t plan my chapters properly. Instead, I write in one long stream of consciousness.
I go back and structure my writing. I move paragraphs and sections, which affects the quality because my ideas are not connected.
I am both relieved and disappointed now that I have finished. I could have done a better and faster job if I had conquered procrastination, my main flaw. I plan to work hard to overcome it in the future.
However, there is some silver linings to what has transpired. I now know that I am physically able to write a book, and this level of confidence will hopefully spill over into my next planned both on the principles of process, which will be both me Master’s Thesis as well as a book.
The Thesis will be 15,000 words. My next book will be bigger than Work Like Mäd, perhaps twice as long. There is much more to discuss, and it will be more technical. It won’t simply be a recollection of experiences with some advice.
I appreciate the book structure I wrote about earlier. It had three main parts with four chapters each and three sections per chapter. For Work Like Mäd, I simplified it to three main parts with three chapters each, without any sections.
I’m planning to strictly adhere to this structure for my next book. It consists of 36 sections, each with 1,000 to 2,000 words. This length provides enough space to convey what needs to be said without going overboard.
I think writing each section of a chapter in one to two days will give the sections a logical unity that my first book lacked.
I find that when I have done a lot of research and have a strict structure for my essays (unlike this one that I am writing right now!) it helps to enhance my creative,not diminish it. This is contrary to common-sense, which would dictate that if you place more restrictions on yourself you should be less creative than when you have total freedom.
I believe restrictions can actually boost creativity. They give us a framework to follow and endless possibilities to explore within it.
Rules and regulations provide order, and they provide meaning.
A group of people on a football field with a football, but without any rules, would be nothing more than a chaotic mob. There would be no scope for displaying creative skills. However, when the FIFA rules are applied to the pitch, a sense of order is created that allows the professionals, who have trained for years, to demonstrate their refined skills.
This is quite a major milestone for me, but more for the inner learning and reflection than for the specific output.