Towards the end of Ocotber (or may be early Novemeber), I made a promise to Viny (and myself) that I would have a printable first draft of book2 (of at least 80K words) by end of Nov 30, 2022.
Today is the 29th. And I dont have that.
Even though a lot was riding on it. Lot was Viny’s complete loyalty and the first right to get her to work with me once she passes out of college. I can’t stress enough how much I need someone like her around me at C4E. And yet, I failed.
This post is an attempt at reflecting on what I did to create an environment around me that would ensure that I dont fail. I will talk about habits I stacked to ensure that I dont fail. Of course all these are meaningless – after all, I failed! Maybe lessons for the next time?
Here we go…
A/ I was off Social Media.
I removed all apps from my phone and the only time I would check twitter / linkedin etc was to check on something for work. I was even able to reduce my screentime to about 4 hours a day. This meant I had more time than I could’ve ever asked for.
B/ I was travelling.
This is an excuse.
People that travel write books all the time. Look at them travel bloggers. They are literally on the road all the time and yet they are firehoses of content. I did travel but it does not mean I couldn’t write. All I had to do was write 3K words a day. Which, btw, is NOT a big deal for me.
In fact, truth be told, I “found” 75K words for book2 written over various drafts. I compiled all those into Scrivener and I could’ve “cheated” to write the balance 5K and declare the draft ready. I mean the very thought is making me puke. Why would I cheat? Especially to my own people?
The point is, I could not write.
3/ I was snafu’d at work.
True there’s a lot going on with work. I am struggling. And I am thriving. And I am somewhere in the middle. As a small business owner / manager, you are always somewhere in the middle of these three. As a small business owner you have to try to do multiple things while paying your people fair and square. As a small business owner time is not a commodity that you can control.
The point is, I should’ve known these before I made the promise. So, this one doesn’t hold. This is an excuse.
4/ I controlled my “desires”.
Lol. Sounds fancy.
Lemme talk about it with little more rationality. So, most of November, I did not have coffee. Or coke. Or any random snacks that I keep munching on all the time. I wanted complete abstinence from anything and everything that may distract me. I managed to stay away for a large part to be honest. But it did not help concentrate.
What could I have done different?
A, I could’ve been a tad more pragmatic. I could have taken a long time hozion to work on the draft. Instead of a month, may be two, three. Or whatever. Just that pragmatism is not my cup of tea.
B, I could have made and followed a routine that’s non-negotiable. That I would sit at a Starbucks everyday at 7 AM and do nothing but write for 2 hours. I know that I am extremely good at this (getting up early and reaching a starbucks and sitting with my laptop open). There is nothing that stops me from this. I guess I got lazy 🙁
C, I could have found a writing buddy to write this with. In my experience, it always helps. If not that, I could’ve found an accountability partner if nothing else. Again, I did have Viny to reach out. But for some reason, I was unable to get her help.
D, I could have reminded that age old adage – Real Artists Ship. In fact, if there is one takeaway that I want from this, it would be this. While writing this, I made this wallpaper that I would use on my desktop. Till I get another slap on my face next time. PS: Other things that have made to my desktop wallpapers are Mememto Mori and This Too Shall Pass. Will make these wallpapers as well.
Guess this is about it. I know I failed. And it’s not a good feeling to have.
And, in the end, Viny, I am sorry. I let you down. I’ll try harder. If you want to give me another chance. Do lemme know.