Five birds are sitting on a wire. If two decide to fly away, how many are left sitting on the wire?
There’s a huge gap between deciding to do something and actually doing it. And if the result of doing it is anything significant, the gap is dripping with perspiration.
Yesterday I had lunch with my good friend and colleague, Mark Sanborn. We each have authored new leadership books which are in the final printing stages, and each brought the other a galley or “ARC” (Advanced Reader Copy) of our respective books. This isn’t the first time to this particular rodeo for either of us. Mark is the author of several bestselling books such as The Fred Factor and I find his advice and experience as an author invaluable.
In our combined 50+ years as professional speakers and authors, Mark and I have encountered hundreds (if not, thousands) of wanna-be authors; people who comment on our books and then say “you know, I’m going to write a book on …” Although I have no data to back this up, I’d wager a steak dinner that less than 1% of those birds ever flew off the wire.
That’s because the gap between talking about writing a book and holding a published copy of that book is, as Jerry Maguire said “…an up-at-dawn, pride-swallowing siege”. Simply stated, writing a book is hard work; writing a good book is even harder. And because the majority of people tend to shy away from hard work, there’s a clear line between the dreamers and the doers.
Each year, there are approximately 300,000 books published in the U.S., so being an author doesn’t automatically grant Mark Sanborn — or me– any kind of superhero status. Writing a book just happens to be one of those commonly-mentioned aspirations that serves as fodder at business meetings and dinner parties. And, like any worthy pursuit, talking about it doesn’t make it happen. You have to get off the wire and write page one, then page two, and so forth.
If you’ve spent too much time talking about writing a book, (or running a marathon, or starting a business, or??) and you haven’t yet taken action, I challenge you to flap your wings and join me in flight.
The rush you’ll get from leaving the other birds behind is euphoric.
BTW – After reading the galley for Mark’s new book Up, Down, or Sideways, I can tell you he poured a lot of sweat into this future bestseller. And you can preorder his book today!
- The Secret to Successful First Drafts (barbaratyler.wordpress.com)