There comes a time in the writing of every book when the author and the book don’t get along.
I’ve been writing Marketing Yourself on and off for a few years. We have an on-again, off-again relationship, until I got committed last year and decided to see this through.
Like any relationship, we’ve hit our roadblocks, we’ve had our fights, and making up can be passionate and exciting.
Right now, I’m behind on my self-imposed deadline. I tried to make it through draft 5 of my manuscript by the end of May, so I could hand it off to an editor and focus on some other things for a while. But my book, she didn’t like my schedule.
See, I had just rearranged all of the chapters. I divided the 24 chapters into four sections titled Know, Like, Trust, and Buy. This worked for a while, until it didn’t. The 4-Step Customer Cycle (as I call it) isn’t really my idea. It’s a common idea that’s been out in the world for a while, which was why I liked it – the familiarity made it accessible.
But it didn’t feel right. As the manuscript matured, I decided to realign the book along my own IP: the four cornerstones of a platform.
- Your Strategy
- Your Systems
- What you Sell
- What you Say
These are the four cornerstones of a personal platform, and I use this framework in a lot of my work with my clients. Most of the chapters naturally gravitated into these categories, which was very convenient.
Since I organized my whole book in Trello, rearranging it was a fun exercise. I actually did this meta-level editing while I was on a boat, the 3.5-hour ferry between the North Island and the South Island of New Zealand, while my family and I were on our 11th move in 11 years.
It’s to be expected in any relationship, if you realign your partner, muss them all up, dress them the way you want them to be, they’re going to be touchy.
My manuscript has needed a gentle hand this month. Not only am I revising the individual chapters as mini-articles unto themselves (many of which you’ve been receiving over the past few months as my longer-than-usual weekly newsletter) but I’m also cobbling together throughlines that make a natural flow from beginning to end.
Chapter 20 became Chapter 2, Chapter 5 became 15, etc. – so, a revision of the ligaments in the manuscript has been necessary.
Most importantly, I needed to write a new opening.
The revision of the framework meant that the opening I was using – framing the Know, Like, Trust, and Buy sections – instead needs to introduce the cornerstones of the platform, the place from which we market ourselves.
This revision was intense. Not only was I writing an entirely new chapter to open the book, it had to be a chapter that was wide enough to frame the entire book after it.
I am at #5 right now, hesitant and hoping that it works out. (I spent all weekend at #4, with occasional slides back into #3.)
After more than a decade as a professional creative, I’m used to this roller coaster. It doesn’t mean it gets any easier, but I know this is what I agreed to do when I committed to writing this book.
If all goes according to plan, I should be going to print by the end of this year, and you could have my new book in your hands by the end of 2021. If not, I’ll be lost somewhere deep in the Creative Process once again, sending you updates from the bottom of the barrel.
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