Twin Lakes, Colorado, that’s where we were. A small frontier town surrounded by mountains and lakes. An old West feel with a tight-knit community serving tourists in order to keep food on the table. Trail runners, hikers, fishermen, outdoors people mostly, that’s who seemed to be moving through town.
Walt and I were there to run along the Leadville racecourse, a 100-mile ultramarathon famous for its difficulty. Not the whole thing, mind you, just a segment of it so we’d get the feel. (OMG, I have nothing but respect!!!!)
Early one morning, we grabbed our coffees and took a walk up the only other real road in town, past the paddle board rental place, the mercantile that sold coffee mugs and Tylenol, and into the hood.
That’s when we noticed that, with rare exception, every house had a For Sale sign stuck on the front lawn. One after the other. A mass exodus seemed to be taking place.
Because we’re looking to have a footprint in the U.S. again, I asked Walt to grab one of the flyers attached to a sign. (I mean, how else are you supposed to learn about a property when the real estate agent lives two mountains over in some cabin with no electricity or phone?)
The run down, two-family, single-story building before us was going for a sweet $550k. A shack, essentially, for more money than any local made in a lifetime, if appearances could be believed.
Who would pay that, I wondered, before the obvious answer popped in my head?
One look at the vista, the stark beauty, the sense of utter peace; and I knew some city dweller had come through on vacation and decided that Twin Lakes was exactly the piece of heaven he’d always dreamed of. Not just one city dweller, but ten, twenty of them. They’d each plopped down $50k as a deposit, took on the mortgage, and settled in for the long haul. Such a good idea!
One winter season in the outback and beyond was probably all it took to wake up that new homeowner to his/her mistake.
Me? I wasn’t about to be fooled by that nonsense, nice scenery or no.
Look, I live in rural Ireland. It’s a stunning place. But if you don’t have a nice partner, severe introversion, and/or a sense of adventure, you could wind up feeling like a fish out of water sooner than you’d think. Add the rain and the dark of winter and….man, you can feel hemmed in but good.
All this shizzel looks great when you’re a visitor, but the all-season reality of living it is a different animal.
I think deciding to write a book is a lot like moving to Twin Lakes. It looks terrific from the outside, especially when you see other authors traipsing about, flexing their tanned muscles, enjoying the attention and opportunities in your field. You can get so inspired, so excited, you’ll flirt with quitting your day job and becoming the next big name. It’s that easy to get taken in by the wonder of it all.
And then the first snows hit. And you can’t get your car started because the engine block is frozen solid. And you cease finding the mugs and Tylenol at the mercantile nearly as cute as before.
Take it from someone who knows, start writing a book and some predictable obstacles will knock at your door. You’ll be halfway through your proposal, or the first draft of your book, and your client roster will suddenly fill to capacity; the demands of your team will require attention; you’ll get a new speaking gig, or ten, and suddenly you won’t be able to handle it all.
Throw in the guilt, the fear, and the self-doubt—because when you write about something that matters, this shit comes up-—and you’ll wind up sticking that For Sale sign on your front lawn. Quitting.
Here’s why I created The Influential Author Formula, a six-week course that takes you through the entire book-writing and publishing process, that lays out all the options before you, weighs the pluses and minuses of each choice—which genre makes sense for the outcome you’re after, which stories to tell, which structure to use, which professional help you should avail yourself of and when if the task looks harder than you like, which publishing route will get you what you want….. But mostly, I point out the obstacles, the way to deal with them so you don’t get floored ….so you don’t quit when the charm wears off.
You can access this course any time—I mean, you’ll find it on my website—but I’ll be running it live come September because I want to dive deep, answer some of the questions I don’t even know you have. (We experts take certain things for granted, that’s one of the things you learn as a book coach when you’re wondering why some seemingly vital stuff isn’t on the page.)
If this sounds like something you’d like to be contacted about, hit reply so I can add you to the waitlist. (I could create a way for you to do this automatically, but I’m about to catch a plane to VT and that takes more time than I’ve got.)
Anyway, if you’ve started a book and quit, I understand. I can probably predict exactly what happened and when. Cause I’m smart like that. 🙂 Let’s get you back on track. And if you’re thinking about writing a book, bravo. Let’s cut those obstacles down to size before they crop up.