Show me a creative person who never doubts their work, and I will show you a liar. No matter how confident you may be, that little voice inside your head sometimes roars at you with self doubt. It is why I wrote about those self doubting voices in Lesson 1: Trust Your Instincts.
The book was finished – at least I had 30 chapters completed. I pulled the text up on my computer and read and reread chapter after chapter. I changed a word here and there. Now it was time for someone else to read it.
What if it’s not good enough? I thought. (Clearly my screenplay never made me the next Nora Ephron!) What if no one else finds the funny parts funny and the sad parts sad? After 30 years in business, I felt as if I were a first day on the job rookie all over again. So, I did the safest thing I could think of. I asked my English teacher daughter to ‘proof’ it. (In the back of my mind I felt she would correct a few misspelled words now and then, place a few commas here and there and make the occasional clarification for context. Surely she would celebrate the fact that her mom actually had completed writing her entire book while she resided with her in Uruguay.)
Kim became English teacher extraordinaire, Master of Noun. She wrote notes upon notes. “Clarify,” she said. “Needs a stronger ending,” she wrote. “I am not sure you should use their real names,” she scolded. (I pitied her poor students!) But, all of her advice was spot on. Back to the keyboard I went.
Once I returned to Texas, I met with an old friend, one of my former bosses, Chuck Wall, and told him about the book. He convinced me to let him read it. (Chuck had successfully published Customer CEO and had hired a marketing firm to help him launch it. Clearly he was an expert and had the books to prove it.) With sweaty palms, I turned over my baby, a year’s worth of efforts, my living legacy, everything I wanted people to know and learn, the final draft of my book. Days went by… and then Chuck wanted to meet.
As we set in a booth having cup after cup of black coffee, Chuck shared his thoughts. “Erma Bombeck-ish,” he said. (I took that as a compliment…a dated compliment, but a compliment nonetheless.) “This is good, really good.” He then laid out all of the pitfalls: self publish or find a publisher? Self promote or hire a marketing firm that specializes in book launches? Ebook, audio book, printed book or all three? Do you have a website? What content are you going to create for YouTube? It seemed that writing the book was the easy part.