What You Can Do Under Fire

For a long time I’ve been moaning and groaning about how I don’t have time to get any big jobs done. I’ve complained about my schedule, my husband working at home, having to drive my son to San Francisco (3 hours round trip) many days a week, etc.

Well…guess what? They were excuses. It’s true that the last two weeks I was home a bit more, but in general I just gave myself a deadline and some really big goals — plus handled just about everything else that came my way — and I accomplished a ton.

I managed to:

  1. Turn an ebook into a printed book (including editing it and designing the interior and cover)
  2. Turn 2 existing workbooks into printed books (including editing it and designing the interior and cover)
  3. Redesign five covers of workbooks or booklets
  4. Create a new workbook (including writing it and designing the interior and cover)
  5. Do a radio interview with one day notice
  6. Handle several time-time consuming requests form an acquisition editor
  7. Coach two clients
  8. Upload a new product to Smashwords
  9. Deal with my ebook conversion person
  10. Create three new workshops and prepare all the materials to go with them
  11. Go speak to a group of writers
  12. Updated my two websites

Not to mention getting my son ready to go to New York for the summer, handling other issues around the house, and getting myself ready to go to a conference for a week.

My three new (perfect bound) books arrived on time (less than two weeks from the time I sent them to the printer). All the short (saddle-stitched) books were printed with their new covers two days prior to my workshop — also within that two week period and picked up on the same day the UPS delivery man showed up with my package of books.

Put a gun to your head and see what amazing results you achieve. You’ll stop offering up excuses, I can promise you that.

What was my “gun”? I go to this conference every two years. I got upset when I looked at my short books — the same ones I’d sold there for the last 4-6 years. I didn’t like how they looked and I hadn’t ever finished the longer versions. I felt embarassed. I wanted to do something different. I couldn’t finish the unfinished books in 3 weeks — although I considered it, so I produced 1 new book (from an eb00k), revised the two others into something that looked more like a book (perfect bound rather than saddle-stitched and with professional covers), and revised the booklets with professional covers. Now I feel proud of what I’ve got. And in two years you can be sure I’ll have finished those other books.

What’s the gun you can hold to your head. Put it there and keep it there until you get something done.

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