What if My Book Changes When I Start Writing
“You can’t perfectly plan the path that you haven’t walked on. You can only look back in reflection.” – Azul Terronez
Jason Martin wanted to leave a legacy behind for his family. And after searching for an aligned way to communicate it, he decided to write a book — one that reflected his career as a successful businessman.
But it didn’t just come in one draft.
On this week’s episode of “Authors Who Lead,” we discuss what eventually became “This Is Your Captain Speaking: Life Lessons from the Journey So Far” — which is actually the third iteration of Jason’s book — and how it is the perfect combination of legacy and life lessons for everyone who reads it.
Write From the Heart
After Jason finished his book, he realized it was not what he wanted.
It was business-centered, he tells me, not a legacy for his family. So he went back to the drawing board and rewrote the entire book through that lens — what he originally set out to do. This time, each chapter came straight from his heart.
Through this journey, Jason learned to fully trust the process, and the end result became more than he intended. His book also helps readers navigate through challenges, failures and successes in both their professional and personal lives.
Sometimes Failure is Necessary
More than anything, Jason wanted to be an author — and for his first book to be “good” and “successful.”
When he had to rewrite his book, it felt like a gut punch, he says. He felt like a failure.
But part of his journey was getting it all out. He learned that, sometimes, you need to fail in order to stretch and find the right path. Through the writing and rewriting of his book, Jason developed a daily commitment to writing — not to mention the cadence, rhythm, and success that comes with it.
Fighting Unrealistic Expectations
Jason is not alone in wanting his first book to be “good” and “successful.” We all feel that way when we set out. But how do we know we’re going to be good at something if we’ve never done it before?
It’s a fair question. All you can do is take what you’ve learned through the process and use it moving forward. That is exactly what Jason did when faced with rewriting his book.
He learned that if he wanted to be good, he just had to stick with it. He kept the timetable I set for him and finished the book within his 30-day commitment.
Don’t Overthink It
Writing a book is not a walk in the park. Even if you get a rhythm down and write every day, there will still be obstacles.
As a first-time author, it can be easy to overthink the process and you could spend too much brain power on the wrong things that will slow you down — or force you to rewrite your book.
Learn what works and what gets in your way. Oftentimes, as Jason found out, these lessons you learn from writing your book apply to everyday life.
Jason realized that when he wrote his book from his heart, it ended up informing his business-minded book in ways he never imagined. He just had to be himself, and not separate his family’s ideals from his professional ones. Once Jason found that clarity that second time around, the book he was meant to write was born.
As you’re writing your own book, keep in mind these three biggest takeaways from my discussion with Jason:
- You only have today, so start your book now. Don’t assume you have time to write tomorrow.
- Put your expectations and limitations of your book away. Write from your heart and set aside any unrealistic expectations.
- Don’t wait to leave your legacy. Do it now.
What was your biggest takeaway from the episode? What kind of legacy do you want to leave for your friends or family? Share in the comments below!
That’s all for this week. If you have a message inside of you that needs to be written, don’t delay — we don’t know if we’ll have tomorrow. Start writing your book today!