Top 10 Lessons On Book Writing... And When Success Means Never Getting There
Have you seen the movie "Getting There?" No? Good, neither have I.
It was a 2002 direct-to-video movie starring the Olsen twins who have just received their driving license, and plan to celebrate by driving to Salt Lake, Utah to see the 2002 Winter Olympics. Many misfortunes later, they get there. It's the staple "hero's story" of many novels and movies i.e. hero has a mission, runs into many challenges, but eventually gets there.
Now, (suspend your disbelief for a second) what if there was a mission where success meant never getting to a positive desired goal?
That's stage 5 Digital Transformation. In my book which provides checklist-simple steps on how to get to successful digital transformation, I call it the "Living DNA" stage. It you achieve a one-time digital transformation plus when continual transformation becomes the living DNA of your organization. So, the book's methodology shows you how to get there, but the interesting insight is that the "there" is an ongoing journey of disruption. Getting to a one-time successful digital transformation is helpful only to a point. Nothing prevents you from getting disrupted again. Just ask Motorola, Nokia, Sony, Sun Microsystems, eToys, AOL or Mapquest. The only true end-state of digital transformation is the attainment of the state when ongoing self-disruption becomes the living DNA of your organization.
My top 10 lessons from writing the book
On a slightly different note, last week was the official launch of the book. It was busy, crazy, awesome (feel free to add your own adjectives and mix). It's been a long journey of 2.5 years that I have truly enjoyed. I've learned so much along the way, but not always what I expected to learn. Here's my top 10 lessons.
- You quickly learn just how bad your grammar and spelling is (grammer? gramma? grandma?)
- Your family is your best resource, friend and cheer-leader. Yes, that includes any millennial kids even when they make "helpful" suggestions like "Jeez, can't help you. You have too many grammatical errors :-)."
- Why the terms penniless author, penniless editor, penniless publisher exist, but not the term penniless critic.
- Why writers never take a vacation - you’re either writing or thinking about writing.
- Why author Peter DeVries who said in the early twentieth century in a different context “I love being a writer, what I can’t stand is the paperwork” may well have been describing the publishing industry today. Only a quarter of what I wrote is in the book. The rest was in proposals and marketing material.
- Why travel books sell ten times more than technology books. The former has readers that are interested, the latter has writers who THINK they are interesting.
- Commas and apostrophes are like the appendix in the human body. Totally useless and often very painful.
- They say procrastination and writing don’t mix. But that never stops you from checking it for validity again tomorrow.
- Always auto-save your document. My next book will definitely be titled Harry Potter and the cursed unsaved Word document.
- Most importantly - you don’t need to be smart enough to write a good book; you just need a loving and supportive group who’ll make you smart enough.
Seriously, it's been a wonderful community experience. I've been humbled and amazed at the amount of goodwill and support I have freely received. Thank you all so, so much! And despite all the wisecracks about critics, I do love feedback. If you like or dislike something in the book, just email me. Please.
We'll be back to the usual disruption times format next edition.
Go forth and transform.