A series of posts dedicated to the journey of writing my first book, UNSECURITY. This is the third post in the series. The other two posts in the series are the Introduction and The Idea. As I continue to expand this series, I will add a table of contents. This will make it easier for everyone to follow.
The first time I thought of writing a book was four or five years ago. It was an idea, but it wasn’t a serious one. It wasn’t until late 2017 that the idea became more than that. What I was lacking was encouragement.
I’m sure that there are authors who have written books with little or no encouragement, but not this guy. Being an author takes independence, but not isolation. For me, I needed someone to convince me to act on my idea, to lift me up when I didn’t feel like writing anymore, to help alleviate my fears, to impart wisdom, and someone who would sacrifice something with me.
Some of these things were stated in the book’s Acknowledgements, but here I’m stating them for a different purpose. I want to be honest with you, give examples of encouragement during my book writing struggles, and hopefully inspire you to write yourself.
There’s plenty of backstory, but it was late 2017 when James told me that I must write a book. At the time, James was the president of FRSecure and SecurityStudio. He played (and plays) a critical role in our business success. If you know James, he’s not the sort of guy that takes no for an answer. Because of his passion and personality, I had no choice but to listen. So, I did.
James is bought in to our mission, to fix the broken information security industry, so he’s also someone that I trust. Long story short, James got my attention and encouraged me to write. He also made several suggestions along the way, gave me the book The War of Art by Steven Pressfield (highly recommended) to read, gave me time to write, and set deadlines.
All these things were great, but it was the encouragement that made the difference.
Obviously, this short list of people who encouraged me is not in order of importance. If it were, then my wife would have been listed first. My wife sacrificed time, put up with my grumpiness, and partnered with me as only a wife can. There were many mornings that I was up at 3:00am to write. Getting up at 3:00am each morning, came with consequences. Despite the consequences, my wife continued in her unwavering encouragement. She always saw the bigger picture and helped me see it too.
She encouraged me and built me up all along the way.
Suzy was my book buddy. She has years of experience in writing and marketing. She was the perfect fit to help me throughout the book writing process. Despite all her skills and experience, it was her encouragement that mattered most.
Writing a book, especially on a short timeline, is a grueling effort. Don’t think for a second that it doesn’t affect other parts of your life, including the relationships you have with your co-workers. This was true with me. At work, we’re a team and we’re a family. My team and my family always deserve my best, and the time that goes into book writing is less time with them. During the book writing process, my co-workers didn’t get the best out of me. Some (or a lot) of me when into the book.
Time and time again, my co-workers encouraged me and showed a genuine excitement for the book.
The list of other encouragers is long, and I won’t be able to list them all. I encourage you to read the Acknowledgements section of the book, because you’ll find some of these people listed there. From my publisher, to ghost writer, to editor, to proofreader, to designer, and on and on. The role that each of these people played in the book will be covered in subsequent posts within this series. The process for me wasn’t as straightforward as it may seem. If each person didn’t play their role, the book wouldn’t be what it is.
Whether you want to write a book, or if you’re in the middle of a book, you’re going to need encouragement. Find the encouragers and listen to them. If you encounter a critic or two (or ten) along the way, ignore them and run to your source(s) of encouragement. If you have trouble finding someone to encourage you, I will. Get in touch with me.
Next post is about planning. A book requires time to write and making time requires planning. After writing, comes all the other things that go into book production, and those things all need plans too.