On book writing: it’s not for me, and it’s an identity crisis for me

book writing

Oh hey.

Nice to see you again!

A while back, I took a breather from writing these “Karen’s Notes” so I could focus my writing energies on finishing the content for my book, The Accountant Marketer.

I meant to be intentional about it, explain what was happening, set some time frames. Maybe I’d take three months, or six, or the rest of the year.

It turns out I ended up taking nine months away from writing these. I wrote the last one in February. So I understand if you forgot all about them and are wondering why they’re suddenly appearing again.

I’m back because the book is done. It’s in the editing phase right now, and we’re looking at publishing in 2023. I’m hoping for May, because I feel like it’s a better month for a book launch than the summer, but if I’ve learned anything through this book process it’s 1) not to rush things and 2) I need to do everything I can not to hold the process back.

This week I met with the owner of the book editing company who is helping me move into the publishing phase of the book. We talked about how long things have taken, and why, and what I’ve learned along the way.

Here’s what I told her:

The right way is the long way. I’ve always believed this (for PF as well as for me personally) and the book process has been no exception. Lauren even told me I was probably the author who has taken the longest of all of her clients to get to the publishing stage. I heard that and didn’t even mind. I’d rather it done right than done rushed, and despite desperately wanting to get this book out there, I needed creative space along the way, and I gave it to myself.

Every book is an identity crisis. This book isn’t “personal” in the way a book about my life experiences would be. It’s a book for accountants who know they need to be involved in marketing and want to do that in the best way (and perhaps even come to enjoy it a little). And yet the process of writing a book, any book, causes you to look within. Figure out what you want to say. Cut out the extras, the fluff. Listen to the feedback from the people the book is for. Stand outside of it and look in. When I heard all authors take a long time but basically I’ve taken the longest, I thought you know what? That’s okay. The whole world shifted with an unknown virus and is still readjusting and reeling from it. I’ve completely changed the organisational structure of my business. And I’ve had some serious, major, life-and-identity-changing crises and trauma in my life which have required a great deal of reflection, therapy, and space to work through. Writing a book in the midst of all that changes you.

I don’t have to be like that other author or that other company. In the early days of my book process, seeing what others are doing (especially as it’s proclaimed on social media) used to really bring me down. I’m not writing fast enough. This is taking too long. They’re winning at life (or business or being an author) and I’m not. But now I don’t mind so much. They’re allowed to take as much or as little time as they need, too. Some people write a book in a few months. Some take a lifetime to do it. The point is not what they’re doing today, but what I am doing for me.

This book is not for me. I tell this to our clients all the time. “Your marketing is not for you,” I say. “Your brand is not for you. Your website is not for you. It’s for your clients, your audience.” I know this, I believe this….and yet the editing process of this book shocked me into the realisation of what that feels like to actually apply, in my own marketing. I sent a different chapter to 13 different clients, asking each one to provide feedback and suggestions, specifically about what I could cut out. Without exception they all said “cut out or reduce significantly the stories about yourself or PF”. When one or two people out of 13 tell you something, you take it with a grain of salt. When almost every single person says the same thing, you realise you’ve missed something. I have so many stories to tell I forgot for a moment the book was not about me. It says a few things about me – and I didn’t cut out everything – but it’s FOR the accountant. And the edited book is better, clearer, sharper because of it.

So I’ve made great progress. And we’re nearing the finishing line.

And it’s still not ready yet.

But it will be. And it is good. And I appreciate you being with me along the way.

Follow me

ON THE GRAM

Instant change can shock or surprise you. 

You don’t know what to do with it, so you can default to fear. Or confusion. Or reverting to the way you did things before. 

One of my coaching clients is working on changing his approach with the business owners he talks to.

“Up til now I’ve been very me and company centric,” he told me. “And it’s time for that to change.” 

It’s always been accounting, bookkeeping, numbers focused. Nothing about motivations or emotions. 

He read the Accountant Marketer and is now working through each of the sections with me so he can apply them to his firm. 

But even slight changes like asking new prospects, “So, what motivated you to start this business?” is an adjustment. 

But we make changes because we want some kind of change to happen. 

This firm owner wants to get more of the kind of clients he loves working with: and that means opening up with prospects. 

Asking deeper questions. Listening. 

This change will have an impact on the firm’s numbers. On their operations. On the conversations they have as a team. 

We talked about sending out emails to existing clients to offer a conversation about strategy and big picture and motivations, but after testing it with a few clients, he got no takers. 

They’re not used to this. It’s too big, too dramatic. 

So instead he will adjust gradually, in stages. 

In the next client meet, ask one small question. 

How were things in the business this week? Anything which is particularly tough for you right now? 

Something to start that level of conversation going. 

They may not answer it. They may not feel comfortable with that: and that’s okay. But the very tiny changes will be easier to accept than something dramatic. 

Instead of going 0 to 100, can you stage it? 

20-80…

then 50-50…

then 80-20…

…and then when you’re ready, 100-0. 

#theaccountantmarketer #change #stages #justkeepgoing #onestepatatime #progress 

➡️This is from my “creative headspace” notes which go out every Friday. These remind you to change your perspective. Pause. Look around. Breathe. To be on the list, follow the link in bio.💪✨
100 consecutive days of video: DONE!!! 

I’ve stuck to my challenge. I haven’t missed a single day. And now I get to start the reflections. 

I’ve made a real effort not to over-reflect early: but to focus on getting the challenge done. Then I can look back and see what I’ve learned, how it’s impacted me and my business, and what I’ll take from it for future videos. 

Here are just a few of my initial learnings: 

1. Plan the video. The earlier in the day I shoot it or consider what it will be, the easier and smoother everything goes 

2. Capture little bits of video throughout the day (or days) to be used with a theme later. One second, ten second, one minute videos came in really handy when I did a compilation video - of walking, or water, or travels, or working. 

3. Being “on” every day - being present on social media and not missing a single day for 100 days - is bloody hard. I am really looking forward to being able to not open instagram if I don’t want to. And I’ll look forward to falling asleep at 11pm without the gasp of “did I do my video today???” 

4. I’m really grateful. For all I’ve learned and seen and heard and experienced and shared: and for how it will impact my future videos. 

Thank you for being with me on the journey. ❤️

#100dayvideochallenge #100days #justkeepgoing #doneanddusted #finish #challengecompleted #nailedit #video #progress #learnings #businessowner 

Day 100/100 Video Challenge
There’s something about water I find so soothing and invigorating at the same time. 

#100dayvideochallenge #100days #water #sea #isleofmull #refreshing

Day 99/100 Video Challenge