A Guest Blog from Clara Wilcox
“45,000 words in a month”. That was the word count target set when I started my writing journey. “No problem” I replied, with an internal thought of … well, I bet you can fill in the f-word that went through my head. Now, five months on, I have just published “What Now? An Honest Guide To Miscarriage, Baby Loss, Parenting, Mental Health and Rebuilding Your Identity”, whilst balancing a business, a family and actually having some time for myself! I wanted to share with you how I managed it and how you can too.
I am convinced that everyone has a book within them, inspired by something that you have gone through! My catalyst was baby loss. We had a rocky journey to become a family of four; that experience had re-written my life in a multitude of ways, as well as sent my career off in a trajectory I couldn’t have imagined when I witnessed my first positive pregnancy test.
The reasons that I had said my book wasn’t ready may ring true to you: no time to write, right? Not on top of EVERYTHING, you must do as a parent. However, it was fear that was driving my inaction. The fear of it not being any good, of people criticising it, the fear that it would be too upsetting for me to write.
However, one thing moved me past that: ACCOUNTABILITY. Having made myself accountable to those that were supporting me and announcing that I was writing the book, made it hard to shirk! I also decided that this book was going to raise money for the bereavement charity that helped us. There were lots of people to let down if my fear got in the way.
Unfortunately, this didn’t give me the ability to create more time. So, the next thing was PLANNING. During coaching, I advocate time blocking, so I applied this to my writing. A simple calculation supported this. How much time did I have between now and the 45K deadline? Divide the two and, BOOM, daily writing target. This was my story, and after a little bit of research on the books that existed in this space, I realised what I needed to include, but also what was missing. These chapter titles, combined with my daily writing plan, kept me on track.
Finally, I DROPPED MY EGO. I tend to think I know it all, however, it’s very clear I didn’t know how to self-publish (both technically and strategically) so I worked with the experts. I knew what I wanted to write, but I’m not known for my attention to detail, so I worked with editors and proofers. So, if lack of knowledge is holding you back, reach out. We live in an age of online recommendations and searches; the connections you need are at the end of your fingertips.
So, very simply. How did I write my book and fit everything else in?
I just started. Isn’t it time you did the same?
Clara Wilcox is a straight-talking, practical and experienced coach helping clients navigate the tricky waters of returning to work, career changes and professional development. Her first book “What Now? An Honest Guide To Miscarriage, Baby Loss, Parenting, Mental Health and Rebuilding Your Identity” is now able to be bought on Amazon.
The Balance Collective is a social enterprise focused on improving the lives of parents, by working together to build inner confidence and promote a healthy work/life balance.