Since high school, one of my life goals has been to become a published author. I recently completed that goal when my new ground defense book/DVD, When the Fight Goes to the Ground, was published by Tuttle Publishing, a well-known international martial arts publisher that’s been in the business since 1948.
The process of completing this life goal took just over 3 years from signing the contract with my publisher to the release of my book into the world. I now understand why many authors say that it’s not the actual writing of a book that is so satisfying, it’s the completion of the writing. Writing is hard work. Well actually, for me, the writing of the words was the easy part, it was all the long hours that went into the photography and video that I found most challenging, all the shooting and re-shooting to make sure that we got every angle we needed and that every action was clear in the book. I am truly grateful that Chris Olson Sensei helped by being the one to go through all the photos to choose the best ones from the shoots, and put together the video after reviewing all the footage, allowing me to focus on the writing more. This was all part-in-parcel in the writing of my instructional book. In addition to the long hours, the “attackers” for my shoots received a lot of painful techniques repeatedly for the cause. Check out the “Making of” video below for their humorous accounts of the experience.
Working Towards the Big Picture, One Step at a Time
If you’re ever thinking about writing a book, or pursuing a similar goal, I can offer two pieces of advice that may seem conflicting on the surface:
1. Keep the big picture in mind.
2. Take things one step at a time.
Keeping the big picture in mind helps you to think from the end. Visualizing your end result and enjoying the feeling you will feel when that result is achieved before it has even happened helps keep you inspired and engaged. That being said, it can seem overwhelming at times when you focus on the huge number of things you have to do to get from point A to point B. That is why it’s important to not focus on how many things need to be done, and instead focus on the tasks immediately at hand. Break down what needs to be done into logically-ordered, manageable chunks then focus on the few tasks it takes to complete each chunk. Forget about all the later chunks until they become immediately relevant. Don’t let them distract you from what you need to do first. By taking things one step at a time, you can enjoy the process of getting each thing done as you gradually work towards your end result. Then, seemingly all of a sudden, the works is all done, and you have your book in hand, or whatever other goal you’re working towards.
Some people say it takes a certain kind of person to write a book, not just talk about it, and then another type to actually follow it through all the way to completion. I call BS on that. Anyone can write a book with the right when sufficiently inspired/motivated. They just have to get out of their own way and just do the thing.
What advice has helped you to stay on target with your goals/dreams in life? Please share in the comments.