People are often fascinated to learn that I’ve written a book. I guess it’s one of those things that most people think about doing at one time or another. I’m often asked, “Which Literary Agent did you use?” or “How long did you have to spend on the Writer’s Training Courses you see advertised in newspapers?”
The truth is that I discovered that ignorance can indeed be bliss. Or, more accurately, obstacles that you do not know exist don’t hold you back.
I’ve always been an avid reader of business books and had built up quite a number from Hodder and Stoughton’s “Success in a Week” series. I had Project Management in a Week and Time Management in a Week and I knew there were dozens more titles too. I did notice though that there was nothing on coaching in the series.
I could do that, I thought. I wonder who I should talk to. Not realising that there were even such things as literary agents, etc. I did the simple thing and phoned Hodder’s main switchboard and asked to be put through to someone who would let me write a book on coaching. I was handled with great sensitivity by the switchboard operator who I’m sure gets hundreds of such calls from crack-pot, would-be authors and eventually found myself talking to a commissioning editor.
He suggested that I write a synopsis and a sample chapter and they’d take it from there. I said I’d do that and then went and looked up synopsis in my dictionary.
To cut to the chase, they liked what I produced and I got the gig. I wrote Coaching in a Week over a 6 month period whist juggling the day job too. I’ve since gone on to write three more and they’re all available from my website and all good booksellers (always wanted to say that)
Getting the go ahead to write my first book was a great lesson on the power of taking action and just doing something to get started, I encourage all my coaching clients to similarly take first steps.
By the way, if you’re ever in a bookshop in North East England and you see a little old lady pulling my books to the front of the shelves, leave her alone. That’s my Mum and she’s doing a fabulous job!