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Focus on Lessons

I only just in time remembered to pen this blog almost missing releasing my 190th consecutive Friday Focus. I’ve a valid reason though as this week has been one of the most time-pressured, stressful and exhausting weeks I’ve ever experienced.


Despite feeling smug submitting the first draft of my book to my editor at the beginning of January weeks ahead of schedule, I’d completely misunderstood what had been required in terms of drafts, timelines and word counts.


So last Friday afternoon I found myself in the tricky position, at short notice, of needing to edit down my book substantially so my editor could complete her work before the book enters the production phase. Apparently publishing deadlines are immovable without many ramifications occurring. Who knew? Not me, clearly!


Sadly, it meant I needed to cancel my holiday to Ibiza with Jon and our friends. So other than the obligatory Saturday morning parkrun, daily dog walks and attending a friend’s book launch, Saturday lunchtime I’ve holed myself up in my office from 8am through to 1am every day.


As a result, I’m almost there. I’ve achieved what I thought was an insurmountable task. I don’t have much left to edit to get to the original word count agreement. The mountain I had to scale is now safely behind me as I make my descent.


Has it been worth it? I think so. I hope so. Maybe one day, with total conviction, I can say it was worth all the effort I’ve put in. There’s no way I could sustain this way of working for any longer without entering complete burnout. It’s really pushed me to the limit of what I’m capable of achieving, that’s for sure.


However, what I do know is as a result of my efforts, the book is in a much better shape now than it was last Friday. Meeting the word count was tough but it taught me that it’s possible to convey a powerful message in fewer words.


In reflection my learnings are threefold. Ask more clarifying questions. Don’t make assumptions. Cut out the waffle.


You’d think by now I’d have learned and mastered these basic life lessons. Well, every day is a school day. Onwards and upwards. Actually, not upwards. I’ve had enough of mountains this week. Just onwards will do.


Focus on Lessons. Focus on WHY.

ACTION POINT - Reflect on the lessons you’ve learned this week.

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