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Writing the UnBook: The 5 Things I’m Scared About

Almost 10 years ago I picked the name “UnMarketing” for my company for many reasons. One of them was that I could see it on a book cover. The name jumped out at me, and down the road hoping it would grab attention on the cluttered shelves of the bookstore.

uncoverFast-forward to today. It’s happened. I signed the book deal and even have a potential cover that may also double as a guide on how to market to the United Nations.

So here we are. This dream is about to come true. And I’m scared sh#%less. I’m not scared because I don’t know what I’m talking about, frankly I’m over-confident in that. I know my stuff, I know it works. Neither am I scared that 60,000 words are due by January 15th and I haven’t started (Ok, may have just changed my pants because of that, but I’ll get it done).

So what is it? What am I scared about? I’m glad you asked, my beautiful reader (I also add Rational Thought to each section to show what I “know” about that stated fear, yet it still lingers):

1. Leaving something out: I can see it now. I get my copy from the publisher and say “Nooooooooooooooo! I forgot the section about riboflavin! (of course it won’t be about riboflavin, but if I knew what section I was going to forget, I wouldn’t be forgetting it. Stick with me here)

Rational thought: I’ll never write a book that contains everything, it’s a snapshot. Plus when it goes New York Time Best-Seller, I’ll put that stuff in the sequel “UnMarketing 2: If you believed the first one, wait until you get a load of this crap!”

2. Leaving someone out: I could probably fill 10,000 of the words with people I need to thank for helping me along the way (Holy Thundercats! I may be on to something here. Only 50,000 words to go now!) No one gets to any point in business or life without being influenced by others, nor are any ideas 100% original. It scares the mustard out of me that I may forget someone. From bloggers to people on Twitter, friends, co-workers, colleagues, jackass PR people from Vegas (ok, just one) and my family, leaving out one of them would do a great disservice to everything you all have given me.

Rational thought: No one would go “The Shining” on me if I didn’t mention them. Although my assistant has earned that right to break through my door with said axe if I leave her out. She has to put up with me daily. You don’t show appreciation by putting them in a book section, you do by giving back in different ways to them what they’ve given to you.

3. I’m not a writer: At least, not by trade. I have the highest respect for “real” writers. You know, the ones that do it as a craft. The ones that when you read what they wrote, you get goosebumps, or a “WOW” when you read it. I’m a hack at best when it comes to the craft. I’ll write this blog post, publish it, then wait for someone to tell me about a spelling error or how to write it gooder (see what I did there? I lol’d writing it) I admire great writers. When I read something that Jen Wright has written, I’m in awe how it reads. I mean she could write something about muffins and their impact on the end of the cold war and I’d be all over it like a kid on a candy cane go kart.

Rational Thought: I was signed by the publisher because they saw something in my style, my brand and my audience reach. More importantly one of the reasons people read what I post/tweet/rant is because of my style. Admire others but don’t try to be them.

4. No one is going to buy it (note to Shannon, my editor at Wiley, please don’t read this part) My fear back from the music business days is what if we book a show and no one comes? What if I write this book and no one buys it? Sure, mom will buy one, I’ll buy 10 copies just to make it’s an “Amazon Best-Seller” under the sub-category of “Books-> Business-> Marketing-> Canada-> Toronto-> Yiddish” but really, what happens if this bad-boy just flops? I do the UnBook Tour of tweet-ups around the continent and it’s me and the bartender?

Rational thought: People really connect with the topic of engagement, of authentic marketing and this book is being written at the right time by the right guy. (Please don’t ask for my advance back Shannon, I already spent it)

5. Writing it: Ok, I lied. I have to write 60,000 words in less than a month. What if I get sick? Writer’s block? Why am I writing this post instead of the book?

mindmapRational thought: Finally, last week I sat down with Karen (my assistant of awesomeness) and wrote every topic on post-it notes. Concepts were on blue ones, good examples of the concept in yellow, bad in green, tools in purple. Then I put it on a MindMap (click it to see the full version). I used FreeMind to make it.

What do you think? Anything on the mind map missing? Have you had these fears writing a book? Please leave a comment! And of course if you want to stay up-to-date on the book progress, subscribe to the blog updates/UnNewsletter, top-right corner of this page!

UPDATE: My man, and fellow under-the-deadline author, Jim Kukral mentions in the comments “One of the reasons I love the Web so much is that when you make a mistake or want to add something, you can go in and change it.”