It was just another Monday (a few months ago) and I was on my way to fetch the children from school when husband Joost phoned me: ‘Could you write a book for someone I know? More specifically, a biography?’
No, of course I couldn’t.
Yes, of course I could.
No, of course not.
And that’s how I emailed the ‘someone I know’ to make an appointment for a week later when she happened to be in Bentonville Arkansas.
Someone I know
In an enormous hotel (yes, Bentonville has one) I met Maggie, a wonderful, stylish, dedicated, energizing, Chinese lady living in NYC. We chitchatted for an hour as if we had known each other for years. We rushed through her life, only to discover in the last few minutes that the book was going to be about her daughter. Writing a biography about a 17 year old? Hmmm, I wondered if I would be able to write an interesting story about such a young girl. Then I met her daughter Lilian via Skype. Lilian was great! She was born in the year of the Ox; hard-working, creative, funny and at the age of 17 already mature enough not to take herself too seriously. Both Maggie and Lillian were amazingly open and I felt that we could make this work.
Decision making? Use CCCD
How do you make a final decision to embrace a project or not? I came up with the criteria CCCD, which – I think – are actually applicable to almost (I don’t know why I write down almost btw) every relationship.
1. Content. There definitely is an interesting story to share. I liked the bits and pieces of Chinese culture they both shared and ideas immediately popped into my mind.
2. Click. Maggie and Lillian are very special ladies and we instantly bonded. All three of us highly valued trust and a safe environment. There were a few jokes and loud laughs and it just felt right.
3. Confidence. Maggie was convinced that I could do this based on my experience and the conversation we had. There has never been any doubt, which boosted my self-confidence and made me eager to work with her.
4. Dedication. We agreed that it would be an adventure. We were going to do something we never did before which was exciting and I felt that we could make it work!
I was going to write a book!
Yes, yes, I could write this book. Content, a click, confidence and dedication were key elements for me to make the decision. Oh my gosh, what an amazing opportunity. The only thing left was to actually write it. And (Oh my gosh), I had never written a book before. Where should I start? A few nervous breakdowns and acts of procrastination later, I broke the process down to a few steps. I will share these steps next time. Nice cliffhanger, right ;)
Then one final remark: I have no experience writing a book. I’m just doing what feels right and to be honest, writing it down makes it real, it keeps me motivated. Feel free to share whatever you want, whether it’s feedback, tips or tricks! Happy to hear it all!