As many of us know to our cost, life doesn’t always turn out the way you planned. The reality is that there will always be disruptions – both good and bad – which alter the course of your life. You have failures which are unexpected – and they impact who you are.
You can make good, detailed plans – and there is a place for them. They provide structure and focus.
But life often gets in the way.
Which brings me to my book, ‘Mosaic Of Grace’. Because writing, as I’ve often said, is like life. And what’s happened with this book has been a prime example of how our lives can be shaped by disruption – and how failure can be beautiful.
I wrote the first draft of what will be my first, full length book, nearly two years ago. At the time I had no clue about anything to do with creating or publishing a book. I figured I could publish it within a few months or year.
In hindsight, I was unbelievably naive.
The book began to gain momentum last year when I got beta-readers, endorsements, a proof-reader and a great editor. I was confident the book would be released this year. Until even a few weeks ago, this was the case.
The message of the book is one which I care about deeply. It’s a subject close to my heart, and something I desperately want people to hear.
But during the editing process, as I’ve re-read parts of the book, I’ve realised to get this message out well, I need to do a lot more work than I anticipated. This is my first full length book, and the message is really important. I have a responsibility to make this book the best it can possibly be.
And right now, it’s not.
No book is ever truly ‘finished’. There will always be improvements you can make, parts you wish you’d written, sections you’d like to add. But the released version still has to be something you are proud of, which you know is the best work you can produce at the time, and conveys the message you want to share in the best possible way.
Right now the book is good. With a few edits we could probably release it. But if I released this book right now, it wouldn’t be authentic. Because it wouldn’t be me as I am now. It would be me from 2 or 3 years ago. And I’ve grown and matured as both a person and a writer since then, so the book needs to reflect that. If I release it as is, I won’t have done myself or the message justice.
Michael Jordan & The Lessons Of Failure
I’ve always been wary of promising too much and not delivering. Through this process I’d tried to be honest about the fact I had a book, what it was about and the approximate time it was due, but with no more specifics. But again, this was something I’d done, in hindsight, with great naivety.
I was wrong to promise ‘Mosaic Of Grace’ will be released in 2015. In all likelihood, it won’t be. But I’m working hard on it, to make the book it deserves to be, the best I can produce at this point in my journey, and a book which will benefit all who read it. A book I can be proud of.
So as of now, I won’t be talking about the book, and it’s release date, until I know the book is ready, and we’re ready to begin the countdown to release. I’ve taken down the book page from my site. When I have an actual release date, then we’ll start talking about it again.
I made a mistake. In one sense, I’ve failed. But it’s been a great learning experience. A beautiful failure, if you like. I know more about the process of writing, editing and publishing a book. I’ve experienced some pitfalls and have the scars to prove it. I have invaluable experience I can learn from, and pass on to others.
I’m better because of my failure.
Because it’s often in our mistakes and failures, that we learn the most. (tweet that)
So, I’ll keep working on this book with my editor. And I’ll begin to plan the next book. Knowing that second time around, I’ll have all this experience which will make that book, and the publishing process, a lot better, and smoother.
Though even then, there’ll be lessons to learn.
Because ultimately, we never stop learning do we?
Question for Reflection:
When was the last time you had a real failure – and what did you learn from it?
Let me know in the comments below!
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