First Book Finish – finally

Have you ever had a goal that you just couldn’t quite accomplish?

What I feel (and look like) on some writing days!

As I’ve mentioned in other posts, I have a tendency to be a very goal oriented person and accomplishing the action steps to reach my goals is something I am generally good at doing. 

That said, there is one major goal that I really want to accomplish. I’ve been working on this goal for over nine years. At various points, I’ve worked hard on this goal. The thing is I have NOT accomplished the goal.

The goal I have not yet completed is to finish writing my book and get it published. The working title of this book is Find Your Inner Endurance Athlete. It started out as a self-help, teaching book. Along the way, I’ve gotten quite a bit of feedback on the (unfinished) book. In fact, I’ve hired a few different editing experts to give me feedback. With their help, I realized that my best writing is when I am vulnerable and real with my life story and life experiences, as opposed to when I’m in teaching mode. They also encouraged me to move from self-help to memoir. 

Originally, I wanted to find an agent and have my book be published by a regular publishing house. I took several classes on writing a nonfiction book proposal. I got the proposal fine tuned and sent it out to more than seven publishing houses. That was about three years ago. I got soundly rejected by all of them. As you might imagine, that was disheartening to say the least. 

I didn’t give up. 

Where’s the finish line

The book did go to the back burner, due to needing to do some deep healing work that got triggered by a housing issue that came up. That feels resolved and about three months ago, I realized finishing this book is still a top priority. I needed help. My personal board of directors wasn’t quite enough accountability to get me to the finish line. In fact, I didn’t even know what finish line I needed to get to. 

When the student is ready the teacher appears

Miraculously, across my desk a writing coach appeared. I’m not exactly sure how it happened, except that it felt like divine intervention. I’ve taken two different “finish your book” writing classes and neither of them helped me very much. I got started and then I dropped out. Both were organized by men. The new writing program that appeared is called First Book Finish and it’s organized by writer Rhonda Douglas who is based out of Ottawa, Canada. 

The three things that caught my eye were that Rhonda offers a roadmap to finish the first draft. AND, she has a list of 8 rules that you must follow to finish the first draft. The third thing that sold me the program is that one of the modules in her 12 week program is called Mindset. All three of these things were not a part of the writing programs organized by the men. 

One on one intake

Additionally, Rhonda did a thirty minute intake one-on-one call to get to know me. She does this with all the participants in the program. We all start at the same time and move through the process together. Then, every week for one hour for 12 weeks, there is a Zoom call where everyone who can, jumps on and Rhonda asks about our progress and she discusses strategies to stay focused. 

Accountability makes a difference

Additionally, Rhonda asks us to email her once a week with updates on our progress related to the personalized road map we crafted. In this weekly email, we can ask questions and we tell her our goals and action steps for the coming week. She replies to all of us. 

I’m officially in week five of the twelve week program. For the first time in the nine years I’ve been working on this book, I feel 100% confident that I will complete the first draft of the book. One interesting realization is that I likely got too much feedback too soon. That said, there is no one right way to write a book. 

No feedback, just writing

I learned to type on a type writer similar to this one!

This go round, I am not getting any feedback. My goal is to complete 70,000 words by the end of January 2022. I have a very clear outline that guides me. My main task in my writing is to tell more stories from my life. To be as vulnerable as possible. I’ve got more than 47,000 words written. 

When I get the entire first draft finished, then I will move into the revision stage. True confession, I’m excited about the whole process! 

Writing in the winter

The timing of doing this feels ideal. It’s winter time here in Minnesota where I am, and this is the time of year for inner, quiet work. I’m taking a few weeks off from my day job over the holidays and my focus will be writing. 

Thanks for reading these blogs! I hope you find them inspiring and motivational. I offer them in that spirit. And, huge thank you for following along as I work on this book. I’ve got my hopes set on you one day buying a copy once it gets published!

Are you on my list yet? If not, please sign up right here! I won’t share your email with anyone. 

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4 thoughts on “First Book Finish – finally”

  1. Way to go, Mari! I know this book has been your dream for a while now. We’re behind you and I can’t wait to buy your book someday.

    • Oh Kathy!!! Thanks SO much!! It has indeed been a dream for a long time, now it’s a goal with a near end in sight!!!

  2. So glad to hear you found a teacher that fits your style and provides both one-on-one and group support and accountability. It’s inspiring to hear about.

    • It’s rather remarkable how matched I am for the way Rhonda works!!! Thanks Linda! You know what a journey this book has been for me. I’m so glad I’m making good progress again!

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