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Finishing my book seemed impossible

(Life 168 - Season 1 Episode 4)

Over two years of writing down the drain?

I started writing my book about courage in June of 2000 when I was still living in Tokyo. It was fun. Every day I'd work on a poetic essay about a different aspect of courage, most often inspired by a recent coaching conversation with a client. Then I would share it with my friends and clients. I was able to finish an essay every two or three days.

OMG, I've written nine hundred pages!

One day I stopped to calculate the number of pages that I had written for my book. It turned out to be 900 pages! I'd already decided to self-publish through the publishing-on-demand company called Xlibris. They had a 700-page limit on book size. I had to stop writing and start editing.

"Editing? This is boring."

Although I did not have clear distinctions and terminology back then for Now and Next when I was writing the essays for my book, my Dwight-Now and Dwight-Next were on the same page. They were both happy to sit down and write every day.

Now, I quickly found, Dwight-Now did not like the editing process. "This is boring. I don't want to review all this stuff, trying to improve the English and catching grammar mistakes." 

An impasse

I was at an impasse. Dwight-Next thought it was essential that I finish the book and get it published. It could make a huge difference in the lives of others and in my coaching practice. In the past, Dwight-Next remembered other times when Dwight-Now had dug in his heels and refused to continue with an important project, with Dwight-Next reluctantly giving in and blaming himself (blaming Dwight-Now) for it. He didn't want that to happen again, especially with something as important as this book.

At the same time, my Dwight-Now was adamant. He could not see himself being willing to be forced by Dwight-Next to sit down every day and tolerate this boring editing process. He didn't care if the book got finished. That wasn't his job or his interest.

No way through

Dwight-Next was unshakeable in his position and so was Dwight-Now. Was it going to come down again to who had the most power to force the other that I was going to lose no matter which one won? If it came to that, I had little doubt that Dwight-Now had more consistent power to resist the discomfort and boredom of editing my book. Dwight-Next was feeling resigned about his ability to do anything.

If you were in my shoes, what would you have done?

Could there be any happy ending for me, my book, and its possible future readers?

Don't miss the exciting and surprising conclusion to this deadlock...

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