How I finished my 700-page book

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Writing my book was easy for the first two years

I started writing my book about courage (in my spare time) in the year 2000, when I was living in Tokyo. Everything went smoothly until near the beginning of 2002. Each day I would work on another essay about courage and I would share it with friends for feedback. Both Dwight-Next and Dwight-Now were happy.

But then Dwight-Now was not willing to happily continue.

The draft writing of the book (mostly essays) was finished. But now I needed to sit down and review my book line-by-line, asking myself how to improve the English as well as the clarity of each point. Dwight-Next was very happy about what we had done so far and wanted to continue to complete everything and to publish the book. But Dwight-Now was not happy with the idea of "editing the book," which occurred as boring to him. 

A fundamentally new approach to persistence

In the past I would have either tried to "force" Dwight-Now to continue or Dwight-Next would have given up and blamed Dwight-Now for not cooperating. But by this time in my life, Dwight-Next was a bit wiser. He knew that the way most likely to succeed was by asking a new question, "How could Dwight-Now enjoy the process of editing the book?"

It took three weeks to come up with an idea that Dwight-Now liked

I kept asking the question, "How could Dwight-Now enjoy the process of editing the book?" I let my unconscious mind stew on it. Then it hit me. Living in Shanghai by this time, I put an ad in a local site advertising for a "book listener." I received many applications for this position. Young Chinese people were eager to get a chance to improve their English while listening to a native English speaker (I also paid a token fee). 

A young Chinese woman would sit beside me at my computer. On the first day I lied to her, "As I am reading these essays out loud, your job is to make suggestions on how the English might be improved." Usually, within two days, having made no suggestions (the English subtleties I was dealing with were beyond her current English level), she guiltily said to me, "I am sorry, I don't think I am helping very much."

By this time I knew she felt comfortable with me; she knew I was a safe (and good) man. I told her the truth, "You're helping a lot! With you, as a young attractive Chinese woman listening to me as I read, I can enjoy anything!" 

My anonymous "co-writers"

Thanks to many young anonymous Chinese women, I was easily able to finish and publish my courage book by July, 2004. Thanks to you women! The four years of writing my book was a total pleasure and it's the biggest project (of which I am immensely proud) that I've ever finished in my life. It would never have been successfully completed if I hadn't focused on creating and maintaining Now/Next integrity for the full duration of the project.