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  • John Swallow

A Challenge - Write a Book!



- What? Are you nuts?

- I don't have the time to do that.

- I wouldn't even know where to start.


These were some of the thoughts rattling around in my brain when the idea first came up. I have penned a blog about writing a book before but as my situation in this project is somewhat more advanced, I thought I would write about this again.


So where am I now? Well, fourteen months later, I have written and self-published a series of three novels and am now working on a new book with a co-writer, to be published by a traditional publisher. How did this come to pass? Read on...


Truth be told, I had been considering writing a book for a while but there were always other things in front. As I was sitting there one day, with some time to spare, I decided to at least define what I wanted to do. To do this, I chose to use an OKR.


Some of you may know what an OKR is and some may not. For the benefit of those who have not yet come across the concept, it stands for: Objectives and Key Results. This is a methodology on which I regularly train - and that has helped me personally to achieve more and has helped companies such as google achieve incredible success. Without going into detail, it begins with a simple, clear and communicable objective, which is underpinned with a series of clearly measurable outcomes. When you achieve these outcomes through an action plan- you have achieved your goal!


The OKR that I defined was...


Objective: Write a Fiction Novel


Key Result(s): Novel to be 60,000 words & published by June 20th


Action(s): 1000 words per day (5 out of 7 days)

Edit the book

3 readers to proof-read

Design the cover


Some of the actions needed more detail around them but this was the basic plan and I gave myself three months to deliver it. I knew that if the deadline was too long, other things could take over and I needed to focus on fewer things and devote more time to them.


I plan on writing another blog on how to put a book together, not as an expert, but as someone who has tried and tested and had successes and made mistakes that hopefully others can learn from. For now, I can tell you that the OKR was achieved in June 2021, and I went on to write and publish another novel in October 2020 and a third, a couple of weeks ago, in May 2021. Now, I am working on my fourth book.

As a coach, I can't stress the importance of having a clear goal enough, together with adequate time, milestones and nudges to support you along the way. It usually works for me.


A long time ago, someone once said to me that lots of people have lots of ideas but the ones who succeed are the ones that just get it done. Sometimes, things may not be perfect but if they are from you, then they have the power to provide others with some of your magic.


So, if you have been thinking about writing a book, or something completely different, maybe now is the time to define your OKR and get started?


If you wish to learn more about OKRs, benefit from personal coaching or maybe just want to write your book, please drop me a line and I will be happy to help.


All the best with all you do!


Best wishes John


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