What I learned from writing a book

I NEVER thought I would write a book. But I have. And it’s being published this month. Today’s newsletter is less of a leadership blog and more about this – my exciting venture of becoming a self-published author. Although, I will share what I have learned about myself in the process.

If you have subscribed to my newsletter blog for some time, you realise that I share insights, stories, models, research and quotes every week in a quest to help people become better leaders and live happier lives. My partner asked me the other day: ‘How do you come up with new topics each week?’ The answer is, sometimes I draw from a current experience I had with a client, or I get inspired by something I read or see on the internet. Sometimes it’s the result of a conversation with a friend, and at other times the topics are strategically themed around a particular program I am launching.

When the world changed

This is how my book ‘Lead the Future’ got off the ground. To be honest, I hadn’t really planned on writing a book. But in March 2020 the world changed, and my clients needed me more than ever to help them to manage their teams in uncertain and ambiguous times.

I was, just like everyone else, affected by what was happening in the world and I struggled with the change of working from home permanently, growing a business amid uncertain markets and building resilience to look after myself so that I could help others.

And I thought ‘If I am struggling, then others are too.’ The way I could help leaders and organisations was by sharing what I knew and saw from working with clients and tapping into other people’s expertise (I read a book a week). By early 2021 I had collected so much content, research, stories, workshop insights and personal experience that I thought: ‘There is enough here to write a book. And it will help people, because it’s not over yet. The big phase of change in form of technological disruption, digital transformation globalisation and the future of work has only just started. And I want to help people to have a comprehensive guide and practical skills to lead well into the future.’

How did I write the book?

I enrolled in a book writing program in May because, let’s be honest, I was not going write, edit and publish a book all by myself. Within 12 weeks the manuscript was written and off to the editor and typesetter. Those 12 weeks were some of the most challenging times of my life with early mornings, late nights and lots of staring at my screen. Getting an idea out of your head and onto paper is more challenging than you think.

Turns out, I am a speaker that writes.

Speaking with my book coach, I realised that I was really slow with typing my thoughts out and it was holding me back from getting to my target word count. I tried recording into my iPhone, but that felt weird and the paragraphs needed too much editing. Then I remembered that I am good at presenting and being interviewed so I recorded myself on Zoom (makeup, light and all to make it authentic) and interviewed myself on the topics for the chapters, and transcribed the recording. Boom. Up to 4,000 words a day.

What did I learn?

Find and use your strengths to succeed

If you get stuck, change it up and try a different way. The goal doesn’t change, just the way you get there. After all, I am not here to become a New York Times bestselling author, I am here to get a book out to people to make a difference!

How to get unstuck from unhelpful self-talk

Yep, the amount of times I was questioning my ‘right’ to publish a book increased as I was writing. But everyone in the program had similar thoughts. It’s funny how we question ourselves, yet everyone else is in awe of our work and effort. I always went back to my purpose: ‘I am helping people with this book. It’s not about being in the spotlight and increasing Instagram followers. I know leaders will have a useful takeaways and practical steps to apply in their lives.’

Persevere and hold yourself accountable.

One of the first things my book coach made me do was to whip together a landing page on my website and social media to talk about the book and make available for pre-sale. The day I published the news, I had a several pre-orders coming in and I thought: ‘Well, no turning back now, this book has to be in people’s hand by September.’ If you want to achieve something like writing a book, set yourself a realistic target and create an accountability system around it. Otherwise it will always be ‘just another good idea’.

The result

So here we are, Lead the Future is published and printed and on the way to people’s homes and offices (and even hotel quarantine) and we are planning a virtual celebration.

I would love for you to come along. I will share some stories from the book, have a guest speaker and, of course, share what Lead the Future is all about.

But mainly, I want you to be part of celebrating this milestone with me.

The event is at 7pm AEDT (Melbourne) on Wednesday 13th October, and will be held via zoom. If you’d like to join me for this celebration, click here to register.

Jessica Schubert

Jessica Schubert is a Leadership Expert, Executive Coach, Facilitator, Author and Speaker. She is obsessed with helping people realise their potential and unlock their inner genius.

Born in Cologne, Germany, Jessica has travelled the world and has spent more than 20 years leading cross-cultural teams in competitive markets throughout Europe and the Asia Pacific. As she worked with and coached her own diverse, cross-cultural teams, she came to realise that learning about yourself and developing interpersonal skills is the most powerful tool to lead and influence people around you.

In 2013 she launched Intact Teams, where she and her team have worked with thousands of leaders in organisations worldwide, delivering custom-designed leadership programs and workshops. These interactive and engaging programs are offered both virtually and in-person, helping leaders and their teams succeed in a complex and ever-changing business environment.

If you would like to find out more about Jessica and Intact Teams:

  1. Subscribe to our newsletter to get Jessica’s insightful, practical leadership and self-improvement tips straight to your inbox every week.
  2. Pre-order Jessica’s book, Lead the Future, the 12 skills to lead in a fast changing, ambiguous world.
  3. Get our online program, Lead the Future, and learn the leadership skills you need to lead in a fast changing, ambiguous world.
  4. Contact Jessica to find out more about her tailored leadership programs.
Jessica Schubert