Writing a book doesn't have to take years. In fact, it only took me 5 weeks to write mine. One of the biggest keys to getting getting your thoughts out and actually organizing them into a book structure is your ENVIRONMENT - everything from the people you're spending time with to the physical space for your writing. In this episode, I share some the types of environments that were most helpful for me and ways that I approached accountability. Hint: designing your environment and accountability systems first takes really knowing yourself well ;)
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It is week three of from author to authority. And we are sneaking closer and closer and closer to the book launch, which is so surreal for me. And it's something that I hope you have the experience of personally, for yourself. So go write your book, here's where we're going this week is we're going to talk about the process, the personal and the provision. And specifically, we are looking into environments and accountability. Now, before we get started, make sure that you hop into the shownotes and get yourself on the fired up fulfilled and free presale list so that we can keep you in the loop about all things book launch, all the fun stuff that we're planning for the book launch. And let's jump in environment and accountability. This, this was everything in this process for me. Now, I do acknowledge that I am a relationally driven human. And when I did the four tendencies quiz, the Gretchen Rubin thing, I landed pretty heavily in what we call obliger territory. So I'm one of those people that does things because I've told other people that I'm going to do them or because I have a responsibility to them for them. That is very in line with my type two Enneagram. I also like to think that I'm a rebel. So there's definitely a piece of if you told me to go ahead and make me. So there's that. But that said, let's talk about the environments that you need to put yourself in to actually get this done. Particularly when we're talking about writing a book over a shorter time span, because like we talked about back in episode one, there's this idea people have the Writing a book is going to take them like a year or two years or three years, and it doesn't have to it just straight up doesn't. This book, first draft got written in five weeks. And the whole process in and of itself will be from the beginning of October to the end of May. So I think that's like seven months, somebody do math for me and drop into my DMs anyway. It's not necessarily a long process, if you are committed to the process, and you walk it out in a way that makes sense and sets you up for success. And that's what environment is all about when I chose to actually go through this process. And I'd built myself out the system and the foundation for what is the book actually going to look like to I have my clarity on my purpose and my intention behind it. It's this question then of where am I going to put myself so that this thing can actually happen? So let's dive into some tangible process stuff. Number one, I surrounded myself with other people who were also doing the same thing. Now, I'll often talk about this as resonance when we get into a group coaching conversation, because there's something magical that happens. And I've seen this over and over and over in my group coaching programs of people who grow together and are pointed in the same direction and moving in the same direction, they practically pull each other along. And there's something really magical about it. For any of you who are singers, if you've ever hit resonance with a song on the radio, and you have exactly the same vibration and pitch as the person you're listening to. It's a full body experience. And that's how powerful these environments can be. So for me, the environment looked like especially because I'm such a relational humans, we get to tie in how are we specifically wired, okay, how does that impact how we set ourselves up for success? I put myself in a relational space that was going to support and surround me on this journey. I put myself in a relational environment where there were people who got it. There were people who are also moving forward. There are people who can inspire me and People who I could inspire. And that was so empowering. And it was also accountability. Okay, it was accountability because of that obliger nature. But it was also accountability because I said, Hey, I've made a commitment to myself. And I've made a commitment to God, frankly, and I'm going to tell you all what it is. And then in order to stay in integrity with myself, and to stay in integrity with you, in this relationship, I need to show up and execute on what I said I was going to do. And integrity is vitally important to me, I know that I value that, I know that it triggers me when it doesn't exist. So that was a piece. Okay, another piece of environment was actually a smaller group space within that bigger environment. And it was literally called an accountability group. So within this group of, I think there were like 30 people, they split us into these smaller groups of four to five. And so I hopped into this group with Adriana and Kat and Annalise, and BC. And we had this opportunity on a weekly basis to connect as we go through this process. And it was a space where we could just have conversations about what's going on, or we could hop online, and we could write together, and we could pray for each other, and we could support each other. And we could brainstorm together. And the more intimate the connection in the environment, the more powerful that resonance can be. So we had that space on top of the larger environment that's happening, which is further accountability, further opportunity to get vulnerable to process to stay in integrity. So those are the relational environments. And some of them had all of those had these time parameters around them of expectation of you're going to show up between this hour and this hour, which is also environmental, right. It's how are we structuring our days, so that there is time that we're consistently spending working on this thing and moving it forward. So that it's not this giant overwhelming, I'm going to spend eight hours and I'm just going to chunk it out and get it done. But it's the key. We're working on this today. Okay, we're working on this today. Okay, we're working on this today. And over time, we create momentum. And as we continue to create momentum, momentum continues, right? That is how momentum works. It's this propelling forward, this movement of an object forward or of a goal forward, and as we just continue to work on it, and work on it and work on it, we get into flow. And flow is where the best writing happens. Flow also showed up when I would put myself in environments that were more physical. So I did a lot of writing from my office. And my office had to be clean, it had to be organized, because outer order equals inner peace. For me, I can't have a whole bunch of distraction. I can't have notebooks and pens and things and randomness everywhere, I need it to be clean. So I knew that about myself. I also have an office environment where I feel really comfortable. I set up a space that if I needed a change of just mental space, instead of sitting at my desk and sit at the table. And sometimes that would be enough. But sometimes I would need a bigger environmental change. And it wasn't exactly warm outside because I live in Canada. So Canada in October is like there's probably snow. But I would go to a coffee shop. And there weren't a lot of coffee shops open because it was COVID. And there's restrictions around how many tables there could be and stuff. So it wasn't like the Starbucks down the street. It was a 20 minute drive. And I'd head over to Blackbird cafe. And I'd get myself lunch. And I'd carve out an afternoon. And I would sit down and I would crank out like 4000 words. So it was a physical change in environment, which would bring in a different kind of a creativity or just different stimulus are different inputs into my brain. And that would help so changing it up and creating some variety that was really important getting out of my space where I felt like I had 100 Other things to do, and giving focused energy and time to the book. That was really important. Having quiet being by myself being somewhere where I didn't need to be someone for someone else that was really important. And then also knowing what is it that inspires me? What are the other environmental factors that I can put into play so that I can be productive? So that I can actually kick this thing out. And so environment wise music IQ was a big, big, big, big, big piece of this process. Sometimes that was worship music. Most of the time, it was instrumental stuff, it just makes me feel a certain way. And I'm the girl that'll turn on one song on repeat over and over and over and over and over again, and just get into complete flow. And so bringing my headphones with me, or putting my headphones on, when I was at home, when the kids are going to bed and making noise, that was really key popping into the basement sometimes, because things are just too noisy, because my office is upstairs near the bedrooms. And the kids were maybe not having an easy night putting myself in a space that was quieter and more secluded that was really important. So we really have to pay attention to in terms of environments. What are the relational environments? And what are the physical environments that we need to put ourselves in? And how are we being curious, along the way about what's working? And not? How do we improve it? How do we put ourselves in a place and a space mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually, that is conducive to getting this thing out? The personal growth process on environment and accountability? It's less profound than in some of the other contexts that we're going to talk about along this journey. I just really love people in relationships. I really love spending time in the presence of other humans. Honestly, the biggest challenge here was because it was a new group of people to me that I didn't have relationships with. It was showing up as authentic, it was the letting down the guard and not trying to evaluate how do I need to show up in this context to be viewed a certain way, it was stepping on a perception management. So that was a lesson and setting goals that were achievable. That was a lesson, stepping out of warp speed a little bit and saying the I'm going to do this as quickly as I reasonably can, but I'm going to do it well. And it's going to take whatever time it takes, that was a lesson. There was a target for the end of this three week period. And it was celebrated for us to be done or books. And most people in that larger group experience were done their books, they were done their first draft by the end of a three week period. And I really had to step out of the comparison. And I had to step out of evaluating well, are their books 10,000 words and minds? 40? Who cares? Because their book and your book are different. They and you are different, their path in your path are different. It's not relevant. The comparison is not relevant. The word count is not relevant is does God say I'm done. And my good friend Jason said to me, like don't worry about the word count, because God will tell you when you're done. Holy Spirit will drop that one on you. And you'll know, like, okay, but I kind of like tracking my progress, because I like achieving and I'm at like, 25,000 words already. And he's like a lot of Go. So that was the personal growth piece. And here's what's cool about provision. When I think about how to God show up, is he placed me in the environment. In that bigger group environment, he put it right in front of me. He put it together in a capacity where the smaller group was a group of really incredible women that were the right women for me to be surrounded with and that I'm still surrounded with. Because we continue to walk this journey out together. And he gave me the time and he gave me the opportunity to find places to go when I needed to switch it up. He gave me the grace that when I just hit my stuff, my story's my imposter syndrome, my shoulds so hard that I just didn't want to do it. It's like okay, we're just gonna we're gonna stop an hour early tonight. Because that's what you need, and we'll pick it up tomorrow. Grace was huge. In this and also energy and motivation, the shaking it off the having the people within this time period to say, Hey, can I be vulnerable? This is really a struggle today. And have them respond with what do you need? So deep breath, reliving that and thinking about all of that brings up so much emotion in me So much gratitude for how things get lined up along our path while before we ever can see them coming. And this is a total sidebar, but I was having a conversation this week with a friend. And we were talking about how our connection and other interrelated connections happened and how unlikely that is, and how God's using that and how mind boggling it is. And this is one of those things. Are you looking for the environments? Are you open to them? Are you open to taking a bet on you? Are you open to what he's telling you to write? Who he's telling you to be what he's calling you to do? Maybe it's a book and maybe it's not. Maybe there's something else that you're called to step into. And he's waving at you and calling for you. And you're just like, closed off to it. So let's function this week from a place of open heart, open arms, open hands are being receptive being available, being willing to be a conduit being willing to operate from a place of a little more surrender, because you never know where it might lead. And I guarantee you, if you asked me a year ago, if I would be releasing a book, at the end of May this year, I would have said, No, I would have thought this was all completely beyond what was possible for that period of time. And yet, here we are. Now, before we finish up this week, number one, guess what's coming, get on the presale list. Okay, so now that we got that out of the way, number two is where are we going next week, Julie? Well, I'd love to tell you, we're going to talk about getting the first draft out. It's really about getting that content from the outline fleshed out having something that you can call a book and legitimately being able to claim the word author. So tune in next week, make sure to share this series with anyone in your life who is thinking about writing a book, so that you can empower them to go do it, because the world will be better, and the world will benefit. And frankly, it's going to take more than just one book and it's going to take more than just my books to create a world of more love, and more joy and more fulfillment and more justice and more restoration. Until next week's on 11 virtual