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Are you comfortable being uncomfortable?

As I revisited words, paragraphs, and chapters through the editing process, for my book I realised how much my writing had improved. To be frank, chapter one (and others) were rubbish, and a lot were completely re-written. But this was just reflective of the development in my writing style.

I gained a better appreciation of the what it takes to publish a book. I have skills, techniques and knowledge that I hadn’t even considered when I started the process. Examples include writing a publisher’s pitch, understanding the importance of your title (and subtitle) and how to design, not only the typeset, but a cover for Kindle. All the time I’ve been slowly expanding my comfort zone.

My journey has followed the classic learning model, with the four stages being:

Unconscious Incompetence: I was unaware of a personal deficit in my knowledge. Just because I write reports and emails, doesn’t make me a good writer. My approach was wrong without even realising it. A Socrates said, “You don’t know what you don’t know”.

Conscious Incompetence: Joining Michael Heppell’s Write That Book Masterclass exposed me to the four key parts of publishing a book; Be passionate about your subject, the writing

process, tribe building, and that writing needs you to read. I now knew what I didn’t know! And this is the scariest phase!

Conscious Competence: The more I researched and the further my writing took me I continually expanded my knowledge. I knew how to get my book published, but had to remind myself of what needed to be done. I was in this box for a while whilst my book was completed.

Unconscious Competence: The holy grail, and perhaps I will only get here by writing another, or indeed several books. This is when you simply get on with the task in hand, not really thinking about. That moment of autopilot when you get in the car and drive.

Remember, whenever you are starting on a journey, there will be bumps in the roads, challenges that you don’t have an answer for, but all the time you are learning and progressing. Slowly, working your way towards UNCONSCIOUS COMPETENCE.

But to get there you need to become comfortable being uncomfortable.

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