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When you can’t do the thing you just did

Emma Grey

Just as we thought we’d made it through, there’s another challenge ahead, like this is one of the penultimate survival scenes in a Bond flick.

Today, my co-author Audrey Thomas and I are submitting our 55,000-word manuscript to our publisher. It will be my third book, and it’s one I think you’ll love, particularly if you enjoy these Monday posts.

When we met our publisher a few weeks ago, he asked us what else we had up our sleeves in terms of future titles. We had a couple of ideas, which he liked, but what struck me was my initial ‘self talk’: “I couldn’t possibly write another book!”

Having poured everything I know into this one — all our best stories and our deepest personal experiences, along with our top practical suggestions — I felt like there was nothing more I could possibly say. How could we ever string together another 50,000 words? Birthing this book I experienced the opposite of that feeling women often report after childbirth, when — dosed up on pain relief and nursing fresh stitches and having yelled during labour about never doing this again — they turn around and say, “I can’t wait to do this again”.

Now we are standing at the plateau after a big achievement. It’s the place that feels immensely rewarding after so much effort except, when we look up, there’s another huge learning cliff facing us. Just as we thought we’d made it through, there’s another challenge ahead, like this is one of the penultimate survival scenes in a Bond flick.

From here, there’s a choice. We could stop now. Or we could have a breather, then throw ourselves into another idea and scale it from the very beginning, with nothing but blank pages in front of us? Can we?

Of course we can. We probably will. Not now and not soon, and let’s get this one to you in February first and see what you think, but there’s going to come a time when this small voice of doubt is overtaken by the common sense of experience, and by the scent of a fresh idea. That’s when our inner talk will shift. You can do this. You’ve already done it. You know it. Do it.

Until then, we’re going to savour the feeling of relief having come this far. And wait nervously for our editor’s comments… 

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Emma Grey

Emma Grey is the Canberra-based author of ‘Wits’ End Before Breakfast! Confessions of a Working Mum’ and ‘Unrequited: Girl Meets Boy Band’. She’s director of the life-balance consultancy, WorkLifeBliss and co-founder of a fresh approach to time-management, My 15 Minutes. She lives just over the ACT border with her two teen daughters and young son. More about the Author

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