I spent much of my twenties in and around the music business. There’s a kind of trepidation about the “sophomore” album within musical circles because the prevailing thought that it will often either make or break your career. Musicians have their entire life to write the songs that go on the first album, but only about a year to write the next batch. Compressed. Time. Pressure. Go!
I spent the second half of last year launching my first book, The Accidental Creative. It was a lot of fun, and I learned a ton about publishing, the kind of writer I aspire to be, and how I want to better serve the people (you!) who read my stuff or invite me to speak to or otherwise work with their team. I also checked “publish a book” off of my bucket list. Portfolio, my publisher, was really a dream to work with. It was a first class experience all the way.
That said…launching the book was exhausting. Fun, a gift, but exhausting. The funny (and unspoken) thing about launching a book is that you spend a lot of time talking to people about things you spent the previous year working on. You write more for other people’s websites and magazines than you do for your own. And in the end, you really, truly come to the end of yourself. You discover the limits of your knowledge and energy. You are forced to stare deep into the abyss and ponder whether you could ever muster up the energy to do it all over. Again. The whole thing.
Then it happens. A spark at first, then a splinter. Something you can’t get out of your mind. An idea, an embryo, begins to gestate. Crap. Here we go again. The whole thing.
We (my brilliant agent and I) shared this “splinter” with my publisher, and they loved it too. Hmm. Looks like it’s time to do this thing again. Now.
So…I’m writing another book. The concept is Die Empty: Don’t Go To Your Grave With Your Best Work Inside You. It will be about how to excavate the deeper themes that contribute to your best work, curate your life around that work, and lead others around you to do the same. It’s set for release sometime in the latter half of 2013.
Much of the motivation for the book is captured in this post. In many ways, this is the book that I would hand to my children when they turn sixteen and say, “here is what I’d like you to know about living a meaningful life and doing work that matters.” It’s that important to me. In a lot of ways, I feel like the first book was a means to get to this one. I can’t wait to dive in.
So I’ll be using this site as a proving ground for ideas over the next…nine months…that I have to work on the manuscript. It’s my sophomore effort. You know…your entire life to write your first book, nine months to write your second. Thank you for being here.