My First Book

Posted by David Grau Sr., JD on Jul 16, 2014 7:00:00 AM

I wrote a book! Actually, I wrote two books, but only one was publishable. I’d like to tell you about the one that didn’t get published - the one I learned the most from.

In late 2013, through FP Transitions, I contracted with Wiley & Sons to write a book for their financial series: Succession Planning for Financial Advisors: Building an Enduring Business. The contract called for a minimum of 60,000 words to be completed and submitted within 90 days.

Now, I write a lot, and I love the process of putting thoughts into words onto paper, but I’d never done it under the pressure of a contract. I’m also pretty sure I’ve never written 60,000 words in 90 days on one subject. Fortunately, in Oregon, it rains a lot from October through the end of December, and Mother Nature didn’t let me down. The “writing weather” was perfect. 

Ninety days later – including every weekend and most evenings – I learned that I did indeed “have a book inside of me.” 85,461 words to be exact. I learned that all the things I knew, along with the thoughts of my very smart partner and co-workers, added up to a lot of words and more than enough pages. I also learned that words and pages do not necessarily add up to a book.

On New Year’s Eve, December 31st, 2013, I sent the manuscript to those people I trust the most and laid bare my heart and soul: my first book. I was proud, tired, and relieved the ordeal had come to an end, but glad I had experienced every minute of it. I actually wrote a book! 

My partner, Brad, handed the manuscript back to me a few days later and said, “Well done.” I could have lived with that, and had I turned and walked away a bit faster, that might have been it. But I didn’t, and he continued with what had to be said, what needed to be said by someone: “No one’s going to read it. You need to do it again. Let’s reorganize and publish something that will make us proud and actually make a difference in this industry. Let’s write something that advisors will want to read and enjoy reading.” 

Ouch. I’d thought I was done. Now I was starting over.

Well, if I’ve learned anything from five plus decades of life, 35 years of marriage, and 16 years of running a business of my own, it’s hard to argue with people who are dead right. So, after a brief recuperation period and a couple of bottles of wine, I did what I should have done in the first place: I got organized at a very high level, and, with Brad’s help, laid out the blueprints for the book that would eventually be published. 

The second book, the one that did get published in June 2014, was easy to write in comparison, but it would never have happened without book No. 1.  

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Topics: Succession Planning

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