How a personal project is bringing learning and development

It’s been a while since I’ve been in a flow with things to share via the blog, and now I can tell you the reason why.

 I’ve recently finished my first draft of a book, and this was a huge project for me. This book was personal, not professional, as it is a memoir-style biograpy of my late father. He passed away eight years ago, and I started this book four years ago. I have done hundreds of hours of research over that time, so to finally have a document I’m happy to share with an editor is a big milestone to me.

 My father was a great inspiration to me, and to countless others, and I wanted to tell his story, so it is recorded for posterity, for my children, for my nieces and nephews, and beyond. I’ve learnt so much during this process, which I intend to use again. And now I’m not in the middle of it, I can start to step back and reflect. When I started this project, I had NO IDEA what I was doing. I didn’t even think it was something I could do, I was originally thinking of writing an article, but my husband, whose judgement I trust, said I should write a book.

 I didn’t know where to begin, so I began at the beginning, finding out about my father’s parents and grandparents. As I went along, I realized I needed help along the way. I joined a writer’s accountability group, and that helped, as it was the first place where I was sharing out loud my very personal agenda.

 I set myself a goal to finish the book this year, knowing that if I didn’t complete it this year it wouldn’t happen. I had made progress but was struggling to pull it all together. I knew I needed guidance from someone with experience of this genre. I found a book coach that was the perfect fit for understanding my special type of project, and she gave me solid guidance to set me in the right direction. I was feeling overwhelmed again over the summer, when a little miracle happened which was bigger than my own self-limiting beliefs. So now I knew I HAD to finish. And since then, I’ve motored on at pace, using a lull between work projects to spend a full-time couple of weeks pulling everything together.

 There’s more to do, professional editing rounds, typesetting, cover design. But now the end is in sight, and I can start to step back and reflect on what I’ve learnt and am still learning.

 So what I have to say is – don’t be afraid to take on the big challenge. That’s where learning and growth lie. There’s always help out there, you just need to look for it. And miracles will happen, when you need them most.

 I’m excited to continue my journey to being an author. I’m excited to write more books, none will be so hard as this one, with so much detailed information to source. I’m excited to share what I’ve learnt, as writing and crafting a good story are valuable skills.

 My father was a great leader, maybe not in the eyes of the world or in a monetary sense, but someone that served others through community service. Once this book is out there, I’m looking forward to sharing more of my thoughts on leadership, and how that maybe a new definition or model of leadership is what the world needs. So, I don’t know exactly what writing this book will bring, but it was something I had to do anyway.

 I think these are good lessons for learning and development, right?

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