📕 Issue #62 - The First 50k Words For My Book – Big Idea, Developmental Edits, 3 Limiting Beliefs
A sneak peek inside Model Breakers (Table of Content) 👀
👋🏻 Hi! I’m Charlene Wang. I can make your life a little better with coaching and community. I’m writing a book to break the model minority stereotype. LivingOS Newsletter is my musings on transitions in life. Grateful to have you. (Shout out to new friends from On Deck ❤️)
“Do you have any more questions, Charlene?” Whitney, my developmental editor, asked at the end of our weekly 7 AM call.
“All set for now. We are having our last call next week, right?”
“Well, this is actually the last one.” Whitney went on, “You’ve got a great manuscript. I've learned so much from you in the last months and I can't wait to hold your book in my hands.”
“But I am not ready,” I told myself. “I have many interviews and chapters to rewrite. I am not ready to say goodbye…”
Reality? I have been clouded by these limiting beliefs…
Limiting Belief #1 “I am not ready yet.”
I never felt ready to publish, but I still went ahead to publish my first essay on March 28th. That “3 min read” took me five hours to write, yet I still felt that I wasn’t ready.
After writing daily for 200+ days, I learned that I would never feel ready. For every article I write, I would spin off an average of five more posts in my draft. The more I write, the more incomplete I feel. And that’s okay. Now I’ve got better at taking leaps and turning my insecurity into fuel.
Limiting Belief #2 “I will write a book when…”
Here’s a common response I get from sharing my book project:
Let me tell you a secret… Writing a book was not part of my one or five-year plan. You might have heard me say, “If Lee Kuan Yew only wrote one autobiography in his life, who am I to write one now?”
While I still share that sentiment, I forgot that the book can be larger than myself. In fact, research and interviews take up 80% of the nonfiction. Malcolm Gladwell is especially great at tackling interesting topics, doing heavy research, and becoming an expert as he writes the books.
Limiting Belief #3 “Publishing a book is a dream.”
I used to see authors as magical figures. However, after writing my manuscript, I want to let you know that writing a book is all about showing up. Most of my mornings and weekends are spent on the book. You get what you put in.
Let me demystify the whole book-writing thing for you.
Today I will give you a 10,000-foot view of my book-writing process. I’ll share the step-by-step story, chapter, and interview strategy in the paid newsletter, you can sign up here.
Book Strategy #1 Have a simple big idea.
I have changed my working title four times — from LivingOS: Operating System for Life, to The Immigrant Hypothesis, to Dear Warren, to Model Breakers.
While the working titles have changed, the big idea stayed the same. My big idea is to help Chinese Americans break up with the model minority stereotype and embrace their true selves.
Book Strategy #2 Start by writing good stories.
In the first three months, I focused on writing good stories and doing interviews. Here’s a snapshot of my early content creation and the editor’s feedback.
Book Strategy #3 Turn the stories into solid chapters.
Four months later, I turned the stories into thirteen chapters:
Part 1 → How we got here
History of Chinese as “model minority”
Redefine the Stereotypes
Why it’s important for us to break the model now
Part 2 → Principles of Stereotype Breakers
Tell people your story & Build Support Networks
Being okay with not being okay
Part 3 → How to be a Model Breaker
Dear Future Leaders
Dear Role Models
If you are interested in pre-ordering a copy, let me know. As a gift, you will receive a developmental editing session recording 🚀
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Live workshop on Effective Communication
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See you next week,
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