August 8, 2020

Published my first short book on Amazon

Paul LeCrone @PaulLeCrone

My first (very short) book went live today on Amazon. It's called "But I Have No Original Ideas - The Book for Stuck Creatives." I actually forgot that the book was releasing today, so I hastily made some twitter and instagram posts about it. I have no idea what's going to happen with this book. We'll see.

I've positioned this book as a way to help creative people realize that it's all in their heads. That impostor syndrome can be beaten. That having original ideas is overrated. I wrote this book because I know what it's like to be there - to have so many ideas but nothing to show for it. To obsessed with information consumption but lacking in flow-states.

Here's the link to buy the book:

https://penguinlatte.blog/2020/07/29/thebook/

Enjoy.

  1. 1

    Ok, what if I have tons of ideas, really tons? And some of them look pretty brilliant to me but...

    • I don't want to work on them or
    • I start working on them and lose interest quickly.

    What would you suggest to someone like me?
    Thanks!

    1. 1

      That is a great question, I'm seriously glad you asked that. Yeah, I struggle with that myself. And so does my girlfriend, actually. We were just talking about this a week ago. The whole "I start ideas that I love but I can't finish them" problem.

      Short answer: I don't know.
      Long answer: But I'll do my best to figure this out, because I want to figure this out for myself, as well.

      Last night I started a piece of content based on my love of Jungian psychology and a show called Avatar the Last Airbender. I was going to talk to the camera about how a scene from this show was expressing ideas that Carl Jung wrote about in Depth Psychology. And I was going to tie in some Taoist philosophy. What I ended up doing was write about it on the newsletter. In my mind, the idea for this video was great. But while I was making it, it wasn't as aesthetically pleasing as I had imagined.

      That's because I don't have the equipment, or the skills, to make good video content. Making written content is different, and I find it much easier (though incredibly challenging) than making video content. I'm still figuring this out as I go.

      So perhaps the ideas need to take a different form? But I'm not so sure. You might have the form already, but I don't know much about your work. So, assuming that you have the form and the idea, what could be stopping you? Maybe it's what Seth Godin talks about: The Dip. That weird area where you feel like you're not getting anywhere, even though you're working on something you love. It might take something like grit and more discipline to keep going on those ideas.

      It's a scary place to be, too. As I write this, I have ideas for some kind of coaching service I want to provide to stuck creatives. But the more I work on the landing page for this, the more obstacles I start to face. Pricing, wording, structure, who it's for, etc. The challenge with having ideas is that they can lead to dead ends. So I'll use my example as a case study. While I'm working on this creative coaching service, I confront mini-ideas about all the subsets of this larger goal of making money as an online coach. Perhaps going through The Dip means pushing through these mini obstacles along the path to fulfilling a larger goal. Seems to me like it all comes down to breaking big goals into smaller chunks.

      I think that the goal (or the idea, whichever you choose) is what focuses you. It humbles you. It shows you that big things are made up of small things. Small things, over time, create big things. You know, the one step -> thousand step journey sort of thing.

      If you're determined enough to push past those resistances you face when working on your ideas, you're ahead of so many people. You're not alone in this. I'm struggling with it myself. I hope this has helped in some way. Let me know what you think, I'd love to keep this conversation going. It's important.

      1. 1

        Thanks for your comprehensive response, I really appreciate it!

        I think that the goal (or the idea, whichever you choose) is what focuses you. It humbles you. It shows you that big things are made up of small things. Small things, over time, create big things. You know, the one step -> thousand step journey sort of thing.

        I totally agree on it. But I finally figure out the source of the problem (at least for me, but I think it maybe for you and others too). The problem is -->

        1. the goal != idea and
        2. the goal may be achieved in multiple ways <------

        Look, 14 years ago I decided to immigrate. There was only one legal way to do it. So, I spent a lot of time, effort, and money to make my dream reality. I was really focused on that goal and did everything for it and I succeeded. I remember several times when I did something I didn't like a lot but just remembered my goal and moved on. So, now, I have another goal - "to create a great software product and make it a business". Sounds so simple, huh?

        But there are so many ways to do it! I can create a product based on the idea #2, #6, #17, #33, and so on. I understand clearly that it will be too much for one life to try all of them, so I'm trying to find a good one. But I always find myself in the same trap: I lose interest. OMG. I don't lose interest in my goal but just in a way how I would achieve it. What to do next?

        (I also admit that the interest may be my enemy. But I have no idea what to do with it.)

        1. 1

          "I understand clearly that it will be too much for one life to try all of them, so I'm trying to find a good one." That's such a great point, dude! (that's my Californian accent showing, you might not be a Dude for all I know :P) I've been thinking about that with my content work, too. That's killer. Life is too short to try everything. Maybe picking one or two things and making those things the best things possible is the answer. Hard to say.

          Also, props to you for fulfilling your dream of immigrating. Those kinds of stories always move me. That must have been difficult.

          Hm. You don't lose interest in the goal. That's something. I haven't lost interest in my goals of creating assets that build wealth while I sleep. But how? How to provide free gifts to my audience, gifts that are better than everyone else's paid content? How to create assets that people need to pay for, assets that are worth paying for? Exclusive content and access to me, working with them one on one? (Vague examples as I'm in the process of working these things out.)

          Perhaps we just need to treat our projects like groundhog day - we find the things we want to work on that we literally cannot wait to get back to work on. I'll never forget what Matt Mullenweg, CEO of WordPress, said on the Tim Ferriss show about a project he was working on: "Just talking about it makes me want to get back to work." Even typing that to you makes me want to press forward with my entrepreneurial goals, face the fears, doubts, and insecurities in my head.

          So, losing interest could be a good indicator that you're getting closer to the method that interests you. it could be that the problems that you're trying to tackle aren't the right problems.

          1. 1

            Hey!
            Thanks for your warm words!

            Hm. You don't lose interest in the goal.

            Not at all. Moreover, I can't sleep well for a long time because I can't stop thinking. Those short days/nights when I think I found something (false alarms yet) I can sleep better but then everything starts again :(

            I haven't lost interest in my goals of creating assets that build wealth while I sleep. But how? How to provide free gifts to my audience, gifts that are better than everyone else's paid content? How to create assets that people need to pay for, assets that are worth paying for?

            Yeah, they are big questions.

            Perhaps we just need to treat our projects like groundhog day - we find the things we want to work on that we literally cannot wait to get back to work on.

            Totally agree. Matt Mullenweg was obsessed with the idea of WP - an engine allowing anyone to create a blog in minutes. But you know what? He was in a different situation than us. When he started he didn't have real competitors. Now, what kills me all the time is the number of solutions. I can find a solution, literally speaking, for any problem. Paid or free, any. And it kills my desire to keep working on something even if I have an interest in it.

            I also feel stronger when I'm typing this response, but, man, it's so hard to stick to something. And the problem is not only with crazy amount of competitors. Something wrong is inside. Believe it or not, but 3 years ago I had a paid coach to help me with the same problem but with no result. Everything is getting even worse.

            And from what I see the only weapon we have now is our passion for the idea. Because without it, it's just impossible to stand against the hordes of competitors.

            1. 1

              I feel you with those last two paragraphs.

              Whenever I feel truly stuck, totally surrounded in darkness, I remember my favorite content creator of all time: John Daub - here's one of his newest videos about life in Japan.

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G-e8K1AtqiQ

              You can tell how happy he is to be doing this kind of work, in every single video. Is it difficult? Of course. Is he the only person vlogging about life in Japan? Nope. But he makes it work. He wants to be doing it. He's built his own little empire. His own community of true fans. He's been making these videos for more than seven years.

              Now, how do you find work like that? That's our question, right? I think the answer is somewhere in what we've been writing about. I don't believe that there isn't a space with no competition. Everyone's figuring out ways to make content about literally everything. I want to make content about what it's like to be a content creator. What's my unique take on that?

              Nobody can make content based around you. Matt Mullenweg has sort of embedded himself into WordPress. John Daub's work is so popular because he's embedded himself into the work. But what about a piece of software code? Is it possible to do it with that? I think so.

              Again, immensely difficult, but the challenge is the reward.

              I'm tired and I need to stop typing. My thinking is getting foggy. Hope this helps you. Still open to conversation though, I'm definitely interested in what you come up with as you work through these problems.

              1. 1

                I agree with any word you wrote. It's exactly what I think - the passion for what you are doing can overcome and eventually beat any amount of competitors. And this is a problem - I just stupidly can't find what I would stick to. I love to code and self-develop but I hate writing about it. So, any writing/blogging/books are not for me.

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