Friday

AUTHORING A BOOK AND PAINTING A HOUSE

Writing a book and painting a house have certain striking similarities. I spent the past week helping my son paint the interior of his new abode and was struck by how the process of writing a successful non-fiction book is very much the same as successfully painting a house. Defining success in house painting means no paint on the ceiling or floor and a smooth finish with color only in the spots you want to have it. To do this requires a combination of elements including experience, organization, the right tools, a proven process, patience and a willingness to take some risks.

I would like to think that it has always been easy to teach my son new skills but whether it is normal for fathers and sons to disagree, or I didn't exercise enough patience, or perhaps he was not willing to learn from me, I'm not sure - that was the past -  but we both decided to approach this opportunity from a new perspective. He was entirely open to being coached and consider the value of receiving help from a knowledgeable source. I was determined to make this an enjoyable experience and realized that there is nothing wrong with repeating instructions and demonstrating something until the pupil understands. In the long run, it was easier and more efficient to repeat myself than to be impatient.

Painting a house and teaching someone else how to do it is like coaching a client through the process of writing a book. We start with having an organized approach, gather the information and layout a plan for its execution, choose the most important tasks to undertake, reveal the insider knowledge that allows success to enter the picture, and start with the end result in mind. Knowing where we want to end up and keeping the big picture in front of us helps us get through the challenges and difficulties that always crop up when we are creating something important.

The sense of satisfaction and joy that we both experienced in making his home a place of pride is much the same as creating a wonderful book that will entertain and inspire all who come into contact with it.

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