Michael's Books

Finishing a Book


Writing a book is an adventure: to begin with it is a toy. And an amusement. And then it becomes a mistress. And then it becomes a master. And then it becomes a tyrant. And the last phase is that just about as you are reconciled to your servitude, you – kill the monster. And fling him about to the public.” Winston Churchill

How well I know the truth of Churchill’s comments about writing a book, any book … and for some reason especially this one. It’s taken a lot longer to go from toy to monster than I had thought / scoped / planned, but now it’s on the brink of publication, let it be known that it seems more like “slaying a dragon” than “killing a monster.” I haven’t had the good fortune of (or perhaps “I have had the good fortune of not”) meeting a real-life dragon or monster, but the ever-foreboding sense of something massive hanging over your head is real; I basically get to the point of “I have to get this done or I will die.” And perhaps that’s what it was like for the knights of old.

But anyway, back to the toy. In the beginning the new book was a toy, an amusement. I was trying to get my head around how to explain the value of Office 365 to my clients, but the sheer breadth of the service was difficult to explain in a presentation, a seminar, or even a discussion. So much on offer. So many options. So much (apparent and real) overlap. So many roadmap statements from Microsoft. So much change – frequently and relentlessly – coming out of Redmond. How does one explore how to create business impact against this backdrop?

And so I began – with an initial structural idea in mind, and a to-purchase list of gadgets in hand to make the book work. There were some structural aspects from my previous book that I wanted to include in the new book, but I didn’t want it to be the same. Wrestling with how to explore an opportunity for value in Office 365 without doing step-by-step software instructions was probably the highest peak to conquer, but once I figured that out the climb, the fight, the task became one of tenacity, grind, and perseverance. Insight counts, but sheer grind has a pretty important role to play too. I know some of my friends don’t like the “1% inspiration, 99% perspiration” formula, but I’ve found it fairly accurate in book writing.

There are three tasks to complete to push this book from the brink of publication to published and out:
1. Update the screenshots throughout.
2. Work through the comments from my erstwhile editor.
3. Prepare the PDF for publication, because this will be a digital-only book, not paper back as my previous ones have been.

While I’m working on those tasks, feel free to have a sneak peek at what’s coming. Enjoy your day …

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