With the main text largely done (what directors would call “principal photography”) I’m now at the stage of rewriting and revising – making sure each chapter’s teachings are clear and tasks flow smoothly from one day to the next. To be blunt, this is the boring part: that killer combo of difficult yet repetitive. In addition, testing the methods of 100 Days, 100 Grand has led to serious billings for my little copywriting biz, stealing time from the authoring. (Looking back over 2017, I see two stints of 45+ days straight on client projects. Not sure I saw the sun this summer.)
Of course the business wins are a great validation of the book’s methods. (And as a working writer, I still need to eat.) But it gave me a scary thought: with over £100,000 of my own money and time sunk into design, typography, and actual text development, but the methods already delivering for me, it’d be a little too easy to never publish, and just use the text myself. After all, I’m the one person who doesn’t need convincing they work.
What’s a door? It’s a point beyond which you can’t go back easily. To complete a stretch goal like writing a 1,200 page textbook, you need to make sure failure will cost you something. If you want to run a marathon next summer, book non-refundable flight and hotels now. If you want to move to another city, give your landlord notice today. If you want to stop smoking, pledge £50 to charity for every pack you buy.
Once you’ve imposed that cost on yourself, you’ve gone through the door: there’s no return without remorse. Setting a door to go through clears the debris from your mind, focusses you on milestones and deadlines.
And that’s why 100 Days, 100 Grand is popping up on Kickstarter Nov 1. It’s a no-going-back commitment that will cost me money and reputation to miss. (The video’s in late production; I’ve pasted in some screenshots here, and spent last Friday in a soundproof studio recording the voiceover.) Making commitments to other people always pushes me harder than I push myself. It’s how I’ve completed every major project in my life, and how I work with clients every day.
The goal’s to get a thousand people supporting the project at £120 or above. (That’s the planned retail price of the 1,200-page print version.) The reward for support at that level will be a copy of the book itself from the first print run … individually signed and numbered. So if you were thinking of buying it anyway, there’s no downside. (And a fair bit of up.)
So October’s all about Kickstarter. I’ve got about 1,000 people to contact, looking to build to 5,000 before the campaign goes live. Will it work? I’ve no idea. But with this door set, I’m ready for the sprint to the publishing date. So my thinking is 100 Days, 100 Grand wins either way. To be among those invited to pledge, take the first step by joining the mailing list. And if you have any questions, drop me an email.