Strongly recommended read – Author Sanket Pai – When creativity flows, you need to download it as a torrent.
About Sanket Pai (in his own words)
My name is Sanket Pai and what I do is what I believe. What I see is that most people fear going irrelevant in their personal and professional lives but the truth is they are just scratching the surface of the impact they could have. To be able to do what the 5% top performers do, you must be willing to stop doing what 95% of the remaining people do.
As a multi-passionate entrepreneur, I am an internationally Certified Leap Ahead and Human Potential Coach, an Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) Certified Practitioner, a Neuro-Linguistics Programming (NLP) Coach Practitioner, an Author, a Writer, a TEDx Speaker, and a Presentation Deck Expert for Start-ups.
“I help and support these individuals to reinvent themselves to grow exponentially in their work and also show up powerfully & authentically in other areas of their lives.”
My books include The Winning You: Master Your Focus and Avoid Distractions, Make It Happen: Empowering Stories of 9 Uncommonly Common People Living Their Purpose, Coach Wisdom Vol II: The Secrets of 21 Successful Coaches, and there is an upcoming book planned for later this year.
How long did it take to get your first novel/book published?
My first book, The Winning You: Master Your Focus and Avoid Distractions was published in August 2017. The idea of authoring a book came to me back in late-2016 (somewhere around the end of September), when I was still in my previous corporate career. It was more like a dare I made to myself to write a book. I wanted to move into the profession of life coaching with a book in hand.
Once the courage was on the table and I moved the idea public within my closest circle of influence, a commitment to pursue the dare was born. That’s when it really sunk in that this is something real, something big! As with any new idea or project, the initial ramp-up is quite fast, and then you tend to hit a plateau in the middle. When creativity flows you need to download it as a torrent.
In the first few months of early 2017, I was able to put down about five chapters of the book. But then around April 2017, I lost steam and amidst juggling the responsibilities of my family and corporate life, I was not able to contribute to further writing for almost 2 months. Later on, in May, I met with an accident and was in a leg cast for 10 weeks. Call it a blessing or a curse, I took the opportunity within the disaster, I started writing again in June, and completed the last four chapters of my book, got a guided-publishing platform on board, got the logistics delegated to them, and got my first book out on 25th August 2017, a total of about 11 months for idea-to-output.
What mistakes did you make with the publishing of your first book which you try not to repeat?
I believe there are no mistakes, there is no failure, only failure to learn. Looking back at the journey, I realize I could have done a few things differently. As I mentioned in my earlier answer, somewhere in the middle, I let go of the fire, I got busy being busy. A goal is a place to come from and not a place to get to. Somewhere in the process, I was failing to see myself as an author already, before the book was even published. As James Clear mentions in his book, Atomic Habits, it all starts with an identity. If you want optimal health and fitness, you need to be a person who never misses a workout. And, I was failing to see that in myself.
The second learning was with the publishing process. I wanted the book out fast. And in that process, I did not research the various options I could use. I went with the first guided publishing platform that showed up on Google. I did not research other platforms like Amazon’s KDP. While that was not a bad decision and the company was very professional, project and timeline-driven, I felt I could have spent some more time understanding the publishing industry, payout profits, and post-publication support.
Can you focus on working on two books or stories at the same time?
The short answer is No! I choose to focus on one writing at a time. Yes, there are times when other random ideas come to me, and I make sure that I don’t lose them. I always carry a notebook and pen with me to jot down ideas as they come in.
I use tools like Google Tasks and Evernote to capture ideas and creativity digitally. I only capture them, and not build. I don’t engage with those ideas when I am focused on a different story. Multitasking depletes me of creative energies and often causes brain fog. Everything in moderation gives moderate results.
Is there a modus operandi you follow and formulate before you actually start writing your next book?
No. Creativity cannot be structured or put into a process. But, yes there are guidelines I do follow.
- Start with the end in mind – Who am I writing to? What do I want my reader to take-away from my book? What is the overall message I intend to communicate?
- Focus on progress, not perfection – Perfection is a prison. It will never get you anywhere. How do you even define perfection?
- Break all rules and refuse to follow the herd mentality – Google up on tips to write and you will find literally thousands of articles, videos, and even programs on becoming an overnight author. A 3-step process here or 5-step success formula there for getting your book out in 90 days. This is all bullshit. What works for one person might not necessarily work for someone else. Instead, trust your gut – the innate wisdom and experience are already within you. Follow those whispers and move along.
- A goal is a place to come from – You already are an author. You don’t need to have a physical book or an online blog to demonstrate your authorship. Every single day of your life you are writing a story. Recognize this authorship within you and make it your identity. For me, it would be something like, “How would Author Sanket Pai start his day?” or “What would Author Sanket Pai do in this situation?” or “What would Author Sanket Pai need right now?” or “What can Author Sanket Pai create today?”
Does the writer’s block actually exist? Any tips you would give to come out of it.
Well, the label writer’s block exists if you believe it exists. Writing is not a structured process and there could be times when you don’t feel like writing, or nothing seems to come to mind. Accept this and do not try to resist or fight it. What you resist, persists!
In such situations, it is important for you to realize that you don’t have creativity, but you do creativity. What I mean by this is simply start by asking yourself this question, “Do I want to do this?” If the answer is “yes” ask yourself, “What is the tiniest thing I could do now that would do creativity?” The answer does not necessarily have to be writing – it could be sketching, or reading, or meditation, or going for walks in nature, or doing some moderate exercising, or even sleeping.
Another tip for overcoming this label is to actually use it in your favor. Journal about it. Write out everything that comes to your mind in the moment. Journal your feelings, frustrations, and bodily sensations. Ask yourself, “Does this mean anything in the long-term? Will this moment define me? What are some of the moments I cherish? What am I grateful for?” And, slowly transition yourself from a place of victimhood to a position of creation.
What was the book that most influenced your life, and why?
I read many books, but there are actually two, not one book that really influenced my life. The first one was Robin Sharma’s – The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari. This book was my first ever self-help book, and it put me on the road for purpose and personal growth. It taught me to seek out inner wisdom and learn from mentors. It helped me empty my cup so I could fill it up with new ideas and perspectives. It showed me that on the other side of complexity lies simplicity. It opened me up to the universal law, as counterintuitive as it might sound, that a life of giving spurs a life of fulfillment and success.
The second book that stirred my soul is Eckhart Tolle’s The Power Of Now. It is a book that cannot be explained or reviewed. It simply connects and speaks with the deepest parts of you. I preferred listening to this one on Audible than reading it, because the book is in a teacher-lesson format.
How often do you read other novels? Who are your favorite authors?
I usually read every day for 20 to 40 minutes. It’s a daily morning and bedtime ritual for me. I usually pick up books on business, personal growth and other non-fiction genres. I remember as a youth, I was more inclined towards fiction books by authors like Franklin W. Dixon, Dan Brown, John Grisham and Jeffrey Archer. These still continue to be my favorite authors. These days some of my popular authors include Paulo Coelho, Robin Sharma, Eckhart Tolle, Michael Neill, Rich Litvin, Steve Chandler, and Andrew Matthews.
Social media links of Author Sannket Pai.
The author’s books are available at:
Make It Happen (free eBook): https://mailchi.mp/4bd4952a8f28/make-it-happen-free-ebook
Coach Wisdom Vol II: https://sanketpai.com/coach-wisdom-volume-2-ebook/