Ahh. After weeks of struggle, just figured something out over dinner!
It’s been a crazy few months, with seven (count ’em, seven) book projects in play at the moment.
Two of them are complete, and coming out (both about leadership, and both coming out within a week of each other) in September:
Once again, fourteen chapters (the Bach number, for those who follow that sort of thing). And once again, five key principles, different ones this time, although close relatives to those other Five. Bob Burg and I are headed to NYC in ten days to record the audio book, and when the hardcover premiers on September 20, I expect the audio will be there too.
And . . .
Lead author on this one is Betsy Myers, past Executive Director of Harvard’s Center for Public Leadership, and a senior adviser to two U.S. presidents — and this one enumerates seven key principles for a very feeling-based, human kind of leadership. (Publishers Weekly just reviewed it, calling it a “home run … a perfect read for anyone to understand, develop, or unleash his or her genuine leadership potential.” Nice!) That one comes out September 13. (More in future posts.)
And the other five? Well . . . a book on emotional healing (coming Spring 2012), a parable on living life with gusto that happens mostly in the kitchen (more later), a book on the global financial meltdown (more to come), a book by a powerhouse lady speaker whom I’d describe as “Oprah meets Dolly Parton” (get back to you on that), and …
A memoir of a Navy SEAL sniper. And that’s the one I just figured out over dinner.
After dozens of phone interviews (I’d say we’re about two-thirds finished with our interviews), without a clear sense of exactly how it all fit together into a single, unified, coherent story, I sat down tonight with a plate of grouper in a macadamia crust, potatoes au gratin (which my grade school best friend’s mom used to call “potatoes—ugh, rotten!”) and spinach with garlic, and … the puzzle came together!
I can work all day at my desk. But sometimes the big picture of exactly what it is I’m doing (or trying to do) refuses to come clear at the desk. Sometimes it has to happen in an arm chair over a cup of tea (that’s how It’s Not About You got clear last November), and sometimes it’s over a quiet dinner at an anonymously noisy restaurant. That’s how this one happened.
Did you know that when a sniper fixes a target at much more than 1,000 yards — say, 1,500 or 1,800 — that he or she needs to take into account the Coriolis effect, which is to say, the impact that the earth’s rotation might have on the shift of the target’s location in space between the time of trigger release and time of impact?
Well, you do now.
From the time this project was conceived, until the time it’s being put onto paper, the earth has rotated a few degrees, and tonight I think it just became clear exactly how the chapters all lay out.
Whew. Now, I can write it.
Joan Didion wrote, “I write to find out what I think.”
Evidently, I eat dinner to find out what I’m writing.