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The First-time Author

For a long time, I had wanted to take a writing sabbatical. Then, in 2011, I took the plunge. While my book is still undergoing editing, the journey has already given me important insights into shaping new initiatives. Having worked all my professional life in start-up situations, I realise that every innovation is, quite simply, a story waiting to be told. To get that story right, entrepreneurs can take a page out of the writer’s playbook.

When I started writing my book, I would spend hours idly looking outside the window of my apartment towards the playground below. I didn’t know where to start. I had “writer’s block”.

As days piled up, the euphoria of my sabbatical was turning into anxiety.

Then, one night, unable to sleep, maybe because my mind was so full, I threw caution to the wind and just wrote whatever came to my mind. There was no stopping me. I realised, I must have breached a really big barrage because now the story just gushed out. I think that barrage was me. When I got out of the way, the story flowed unfettered.

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The more I wrote, the more it cleared the way and the more it cleared the way, the more I wanted to write. I would write until late at night and early in the morning. According to my wife, my bearded, haggard form revealed a feverish passion that she hadn’t seen since college.

As the book neared completion, however, the anxiety returned.  

‘Is anything wrong?’ my wife asked after a few days had passed and the situation hadn’t improved.

‘I guess, I am just anxious for this book to be a bestseller,’ I said.

She smiled.

‘Can’t the book be the reward itself?’ she suggested.

‘It can, but…’

‘Tell me something. How many pages is your book?’ she asked, trying a different approach.

‘About 300 pages, why?’ I enquired.

‘…and how many pages to the end once the friends reach the destination?’

‘About 15.’

‘So, 285 pages for the road-trip and 15 for the destination.’

‘Yes. So?’

‘Can’t you see, it is the journey that really matters?’ she asked.

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