It has been 4 weeks since I shared an update and honestly, that is because I have been stuck.
Stuck in the apathy of ‘do I have the energy for this book writing process?’
Stuck in the thinking/desire to dive more deeply into the current race conversation then thinking (overthinking) that I could end up adding more baggage to an already heavy load.
Stuck in the thinking around ‘who is this book actually for?’ – I have been challenged since my conversation with the first prospective publisher who advised that my target audience was too broad, and I got his point.
Holding up the mirror
I am pleased to be investing in myself and working with Jo Menon currently as my coach and it was during our session last week that some of the mist started to dissolve on my thinking around the book writing process.
Since my shame-based reaction/realisation following the murder of George Floyd, I have been taking presence-based anti-racist action if the form of hosting a range of truly hue-man, intentionally diverse experiential learning conversations in collaboration with #HumansFist founder Mike Vacanti and these, I must say, have been some of the most soul-enriching, challenging and hopeful conversations I have ever been involved in during my life to date.
If you are curious you can find:
- The first conversation with Raphael David & Dawna Jones here
- The second conversation with Rishita Jones, Brian Kelly, Tanya Obeng and Kate Griffiths here
- The third conversation hosted by Mike with Cordelia Gaffar, Heather Younger and Brooke Erol here
The insight and understanding from these conversations will for sure be part of the experience shared in the book and indeed this was the realisation that I had with Jo last week.
Helping White men like me see themselves in the story of Change Is An Inside Job is the target niche for my book.
The book, I hope, will be of value to anybody that may be curious, but the intention and aim are that more people that look like me find the book to be a ‘safe’ resource through which they can explore their current reality, challenge their beliefs, practice feeling and sitting in emotion, and I hope by the end realise that a much more inclusive, freeing and just world awaits on the other side, of our often, innocent overthinking and at times fear.
I will help this journey by sharing my own journey of bullying, self-harming, burnout, cancer, overthinking, and more, combined with the stories of those that kindly contributed to the primary research interviews, in the hope that it invites those readers to dive deeper into their own lived experience with curiosity.
It’s a bold ambition, but with so many senior leadership teams in all walks of life still being ‘led’ by White men, this is the group of humans that I most need to reach with this book and therefore this book is my invitation to them to step into vulnerability, courage, listening, care and inclusion, maybe like never before.
I really hope that you will help me reach those men once the book is out? Please hit reply with a yes if you feel moved.
Part of my mental blockage of the past few weeks has been the enormity (in my head!) of the task in hand, but to write anti-goals today has really helped, in conjunction with last week’s coaching call.
So I started with:
The book would be a failure for me if
– I ended up trying too hard to write about race
– The book was too much about me
– It was excessively grounded in academia and science
– I did not fully, unequivocally speak my truth
– The reader could not see themselves in the story(ies)
Anti-goals for this book therefore are:
– I will include references and amplify key messages regarding race and the hue-man conversations but not overthink this topic as part of the book process
– Using the insights of the interviewees and podcast/other content, I will share stories in conjunction with my own story
– Not much chance of that ! 😊
– I will write from the heart, without filter, and without fear
– Seek 3rd party feedback after each chapter to get a sense of if the messaging is landing
In addition, I have written down a selection of stories for each subsection, and each chapter that will help bring the messaging to life in line with the above anti-goals.
I hope that this anti-goals exercise may be of value to you too. If you try it, do hit reply and let me know how you get on with it.
I am very excited to advise that tech start-up Aequip, HumansFirst founder Mike Vacanti and I are entering into a reciprocal coalition on the podcast where we all share the ambition and vision to give every person a voice and allow every person the opportunity to contribute regardless of how they identify, the colour of their skin or where they geographically live, for example.
Please check out Aequip’s website here in case a mobile-first organisational listening tool could be of benefit to you, your organisation or the clients that you serve. The first MVP (minimum viable product) goes live in August and you can find an explainer video here as to the opportunity being realised through Aequip.
Mindset is a key factor in all of that and we were grateful to host a conversation with Ryan Gottfredson who has expanded Carol Dweck’s work to identify four key mindsets that are helpful to be aware of with my favourite being the inward and outward mindset.
In essence, all 4 are on continuums, but this conversation is super accessible and includes a vulnerable real-life case study by Mike to bring Ryan’s work to life.
I would love to hear from you if anything from this newsletter resonates or you have any other challenges or thoughts arising.
I wish you a wonderful, connected week ahead.