The day you launch a book feels like sprinting an all-out mile. The only thing is this: at the end of the all-out mile, you find yourself on the start-line of a 5K, which is launch week. So you keep sprinting your 5K, at the end of the week only to find yourself on the start-line of a half marathon, which is a launch month. By this point, hopefully you’ve learn that sprinting probably isn’t the best pacing strategy. So you tone it down a notch. At the end of your half-marathon, after a month of grinding, you find yourself on the start-line of a marathon, which is launch year. By now, you’ve either pulled out of the race due to illness or injury or grooved into the right pacing strategy for the long-haul.
Many authors mess this up. I am trying not to. It is hard.
I have been doing the best I can to keep this in mind over the last 48 hours, during the launch of The Practice of Groundedness. It is much easier to write than it is to actually do! But I am better this time around than I was the last few. I wanted to share the above metaphor and sentiment since it applies to far more than launching a book or other creative projects. Though the exact time-scales may be different, this theme is true of starting a new job, founding a company, getting involved in an intimate relationship, having a child, and so on.
You’ve got to remember pacing. I am being reminded of this in a visceral way this week. Hopefully these words will serve as a reminder for you too, or at the very least, give you language to think about a perennial paradox: Sometimes when you want to go as fast as possible it makes sense to go a bit slower now so you can go faster, and further, later.