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  • Amina Aitsi-Selmi

2 lessons from writing The Success Trap [Wise Wednesdays]

It’s starting to sink in. The book is coming out tomorrow. It’s called The Success Trap: why good people stay in jobs they don’t like and how to break free.

If you’re thinking of starting a creative project, I want to share two challenges I had to overcome.

“I don’t have time”

It was 12 months ago that I’d really started to find my writing groove and was looking forward to focused writing time in December.

Six months before that I’d submitted a proposal to a publisher (Kogan Page) after realising I wanted more structure, accountability and help with the book.

When the publisher first told me in July 2019 that they’d like 60,000 words (more than my PhD) by December, I thought they meant December 2020. I felt that I could probably pulled it off in 17 months…My head spun when they clarified it was December 2019 and I had 5 months.

But they believed I could do it, and I was up for the challenge. I did negotiate a two month extension which they kindly agreed to…Then it was a matter of carving out an hour a day and writing without thinking too much about it. Every day, I had a writing meeting with myself. I put my fingers on the keyboard and wrote whatever came. Eventually, ideas, structure and flow started to take form.

You can trust that the words that come out of you are enough to gain momentum. Editing comes after. Way after!

“It has to be an exact expression of ‘me’”

Another challenge was that I started writing about deep spirituality while my editor was expecting a business book (based on my proposal). I remembered a similar moment with my PhD and realising: it didn’t have to be a Nobel prize but a way to clarify my ideas and learn to do research. That helped me write something original but in the allocated time.

So I figured the book didn’t have to be my last. I could learn from the process knowing that the creative impulse would still be there for a second book if genuine.

Anything you create is embedded in a lifelong process of self-expression. It’s best to get started and once you’ve started, keep flowing and refining.

I submitted the book and went off to India returning just as the pandemic was kicking off. The publishing industry came to a standstill and the publication date was delayed…until tomorrow!

There’s no official launch but by coincidence, I planned a workshop tomorrow, 3rd of December at 7pm UK / 2pm EST on how to break out of overwhelm and love your work again.

Energy management is a key theme in the book because it’s essential to free up energy to create what you want in life. So if you want to hear about deep principles for how to manage your energy to fulfil your purpose and alleviate pandemic fatigue as well as connect with likeminded people and leave with practical insights and inspiration, join us.

You can sign up free here. We have a short Energy Audit pre-workshop exercise today at 7pm UK.

Finally, I’m grateful to everyone who supported the book process, to the publishing team and to YOU for reading Wise Wednesdays which was the foundation for the book.

Have a great week,


p.s. Sharing is caring. Know someone who wants to embrace challenges and manage their energy better? They’re also welcome to sign up for the How to Break Out of Overwhelm and Love Your Work Again workshop by clicking here.

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