I subscribe to Chris Brogan’s e-newsletter. For those who don’t know, Chris Brogan is a social-media/blogging/marketing guru. He’s an author and the creator of the blogs Chris Brogan.com and Human Business Works.com. And by all accounts he seems like a pretty nice guy. He also says some really smart stuff. Today was no different.
Turns out Chris is in the process of submitting proposals to publishers for a new book project he and a partner, Julien Smith, are working on. Chris is already the New York Times bestselling author of Trust Agents, so pitching a new book should be a piece of cake, right? Wrong. Here’s what Chris had to say about the process thus far:
We’re shopping it around to some publishers, and what we’re hearing back, I’ve gotta be honest, isn’t really encouraging. In fact, most people are saying that they don’t see what we’re getting at, and that they don’t understand why it’s not a clear jump from Trust Agents into what they want to have as Trust Agents 2.
I’m also in the process of trying to secure an agent for a book project I’ve been working on. I’m very early on but have had just enough feedback to believe that I may be on to something. Now, being “on to something” is a far off from getting a book deal, but I know the project I have in mind, and I believe I can find at least one agent who’ll share my vision.
What especially peaked my interest while reading Brogan’s post was that he and his partner are clear about not wanting to write a Trust Agents 2. He goes on to explain that if the publishers aren’t getting the clear message that he’s not trying to write Trust Agents 2 then his proposal might need some tweaking. But maybe not…
With that vision, with that understanding that we’re working on the right thing, comes a clear sense that no matter what we’re getting for feedback, we know that we’re on the right path, and just have to adjust and improve. Meaning, we HEAR the feedback, but WE are deciding whether or not they see what we see to begin with. Put another way: if you’re trying to make an omelet, and someone comes along and tells you that you’re not making a frittata right, who’s wrong?
I think that’s a really great point to make. Everyone should be open to advice, to feedback, to making changes. But if you know that you want to make an omelet, don’t let anyone convince you to make a frittata instead, even if it’s the best frittata in the history of frittatas.
This sound piece of advice applies to so much more than writing books and book proposals. Whether your calling is entrepreneurship, the corporate world, teaching, stay-at-home mom or fill-in-the-blank, if it’s your calling, listen to advice, adjust your plans accordingly, but don’t let anyone (not even yourself) convince you that you should try your hand at frittata making as a career. You might end up making the world’s best frittata that no one, including you, is going to want to eat.