A book on friendship first steps

It’s been a month since I started writing my book on friendship. It doesn’t even have a title yet! Any suggestions?

I think I’ve started off fairly slow – I’ve averaged 300 words a day but only written anything significant about 50% of the time. My most prolific day was nearly 1900 words. Climbing a mountain is, as they say, a process of taking one step after the next until we get there.

I’m almost at 10,000 words total and have almost finished my first rough draft. My plan is to expand on this and probably double it to 20,000. However getting a first draft that at least briefly covers all the content I want to cover will feel really good and be massively motivating. It will mean I actually have a complete thing and if I died tomorrow someone could actually publish it.

Also I have chosen to start small – 20,000 words is a small book and I’ll need to double space it to make it big enough to print at 100ish pages but I didn’t want to aim for a big book on my first try! For me its important to challenge myself incrementally, maybe I’ll expand on it in a second addition or follow on or just aim higher for the next one (if there is a next one).

What I do want is to write the best damn book I can so I’m going to go over it and will reedit a number of times until I’m satisfied it is of a high personal quality. It doesn’t have to be perfect, there is no such thing as perfect but a personal best or a personal high quality.

The highlights so far have been – getting the first 5000 words down and feeling like there is enough momentum that it will get finished before that I was struggling to believe it could be done. The second highlight has been the benefits to my own understanding of actually researching and writing out my thoughts and ideas in detail. I’ve discovered many new things even on top of things I believed I understood well. These new things came from both my research and from inside myself as part of digging deeper and explaining. There is an old piece of wisdom that says if you want to really learn about a subject then teach it and this is certainly turning out to be true.

So I encourage you if there is something you really want to understand then try teaching it – doesn’t have to be writing a book can be an online course, a blog or in person.

Anyway here is a sneak peak of a couple of paragraphs I especially like from my chapter on views:

Social media plays an interesting role when it comes to friendship. Many people think that sites like Facebook are there to help them stay in touch with friends and family (one view) but the truth isn’t so clear cut. I’m sure you have heard people talk about how social media is often detrimental to people’s well-being and that’s because the primary purpose of social media is not to help people stay connected and improve their relationships, it is to keep them engaged and to serve ads so the company can make more money. But it is a bit of a balancing act, without providing some value to the users these platforms can’t exist but remember they do not have your well-being at heart, they are just has happy to have us keep coming back because we feel insecure and want to compare our lives to those around us as if we come back to genuinely share with those we love and build amazing and deep relationships. As long as they can keep serving the ads, serve more ads and get us to come back more often and it is likely both strategies are more effective than one or the other.

Using social media effectively is often about fighting the negative attention grabbing features and trying to only use the positive features. Where possible it’s usually better to skip it and connect with people directly through chat, email, or even better, real life.

Unfortunately sometimes the best way to connect with people is on the platform they use just do your best to remember the true purpose and recognize those negative features for what they are and how they make you feel.

For the longest time I used to feel bad about all the things I wasn’t good at, all my flaws and weaknesses. This all changed when I started trying to write fantasy stories (don’t look I’ve never finished a fantasy story) I quickly found that when I made the hero good at everything without any flaws the story was terribly boring, people can’t relate to a hero that is perfect because nobody is perfect! If you are like me and feel bad about your flaws take some time to look at shifting your view, your flaws actually make you relatable, lovable and human. The stories we create about overcoming our weaknesses and fear and succeeding despite our flaws are some of the most heroic stories there are. So be proud of your flaws and let other see them so they can relate to you. Tell your story, flaws and all.

So there is a brief exert from the book – if you want to be the first to get a copy and in addition to follow my journey in creating the app that will be based on the book why not sign up for the Friendup newsletter!