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Book journey weeks 10 & 11 – Writing a mediocre first draft

Updated: Oct 16, 2021

We’ve been instructed to create the most mediocre first draft possible by the end of October.

We were told to get it out there so it can be edited, because it’s impossible to edit something that doesn’t exist.

This makes logical sense and I fully support the philosophy. In practice, though, it’s hard. It’s difficult to submit something to my editor to review, knowing it’s my “best mediocre” work, wanting to spend more time on it, but realizing that I need to move on to the next task. I need to get this done, trust the process, and it will all come together.

It’s hard to be a perfectionist who is writing a book. This is not a humblebrag. Perfectionism creeps into nights and weekends and slows things down that likely don’t even matter.

There are lots of opportunities for perfectionism in executive search, and I’ve learned to tell myself “It’s better done than perfect.” Then after repeating my mantra, I’d play around with trying to delete the impossibly stubborn last blank page off a Word document for thirty minutes. My time is better spent elsewhere, but I so want things to be perfect.

Now we’ll see what kind of mediocre writer I am!

My writing setup at Radio Coffee in Austin

This week I wrote Chapter 1. You may be thinking, “Uh Somer, I hate to tell you this but it’s week 11 and you’re on Chapter 1?” Yes, dear reader, I am. This is not because I just started. It’s because the Creator Institute has instructed us to go through an exercise of first divergence and now convergence. I've spent time over the past year thinking about this book, talking to people, and seeing what sprouted. Now it’s time to streamline and pull it all together. Each chapter has a lesson or argument, and is a combination of personal experience, stories from interviews, and research.

I reached out to my executive search peers in the industry to write this book. The number one thing recruiters tell me that candidates simply don’t understand is that in executive search, recruiters don’t find jobs for candidates. Recruiters find candidates for jobs. There’s a lot more to it than that, and it deserves a full explanation.

That’s Chapter 1: What Recruiters Actually Do.

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