It’s been a busy few months and as the Christmas party invites start to trickle in, I am astonished that another year will be drawing to a close. This year has totally consumed me – a year made busy by a journey of a new kind; one that covers not miles,or kilometres, but words. And the more I have written, the less I have blogged, because this time, I have packed my thoughts into a little book; day after day and page after page as days have folded into nights, and nights into days, until one day I felt I was done and at that point, I had written 40,000 words.
If you have followed my blogs, you know I am passionate about conduct, judgement and doing the right thing. Not only is it my day job, but it is also something I am strongly associated with. So much so that even if I forget a tiny detail or make an mistake, people joke that it might be conduct risk; and when I walk around at work, people ask how is conduct before they ask me how I am! As they do so, they remind me of a chat with my mentor at one point, who gave me a tip – find something to be famous for. I guess I have done him proud.
This year, covering conduct at a few conferences and webinars with a variety of audiences forced me to think a little more; first came the chaos where it all begins and then as my thoughts started to come together and I felt I had to write I started on my book.
Yes, my book too is about conduct. But as I say in the book, ‘It is about conduct and everything else because conduct on its own has no meaning. Like life. When we write about life, we need to capture memories, thoughts, and conversations – moments stolen and moments seized. In the same way, when we write about conduct, we need to capture context, rationale, decisions and impact. Everything in life, including conduct, is about the synthesis of various facets and how they evolve in relation to one another. It’s all about culmination. We get out of bed in the morning to do something we feel passionate about and to do it well. We don’t wake up purely to conduct ourselves well. Doing something ethically, or not, is always in relation to a primary purpose and not a purpose in its own right. Conduct and ethics are therefore a large part of my book in that they form the backdrop – the backdrop often used to classify decisions as good or bad.”
With no writing experience except these blogs and infinite PowerPoint decks, this was my first book and became a period of endless searches on how to write a book, how many words for book, publishing options and many more. A friend put me in touch with a published author and as I connected for advice, I diligently listened to a list of rules, took notes (as you do) and then decided to followed some of it while blatantly disregarding the rest. For me this book isn’t about ticking boxes, it’s about expression. I was advised that people don’t like questions so the book needs to provide answers, not questions. I have questions, a lot of questions, of myself and of others, and I have chosen to ask away.
I made a start and put in work every day – well almost. Be it 4.30am or 10.00pm, any time was a good time to write. It’s amazing how you find a calling when you least expect it and how you find energy when you find a calling! Daniel Goleman mentioned in his book on emotional intelligence that flow is the greatest motivator and I couldn’t agree more. When I started to write and lost track of time, I discovered much more. I love to learn and in writing I realised that it can help you learn just as much as reading can. As I wrote, my book became the anchor, the thread, as one thought led to another and I researched news, internalised content, seeking from within building the book page by page. I spent days being on my own and yet never felt lonely. Perhaps that is the magic of flow.
Now, as I enter the final stages, socialising content and deciding details such as cover designs, size and price, I just cannot wait to get it out there. I have had feedback throughout the process; from a friend in India and a sister in the US; the first telling me how good I am and how much she believes in me and the latter always telling me ways to improve and somewhere in between on that spectrum is Cherry, my editor who believes that this may be my first book but perhaps not my last.
The book is called ‘c-Tunes – How to keep up with conduct tunes in the post crisis world’ and will be out via Amazon and Kindle later this month! So if you do get to it, I do hope you enjoy it and would love to know what you think of it!