How to Write and Publish Your First Book 2: Beat the Mid-Way Slump

    How to write and publish your book

    Do you sometimes feel a drop in motivation? Don’t worry, it’s natural to experience the mid-way slump when writing a book.

    When you first start, you tend to feel both scared and excited. At that point, you just can’t imagine how to write and publish your first book. Part 1 of this series shows you how to get started:  How to Write and Publish Your Book 1: The Secret of Agile Development.

    As you may know, I’m in the process of writing a book on Youthful Aging, and I’m documenting my journey in a series of articles and videos. This part is about overcoming the mid-way slump.

    Once you’ve watched the video, keep on reading. The story of Cliff Young will inspire you. At sixty-one years old,  Cliff appeared at the start of an ultra-marathon in his work boots and torn trousers. What happened next will surprise you!

    But first, watch the video below to learn the tips and tricks of overcoming the mid-way slump.


    I’ve found that talking to others about the ideas I’m writing about is very helpful because it animates me and revs up my motivation. In my book about Youthful Aging, I tell stories of people who broke the mold of aging and went on to complete seemingly impossible tasks.

    Here is a story that applies to the journey of writing and publishing a book:

    Cliff Young was a sheep farmer in Australia. One day, he lined up for one of the world’s most grueling endurance races, the Sydney to Melbourne ultra-marathon over 875 kilometers.

    The sixty-one-year old showed up in overalls and work boots. A hush fell when Cliff went to the registration desk and picked up a race number.

    “You gonna race?” One of the competitors called out.

    “Yep, I’ll give it a go,” Young said. 

    “In your boots?” the guy continued. People sniggered.

    When the starter gun sounded, the field of fit, young guys breezed past him. The crowd laughed out loud when they saw that Cliff couldn’t even run properly. He seemed to shuffle along at a snail’s pace.

    In this race, competitors would usually complete the course over five days, running about 18 hours a day and sleeping for the remaining 6 hours. But Cliff snatched only a short nap and covered over 200 miles in the first 48 hours. When his competitors woke up after the first night, they were shocked to hear that Cliff had overtaken them and was now way ahead. And he kept on running like this with only minimal stops, extending his lead each day.

    Finally, Cliff Young won the race, shattering the previous race record by more than two days.  As you can imagine, he became a national hero in Australia. His gait, the Young Shuffle was later adopted by some ultra runners because it saves energy over long distances.

    What can we learn from Cliff Young? He believed in himself, although others laughed at his goal of completing an impossible task. Maybe you too have dreams of trying something that seems impossible. Like writing and publishing your book, for example. 

    When you waver and doubt yourself, remember Cliff Young and keep going to complete your book!

    How to Write and Publish Your First Book 1: The Secret of Agile Development

    About the author

      Mary Jaksch

      Mary Jaksch is best known for her exceptional training for writers at and for her cutting-edge book, Youthful Aging Secrets. In her “spare” time, Mary is also the brains behind, a Zen Master, a mother, and a 5th Degree Black Belt.

    • Very inspiring article, the cat is adorable

    • Duncan says:

      Wow! I am challenged by that. I will set some time now and work daily on my book until I finish before the end of the month. If Cliff Young can do that, then I will have to challenge myself.

    • Love this concept. There’s always a better more efficient way if you really look for it.

    • Ruth Johnson says:

      That was a really encouraging piece. The video helped me in restructuring my writing goals.
      Thank you so much

      • Glad to hear that you’ve been able to restructure your writing goals, Ruth!

        I think once we have a clear structure of how long our book is going to be and how many words we’re can comfortably write each day, we can set realistic goals – and let these goals guide us.

    • Leesa Clark Stone says:

      Wow Mary! That was great! I’m definitely in a Mid-Way Slump in the book I’m writing and this was a tremendous help. I own a video production company, so your anecdote about other “must dos” really hit a nerve. I have found that witing first thing in the morning is best, but don’t always do that. Your video inspires me to dedicate “first thing in the morning” time to plugging away at the book. Sticking to goals has also been problematic, so I love your analytical approach of dividing the total number of words that you anticipate to write into daily chunks. I believe that will really help me focus on how much I need to write daily to hit my target of releasing the book this year. Thank you!

      • I’m glad this was helpful, Leesa. Let us know how you’re progressing, okay?

        • Leesa Clark Stone says:

          Will do, Mary– thank you!

    • >