This week, Jason and Caroline Zook shared a blog post about being in the “messy middle” of building their latest business. In that post, they shared three stages of any creative endeavor:

  1. Planning and kickoff (the fun times)
  2. The actual work (aka the ugly middle)
  3. Some sort of launch or state of completion (the goal)

I thought it might be interesting to catalogue my current projects to see where each one is in terms of these stages. I wanted to see what patterns I might see across my current portfolio of work. So, here goes…

Planning and kickoff (the fun times)

  • My virtual summer writing groups (they launch next week and there are a couple slots left if you want one!)
  • Year two of my how to: academia webinar series is all about professional identity. I can’t wait for this next year of topics — the series is currently available for pre-order and will be launching September 2018.
  • Fall 2018 and spring 2019 speaking engagements — working on the details for some of these now and it’s always fun to be in the planning stage.
  • My fifth book. My co-author and I are negotiating the book topic and revising the proposal now based on my editor’s feedback — I hope to be able to share more about this project soon!
  • A fun new AcademiGig-related project that I can’t talk about yet… stay tuned for more information coming your way when we release Season 3 of the show.

The actual work (aka the ugly middle)

  • My fourth book on alternative academic careers. My co-authors and I are deep into editing mode now for an early 2019 release date.
  • The first two books of the series I edit (the authors are also deep in revision mode).
  • Season 3 of AcademiGig is coming at the end of this summer once I get all the audio editing done…
  • Video edits for some bundles I’m creating out of my master course on academic book promotion (these keep getting back-burnered by other projects).
  • Coaching training 2.0 — I just finished session 9 out of 24 this past week, so I’m over 1/3 of the way done at this point.
  • The website for my third book that I am in the middle of designing — I hope to get it finalized in June for a July release.
  • My fourth edited collection on The Business of Innovating Online — we’re currently waiting for some reviewer feedback before working on revisions to this manuscript.

Some sort of launch or state of completion (the goal)

After compiling this list, I was pretty surprised to see that everything is relatively evenly split. However, there’s also quite a bit falling into the messy middle!

I’d also love to hear what you’re working on and where your projects fall into these three categories.

To think on: 

  • Which stage is your favorite?
  • Which stage is the hardest for you?