The Write Life launches ON MONDAY!
While I should be super excited to launch this new website for writers, a project that’s been in my mind for more than a year and is now finally coming to life, here’s how I actually feel: NERVOUS AS HELL.
Why? Because this is my first time launching a big site like this, one that hinges on its own brand rather than my name, yet relies on my network to succeed. This is my biggest launch to date.
So yeah, you can probably tell I’ve put just a tiny bit of pressure on myself to make this awesome. And that makes the other reason why I’m so nervous that much worse:
The site isn’t ready.
Yup, that’s right.
Launch is FIVE DAYS AWAY and the SITE IS NOT READY.
Yes, the site looks good (thanks to Kate of Artemis) and has awesome content (thanks to the Launch Team). And we’ve got all the pieces in place to offer quality posts that will help writers get where they want to be.
But the site’s still NOT READY. There are still so many details I want to add, improve and tweak. So many components I want to have in place before we go live. So many details that taunt me every time I look at my massive TWL to-do list.
I knew launching a project this big would require a lot of work. That’s why I chose a launch date to begin with. Back when TWL was just an idea, I Skyped with a friend who encouraged me to set a date if only to make myself execute my ideas faster.
So I chose July 15, which back then, felt worlds away. Yet now, as the launch date quickly approaches, I feel panicked with ALL THE THINGS WE HAVE TO DO. I’ve got a task list in Flow to keep me organized, and my team is helping with a lot of those tasks, yet I still don’t know how on earth we will finish everything I want to get done before we press GO on Monday.
(Hold on a second while I catch my breath.)
I thought about pushing the launch date back, especially given all the things in both my personal (new nephew!) and business (new clients!) life that have gotten in the way of spending as many hours as I’d like on this new site.
But I know deep down I need to practice what I preach and start before I’m ready. Because there will always be more I can do, more ways to improve the site. And the truth is, I will probably never feel ready.
By setting this deadline, I’ve forced myself to get sh*t done, if only because I don’t want to be embarrassed by the site when it launches. While there’s good sense in offering what the Lean Startup community calls a Minimum Viable Product — where you focus on getting it live before making it perfect — it’s also important for the site to look and function well upon launch, so first-time visitors want to come back. That first impression is our one chance to hook the reader, which makes it pretty darn important.
It’s tough to find that sweet spot between getting the MVP live and making the launch awesome. When you’re used to making things perfect, you’ve got to force yourself to settle for good enough, knowing you can add bells and whistles later. And the funny thing is, once you’ve been working on a project for long enough, your good enough might actually be the reader’s awesome.
Here’s what I keep reminding myself: why I started this project to begin with, and why it’s going to ROCK, even if it’s not perfect from the get-go. I’ll write more about that here on Monday in a post that explains all the nitty-gritty details behind what it takes to create a site like The Write Life.
Until then, if you want to help get this project off the ground, you can like the Facebook page, follow us on Twitter or subscribe to the newsletter. And send some positive vibes while you’re at it, will ya?