• Chris OBrien

Starting that Long Overdue Business: The Prologue

Updated: May 12, 2019

Whenever someone tells me they are writing a book, my response is always, "That's awesome!" followed by, "You should totally do it."

In the beginning, you don't need to worry about grammar. Or second guess each sentence. Or worry about, "Will anyone read this?"Just keep going.

And yet, when it came to starting Long Overdue, I found myself ignoring these same pieces of advice. I didn't want to share any updates until it was further along. I wanted to wait until it was a thriving full-time job and not just a side project. I wanted to skip through the bumps and the growing pains and the "I don't know what I'm doing" parts of the story.

But where's the fun in that?

Instead, I'd like to give you a backstage look at Long Overdue as it's being built. The ups, the downs, the lessons learned. No need to wait and sugarcoat the experiences later, I want to do this documentary style, just tell the story as it is.

And one of those very first lessons - This whole process of starting a business feels a lot like writing a book. You start. You edit. You slowly figure things out. But, most importantly, you just keep going.

So here's where Long Overdue is at as of April, 2019. We'll go Simon Sinek style and start with the why.

The Why

The reason why I started Long Overdue is because I believe everyone has a book in them and I want to help people get those stories down on paper. Whether it's a memoir, book of short stories, or a novel, a book is a great way to get your thoughts and experiences out there and let future generations know who you were; what you thought about, what you cared about.

At first the idea was actually called, "Retired Authors." The focus was to help retired people who always wanted to write a book and now finally have some more time to dedicate to their project (hey - you ever miss those 9 a.m. work meetings?). I figured some of the people would have an initial idea in place, others might have an entire first or second draft completed.

In either scenario, Long Overdue's purpose is to step in at all of the, "Wait, what do I do next?" parts of the project. At no point should one of our authors feel lost.

"I need help with review." Check. Copyediting. Check. "I need some artwork." Formatting. Cover design. Yes to everything.

I want to accommodate different end goals as well. If you want to have a finished manuscript as a Word Doc that you send out to New York City publishers, great, let's do that. You want to publish it on Amazon. Sweet. You want to print out 10 copies for friends and family as a Christmas gift, awesome, that works too.

The overall goal is not just to help you publish a book, but publish the best version of that story. By taking some extra time in the editing stages, we believe all writers can improve their work and become even better writers for their next project. And secretly love the writing process itself.

But then I asked myself, "Am I looking at all of this through my own personal lens?" The English major "I love writing" perspective. Am I becoming the passionate English teacher who proudly sports a Grapes of Wrath necktie?

The reality is, while almost everyone loves to tell and share stories, when it comes to the act of writing there are years of negative flashbacks that come to mind - like five paragraph essays or work emails or writing a paper about a book you never wanted to read in the first place. There were years of "Will this get an A?" "Will I pass the class?" "Did I use the right Works Cited format?" I'm getting stressed out just typing those sentences.

Long Overdue will always aspire to "Make Writing Fun Again" but, at the same time, if there's a family who says, "Hey, my mom/dad/grandma/grandpa is turning 80/90, they've got a bunch of stories we want to turn into a book, but we need some help with the writing," Long Overdue can step in. In these scenarios, we can send an interviewer out, collect the stories, turn it into a book.

And maybe it doesn't have to be a book. How cool would it be to have audio recordings that you could listen to about a relative's life. It would be like a podcast just for your family. There's the story about how grandma and grandpa met on campus. There's Dad's story about his trip to China. There's Mom's story about her first time water skiing at the Lake of the Ozarks.

Whether you want to write the story and have us help later with editing or cover design or if you want us to write it on your behalf, our mission remains the same:

Everyone has a book in them and Long Overdue can help get those stories down on paper. Let's turn family trees into family libraries.

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