I Decided to Challenge One of My Long Held Beliefs On Writing

Craig Stanland
5 min readNov 15, 2022

I believe we have to challenge our beliefs to create the extraordinary.

I’ll go first.

Here’s an unprecedented sneak peek into my next book.

This is the 1st draft of a chapter, and I’ve never shared the 1st draft.

Why am I sharing it now?

Because I’m afraid to, and even more so, to challenge myself and my beliefs.

A friend of mine is a best-selling author (over half a million and counting), and they once told me,

“Never share the first draft of anything.”

I bought that belief the moment it was sold to me because of their credentials and my respect for them.

Couple that respect with the Hemingway quote, “The first draft of anything is shit,” and I was sold.

I believe unequivocally you shouldn’t share the 1st draft of anything.

But I’ve never challenged my belief.

And that’s why I’m sharing.

We all carry so many beliefs.

Some are empowering, some are relatively neutral, and others crush our self-worth and sense of adequacy, leading us to a life of self-sabotage and settling.

Some lead us to live unextraordinary lives destined for regret.

Living an extraordinary life requires experimentation, inquiring, and kicking the tires on the beliefs we carry as truths.

It requires traveling beyond the pale of what we think is “right.”

I challenge my clients to do this, and their results are outsized.

It’s crucial I drink my own Kool-Aid to serve my life and my clients better.

And while sharing a chapter may not seem like a big deal, it is for me.

It flies in the face of everything I believe about the writing process, and I hold the writing process sacrosanct.

I’m not looking for feedback on the chapter.

This will see at least 15 revisions before it’s ready for proper publishing, and that’s not even a guarantee it will find its way into the next book.



Craig Stanland

I write about my journey from corporate success to federal prison and finding joy, mission, meaning, and fulfillment beyond professional and financial success.