Can we talk about this for a second?
I'm currently working on my 2nd book. Wait... what? I've never published a book you say?
That's right. The first book was a rough idea. I jumped into it head first one weekend. It was a nice day, and after a long walk I decided to create this project that would exist somewhere between a quick inspiration guide and a to-do book. I set about laying out the ideas for it in the first day and then proceeded to compile rough pages (getting to prototype asap) and laying out the framework. I was going to kick this out in a few weeks. I had no publisher, no goal to make money, it was actually designed for myself - a reminder and guide to keep me going through the uninspired days.
So, what happened? It's actually quite simple - it was a false start. I quickly realized that the thing I was trying to do wasn't going to be as meaningful as I wanted it to be. The perspective changed. I had to go back to the drawing board. I rushed into this project, thinking I'd kick it out quick and dirty, just to see. But in the midst of this approach, I lost the concept of making it meaningful.
Was it a big deal? No. Did I waste my time? No. The ideas and concepts that bubbled up during the initial development process are now the ground work for my actual book. Those ideas and thoughts have been refined - the flow of the book has been thought out - and better yet, I was able to pinpoint my audience. The project morphed from being a "quick and dirty" test to a long term meaningful project that I'm passionate about.
The lesson is that False Starts shouldn't be seen as failure. They're kindling to your next idea. Getting to that prototype stage as quickly as possible is what helped me see the project for what it is. It also helped me pivot in the right direction.
False starts can set the groundwork for something meaningful. Enjoy them.