I’m Writing a Book – The Ganbaru Guide

I don’t really do new years resolutions. My one for 2017 was to not be single. We all know how well that’s gone.

What I do love, however, is projects. I really enjoyed the things I did last year – mainly creating Yes We Camb and the #Cbgtown Indoor Market, and I wanted to focus my projects so that they all follow the theme that I’m passionate about, mainly helping and inspiring young people, and making the community a better place.

On a sleepy day over the Christmas holidays I was driving along, listening to the Blogtacular Podcast episode with Otegha Uwagba, author of Little Black Book. As she and Kat were talking about how young people aren’t taught skills to help them get jobs, I was fist pumping in my car going along.

I got thinking – Otegha’s book is aimed at young women… but what if something this cool was made for young students. 15 year olds who are trying to figure out what to do after school. The kind of students I work with all the time.

By the time I got out the car, I’d decided – I’m going to write this book.

My head was buzzing with ideas. I felt more energised than I had been for a long long time.

But what should I call this book? I want it to be something students would choose to have themselves – not something a teacher would give out. Cool enough to be in Instagram photos but useful enough for them to keep referring to as they learn and grow.

I’ve decided on The Ganbaru Guide.

Here in the west, when we know someone is going through something tough, we always say “good luck” to them, right? As if it’s the magic of the universe that will help them succeed.

In Japan, they tell people “Ganbare” which means “try hard”. Ganbaru is the verb to put your all into something, give it your full attention and make conscious decisions to make this thing a success.

Being a success in this world does involve a bit of luck – but luck can’t work if you’re not putting yourself in the right situation and mindset to make it happen. Telling people that luck alone will see them through isn’t enough – and especially young people. They have the tough task to get through changing GCSE goalposts, deciding which of the many higher education paths would be right for them, and to align their skills to a career in this ever changing business climate.

Luck won’t be enough. They need to ganbaru.

First and foremost I want to write this thing. Then I’ll work out how to make it pretty, then I’ll work out how to get it published.

It’s cool, I have a year to do this.

I need to ganbaru.


  1. Fantastic project! Once it`s published then please try and get it translated into as many Asian languages as possible so I can use it at all my recruitment exhibitions when I`m talking to postgraduate students who still don`t know what they want to do with themselves!

    • Charlotte says:

      Haha I will do. But I don’t think this is as much of an issue – not in Japan anyway. They seem to know how to do interviews, and go off to get their suits and stuff.

  2. Fantastic idea! You are so full of ideas and inspiration!

    All I have to say is… ganbare!
    Ruby Ronin recently posted…Why 2017 Was the Craziest Year of My Lifeā€¦ With a 2018 SurpriseMy Profile

  3. Oh writing a book.. It has been my resolution for many years.. All the very best Charlotte. I’ll definitely read it once it’s published <3 Ganbaru!
    Kal recently posted…The World Culture Postcards ProjectMy Profile

  4. Fantastic!

    By the by, I know *several* people who have been published. Once you have a workable draft, I’d be happy to see if any of them have helpful tips to help you get your work out there.
    Steven recently posted…Two They Might Be Giants Shows, Twenty Years ApartMy Profile

    • Charlotte says:

      Thank you! I’m going to be using a company called Unbound, which is a crowdfunded publisher. They’ll be (hopefully) helping me with design and layout as that’s the part I’m worried about.

Speak Your Mind


CommentLuv badge

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: