And it’s terrifying.
I have an entirely new respect for authors of even the slimmest novels because it’s just a crazy amount of work to write a full-length tome. As someone said, “It’s like summoning a mountain.”
And the writing isn’t the hardest part– it’s the voices in my head who keep saying, “Who are you to write this book?” “Do you really think you’re such an expert?” “Wow, can’t wait to read all the Amazon reviews trashing this chapter.”
I’ve been writing long enough and in enough venues to know those critics are alive and kicking at everything in sight. And I’ve watched enough friends write and publish books to know there’s no money in publishing anymore (one friend said, “I can’t afford to write another book right now.”). In fact, there’s a whole lot of stress and self-promotion and a HUGE invitation to the world– “Please criticize my every move!”
So why write? Because so many of you asked me to, because I have a thousand great ideas, because I think it will really help people, because
it’s the book I was born to write.
As little girls Ruth and I often talked about our similarities to the Bronte sisters. When our childhood home was torn down we wondered where our future fans would come to pay homage to our literary genius? I’ve mapped out and even half-written a dozen novels, but
I’m writing a parenting book.
The title is still up in the air, but the subtitle is something to the effect of “A Happier Guide to Raising Smart, Kind, Capable Kids” or “Raising Ridiculously Happy Kids With Love Instead of Rocket Science.”
Could I possibly paint a larger target on my back? When you write a novel, people might criticize your writing abilities, your characters, your morals, etc. but with a parenting book I am inviting criticism of EVERYTHING I DO. And you’d better believe the process of writing a parenting book is like tilling in the garden– you unearth all kinds of boulders you didn’t know were hiding just beneath the surface. In addition, I’ve turned down all kinds of paying work while working on this proposal, neglected projects and you should see the messes piling up in every corner of my house.
I’m ready to throw it all away and just enjoy my happy life. Because why keep going?
- Because I have so many good ideas to share– not in spite of my flaws, but because of them. Every chapter contains funny quotes and stories and dozens of helpful tips for parents.
- Because I have an amazing opportunity to get published if I can submit my proposal soon (and I’m going to remain a little hush-hush about that).
- And, because I feel driven on a spiritual level to finish this book (and no, it’s not a Mormon book in any way).
Here’s the truth: I NEED YOU.
When I write here, I pretend this blog exists only for my kids and my sister, but I read your emails, your comments; I look at the statistics (only occasionally, because the numbers kind of freak me out). I’ve met many of you in person. Together, we’ve created a safe haven where we understand each other, where I don’t have to apologize and explain (as much); where you know I haven’t ruined my kids lives by denying them smart phones. Even the Deseret News articles stress me out– which is why I haven’t submitted there for over a year. In this little oasis, I write and share what I like and I just assume you like me enough to keep reading– or not. But to write a book? To set myself up as an expert? It feels so arrogant.
Here’s the deal with the publishing world today– they want authors to have a platform, a base of readers and fans before they’ll consider a manuscript. And I’ve actually built myself another website just for that with an accompanying Facebook page and Instagram account. But…. when I write there, I’m stiff and boring and I think I’m trying to fit a mold that isn’t me.
So, after consulting with some brilliant minds, I’m coming back here to find my voice. After all, here’s the place I first started writing about parenting. I’m not going to start throwing ads at you or product reviews, but we are planning some podcasts and vlogs as well as keeping up a little better on the usual happenings. I hope to post twice a week rather than every two weeks. And if I write/vlog/record something worth sharing, please pass it on, but I won’t beg or plead. I’d rather never publish at all than turn this beautiful place into a marketing machine.
Here’s where I need your help:
- If you have a favorite story or insight from the blog, would you please email me or leave a note in the comments? In this new world of non-commenting it’s hard for me to know what resonates.
- Would you please share any topics you’d like to hear about on a vlog or podcast?
- If/When you see me do something really stupid on social media, will you please let me know? Gently. It’s impossible to keep up on all the rules of the brave new world and I’d love your help.
- In the same vein, when you see errors or stupidities on the blog, will you please let me know about it?
- Please let me know about any speaking/writing/interview opportunities. Oh how I hate to self-promote… but oh how I believe in kindness-centered parenting.
- Find me a publisher who won’t make me write the dreaded proposal. Kidding.
Phew. If I press ‘publish’ on this post I’m really putting myself out there. Do I dare? Do I trust you? Am I foolish?
Yes, yes and yes.
xoxo Love to you all.