It's true. I'm officially beginning the process of writing a book. Before I dive into the details, humor me as I share a little bit of my backstory.
When I graduated with a degree in English in 2005, many people assumed I'd become a teacher. And by assume, I mean that they phrased questions in certain ways, including:
"So, then you'll teach, right?" and;
"Oh cool! You should be an English teacher! Isn't that what you do with an English degree?"
I figured it was because they couldn't fathom why else anyone would need such a silly degree. And to their statements-posed-as-questions, I always replied with a very pointed "NO." I still had (ahem... have) so much left to learn. I would have felt like an impostor standing at the front of a room telling others what to think and how to write. Plus, I have no clue how to teach young people. Seriously. Those who do it—and I have many friends who currently teach or have taught in the past—amaze me on a regular basis.
I also had some people assume that I'd become an author straight away—as though writing a book was just something English majors did on the weekends. I did intern with a very small publishing company in college, but that's just where I learned that getting a book published is no joke. To this day, I have people who suggest writing a book as an answer to all things: making money, getting my name out there, positioning myself as an expert, bragging rights (yep, I've heard this one)—the list goes on.
To each of those points, I often laugh and respond with the obvious questions:
"Have you ever written a book?"
"Do you know how precarious the publishing industry can be at this point in time?"
"Do you realize how few authors actually make it as authors?"
"Do you have something in particular in mind, in terms of subject matter?"
Of course most of them reply to all of the above with an equally pointed "NO."
Here's the thing: I never really had the burning desire to write a full-length book. I didn't feel as though my story mattered enough yet, I couldn't wrap my head around what topic would fill the pages and I certainly didn't think I had it in me to do the work to make it happen.
As I announced last week to my loyal newsletter subscribers, the book will be a full-length companion piece and expansion of the Creating Your Own Path podcast. The working title is:
Yes, You Should Try That
The Art of Creating Your Own Path
Though I'm in the very early stages and I'm still researching my best options to publish the book (self-publish, traditional, crowdfund, etc.), I've been writing. And I think (and hope with all my heart) that you're going to like it. I have yet to experience a writing session that comes easily, but the little bits of copy appearing on the page are the good bits. It's truly an exercise in just getting started on a project.
But, I'm not writing it for the reasons others may have implied or suggested in my general direction. It's not about making a ton of money (that actually doesn't happen for most authors), acquiring some strange version of fame (which is a hilarious word to even write) or bragging rights (ew).
I want to create work that will be useful to others. Period.
That's it. And I want it to be useful in the most uplifting, yet down-to-earth way. I want it to be real and raw and full of things I know to be true. I want it to be one part autobiography, one part wisdom from others and one part tips and tricks. It's going to be really hard, I have a lot of work to do and I want you all to be involved in the process. I'm not an expert (at anything, really), but I know my story and the stories of others are worth sharing in this way.
Here it goes...