I’m not dead. I’m just writing a book.
Making a huge announcement isn’t as easy as you’d think.
Do I start by telling you that I’ve been dreaming of being an author since I was old enough to hold a pen? (Never a pencil.)
Or do tell you about last fall, when I casually began telling friends and business acquaintances that I’d be writing a book in 2018 – even though I wasn’t sure how this book would be published?
Both of those are true.
Truth be told, I thought I’d write a book and then start the long, arduous journey of begging publishers to have a look at it.
But that’s not how it happened.
Rather than simply make the announcement: Hey! I’m writing a book! I wanted to tell this story in full, because I think it says a lot about setting a clear intention without being emotionally attached to how it’s going to happen. I knew that if I said I was going to write a book, I could, in fact, write a book. I wasn’t particularly worried about how it would be published; I figured, worst case, I could publish it myself. One of the most important things I’ve learned in my forty-three trips around the sun is that the quickest way to wreck your success is to get attached to how you think something is going to happen. Life is full of surprises, and if you set parameters on how your intention/goal will come to life, you might accidentally eliminate an amazing opportunity you haven’t even considered yet.
Here’s what happened:
- I told people I was going to write a book.
- A month or so later I had a breakfast meeting with a major yarn company who mentioned a book deal, but I was hesitant because I wasn’t sure if our goals were aligned for this particular project. They were busy, I was busy, and we didn’t get much further than that initial conversation. At first blush it seemed like an opportunity had fallen into my lap that would make this “year of the book” come true. I didn’t say no; I just didn’t pursue it further, and in the moment I had to ask myself if I was passing on the only opportunity I might get. But I trusted my gut and waited.
- I started to clear my schedule. I said no to a few teaching commitments – ones that I really wanted to say yes to – knowing that I would have to intentionally create space in my schedule to write a book. I also skipped a few design calls from companies I love – again, it felt like a sacrifice in the moment, but if I wanted this book, I had to want it more than all the smaller achievements I might be able to have in its place.
I’m going to stop here, because at this point (late January) something happened which I had not expected: I got an email. From a publisher.
You know those emails from Nigeria that offer you a million dollars if you’ll just provide your banking information and social security number? For five seconds, that’s what I thought I was looking at. This publisher’s email almost went the way of every other scam email that’s ever hit my inbox, because, frankly, it’s not every day you open your email and see the subject line: Book Opportunity. Was this a joke? Spam?
The email arrived during my Wednesday co-working time at Starbucks, where I sit with my laptop, my favorite espresso-laden vice and my fellow solopreneurs, Carlee and Carla (who, incidentally, aren’t related).
My eyes must have been as wide as dinner plates, and I was making sounds that can only be referred to as hyperventamumbling. I read the email twice. Three times. I Googled the publisher. I was speechless. My friends looked at me quizzically.
You guys! I got… I got… I got… an email. From… from… from… a book publisher!!! It was all I could do not to start jumping up and down. Believe me, I wanted to.
If it seems melodramatic, it was. Remember this is not only an intention I’d set last fall, but my number one goal in life since I was old enough to read and write.
My intention must have been so clear that it settled like magic fairy dust on an associate editor at a lovely publishing house on the East Coast, who just randomly happened to find me online and reach out. If I could have imagined every scenario which might lead me to getting my first book published, a unsolicited email from a publisher would not have been on the list. Granted, I’ve done the work that got me here. I’ve blogged for years, written tutorials, published patterns, and I’ve traveled around the world to teach lovely knitters about sweater knitting. I’ve put in my time. But still – I really didn’t think it was going to come together quite this seamlessly.
And so, my friends, the stars aligned, and the book that I wanted to write is being written. Very very quickly. Because deadlines.
So if it seems like I’ve fallen off the map for the next few months, it’s because I’m writing (and knitting) feverishly (my manuscript deadline is August 15th!), so that I can bring you a terrific book of brand new knitting patterns and tutorials – slated to be released February 2019 from Page Street Publishing. It’s a book I know you’re going to love.
Wish me luck.