What I Learned From Landing the Book Deal
Hi lady! I know, it's been a while since I've given you a personal update. A lot has happened. If we would have talked back in January though, I would have told you that I had a recurring fantasy of holding a lighter under my book proposal and setting the whole thing ablaze to watch it burn burn burn. It’s all I wanted to do. Burn the thing to a pulp. I had written papers which had been published in psych journals, grant proposals, a Masters thesis, but this was hands down the hardest thing I had done to date, because it demanded a kind of deep work and clarity of mind that was simply a grind. No other way to put it. In good girl fashion, I had written the original proposal like an academic paper and my agent kept nodding her head, “I’m sorry. It’s just not relatable enough,” she’d say. Too boring. She was right, the thing was far too boring. The ideas and structure were there, but I hadn’t quite breathed life into it yet.
It wasn’t until I had a conversation with a very gifted writer, who implored me to pour my personality into the work and have fun with it that the whole thing began to turn. Have fun! HAVE FUN!!? I want to burn this motherfucker down. But I took a deep breath and started again. This time from a playful voice that was somewhere deep within me. This time from a place of real fire, deep within my belly. I actually didn’t think about what my agent wanted, but how I could express more of my personality into the proposal. When my agent received the new version, she called me and said something along the lines of, “WOW, you really broke through something. You broke through your own good girl conditioning to really bring this out.” The very purpose of the book is to support women in reclaiming their power by overcoming their good girl mentality, so it was all very fitting. The potion we’re brewing is often the medicine we most need, amirite?
One of the central themes of book involves looking at our relationship to logic and pragmatism. So many of us feel safe in the world of logic. Logic equals safety. We can safely measure and weigh the world which allows us to control and predict it. And while I’m all for logic and love science, when taken to an extreme, I see so many women who can’t access their inner magic because of layers of logic. Logic is a kind of mask that protects us from being who we really are: emotional, feeling-based, creative, and soulful beings. In other words, powerful AF. I don’t want to write something that makes people THINK more and juggle more ideas in their already busy minds. I want to write something that makes people FEEL more, that stirs their hearts, that feels true in their bones, that brings them to tears, that creates the real kind of alchemy in the psyche that is required for real transformation. Period.
How about you, sister? Are you trying to get something out into the world? Here’s what I learned from landing the book deal that might support you in your process.
You need help
You can’t do it alone. I talk about this in my Creative Confidence playbook, one of the blocks to creative confidence is being overly independent. Sometimes, this is being controlling and thinking you are the only person who can do this right. Sometimes, it’s being too hesitant to ask for or receive help. Sometimes, it’s not really knowing how to collaborate. In order to land this deal, I needed the help of my fabulous agent and also other women who gave me their best guidance. I had the crucial help of that woman who looked at my proposal and said, “Where is the personality? Where’s the juice? This needs to be more you. This needs to be ‘voicier!’” I had built a team of cheerleaders, including my own husband, to help me bring this to the next level. From stylists to the guy who let me stay with him in Manhattan when I met with publishers, there were so many people there to support my growth and see me shine. Trust that you have yours too. You need help. You can’t accomplish your dream on your own. So, who’s on your team?
Your creative work has its own timing
In my mind, this baby was going to go out to publishers last Fall. And I thought what I had was good enough. But again, circling back to my agent, she really pushed me to take it further, and sensed that we weren’t really quite there yet, that we needed more time to bake some of the core, fundamental ideas. This at first felt offensive to me (my pride!) since I had already been working on it for six months before she came into the picture. But she was right, I was trying to shove an unrealistic timeline into a creative process that had its own needs and rhythm. I felt I was ready to jump into the deep end, even though the work wasn’t. Letting go of control was the big lesson here and surrendering to the process that needed to unfold. At the same time, I’m all about setting deadlines and re-setting them as needed. So, it’s a balance and a dance between structure and flow. What are you trying to force that has its own timing?
Break out of self-limiting beliefs
We all have a pretty fixed idea of what’s possible for ourselves. And it’s hard to imagine yourself doing something you aren’t currently doing. How could I, lil’ ol’ me, possibly land a book deal with a reputable publishing house? This of course is the voice of the inner critic which is trying to avoid us from taking risks, but even more deeply that that, it’s the voice of “impossibility” and lack of imagination, it’s the voice that doesn’t allow doors to open, keeping them sealed tight or completely out of view. I recommend Amber Rae’s book on this, Choose Wonder over Worry (also I recently interviewed her on the HEROINE podcast if you haven’t checked out that episode, it’s phenomenal). Dreaming matters. What are you not giving yourself permission to dream?
Follow moon cycles ‘cuz that shit works
I was amazed to see how much I could line up the creative work to align with moon cycles. When it was a full moon, I was taking more action. When it was a new moon, I was setting an intention and beginning a new phase. The book sold on the New Moon in Taurus – it was perfect. A great resource on this is Ezzie Spencer’s Lunar Abundance. Do you pay attention to moon cycles? How might you line up some of your goals with the cycles of the moon?
The nice cherry on top of all this learning is that I landed the book deal with HarperOne – my dream publisher!
Reply and let me know if you have questions or what you’re learning.
I’m excited to keep you in the loop about the book as I write and promo it. Also, I’m going to be doing some epic giveaways (of HarperOne books and their tarot card decks) in the next few weeks, so follow along on Instagram.