I “finished” my first book about five days ago. Then I let it sit. And sit. And sit some more. And I told myself:
“I’ll finish it on the weekend…”
“I need to illustrate it….”
“I want to think it over….”
And then I was a little more honest:
“What if people think it’s crazy?”
“What if no one likes it?”
“What if people criticize?”
So, after writing the foreword, afterword and bibliography I emailed it off to my inspiration, Seth Godin. Then I went to bed. When I woke up, he had replied. It wasn’t good or bad, it was….nice. Never before have I realized the blah-ness of the word “nice”. I didn’t want nice! I wanted passion! I wanted adoration or rebuke. I wanted anything but lukewarm. And then it hit me. The only way to get what I wanted was to suck it up and put it out there!
I still would like to make it into a physical book (who doesn’t love a square book?) and I still want to illustrate it (or have someone brilliant like Peter H. Reynolds illustrate it! (swoon!) But I also know that this is not a book that needs to rest within my iPad any longer. So I put it out there. I shipped it.
At the moment, you have the option of downloading the PDF of my book FOR FREE! Yes, the whole thing, online, downloadable and free! Why free? Because I read some wise words from, no surprise, Seth Godin (note: I do read things that other people write as well, I just happen to be drawn to Seth – try him yourself, it’s addictive!). Will it always be free? Yes. Will it be available for purchase – I hope so!
In addition to being art, being a gift, this book is also a reflection of art and a reflection of a gift. The encouragement and support along the way, along with the critical, reflective feedback from trusted friends, helped to shape this book into what it is. If you don’t have someone in your life who will give you 100% honest, thoughtful, reflective feedback – even when you are not going to want to hear it – you need to find that person. And once you find that person for yourself, make sure to BE that person for someone else. Not necessarily a reciprocal relationship but make sure you are putting yourself out there as a support for others too.
For me, “that person” is a friend and former colleague, Marina Gijzen. Marina is a great teacher and an amazing person and I feel so fortunate to have worked with her in my career. She is definitely one of those people who have moved me forward in my thinking, even when I didn’t want to move!
To all those who have left great comments, thank you! I really, really appreciate it! Today has been anything but lukewarm, and I thank you all for that!
Now, for book two…….