I can now officially share some BIG NEWS, and what I am most excited about in this moment is that once I spill the beans I can then share what these last few weeks have felt like ~ the few weeks when I've had to keep this on the down-low while I waited for all the details to be finalized.
The news is this ~ in November 2011 my next book ~ a book about inspiration and intentions ~ will be released by North Light Books. I submitted a proposal for the book last April, and after a number of revisions, adjustments and re-arrangements, it was finally presented to the powers that be and given a green light for publication. I got word last month on a Friday, and within a few days all the details regarding deadlines, permissions, and file formats were sent to me, the basic message being "Time to get to work!" The contract was finalized last week, which means it is, indeed, time to get to work, and I can now let this piece of news fly freely.
I'm not quite sure where to begin sharing my feelings about this project, so I'll start with the word that most everyone who was let in on this little secret used when I told them about it: HUGE. It always went something like this:
Me: "Hey, guess what? It looks like I got a book deal."
Other Person: "Really? That's HUGE!"
I always followed this with an explanation about having to wait for the contract to be finalized before I really celebrated, feeling like everyone thought it was strange that I wasn't jumping up and down like a little girl who's about to get a new puppy. But it wasn't only my cautious side taking the reins, there was ~ and still is ~ a part of me wanting to savor this news quietly. In other words, this period of time I've had to let it sink in slowly has been incredibly precious, because it gave me time to really consider what it means ~ for my life, career, and self ~ to secure a book deal, which is an accomplishment that I think is often held up as one of the penultimate achievements in the blogosphere.
The term book deal has been synonymous with success, validity, and recognition ~ one of those pursuits that carries such a heavy burden of expectations that I have felt downright wary at times of my desire to pursue having another book published. I have taken time now and then to check in with myself, to explore what was motivating me to create and submit one book proposal after another (lest you think I just hit a home run on my first try, this is the fourth book proposal I have sent in as many years.) There were some days when I had to admit my intentions weren't altogether pure ~ when I had to admit part of my desire was to keep up with one person or outshine another, or because I felt like I was in a race against time and I simply had to make something HUGE happen. I had those days, and I had to face them openly and honestly, had to stop what I was doing and remember what I so often forget ~ that a book deal doesn't come with a certificate that says, "You have now MADE IT, and are hereby granted a permanent, profound contentment with your life. Well done!"
Instead, this is what this opportunity has given me, and what I've been pondering since last month:
* Responsibility ~ To North Light, to my editor, to the magnificent women who agreed to contribute to the book (who you will meet soon), to anyone and everyone who might pick up this book and read it. I have a job to do, which is to create the best book I can create, and give something to the world that is positive and inspiring.
* Humility ~ This is an incredible opportunity, and I am honored North Light decided to invest in this idea. I don't see this as a gift that was handed to me for any reason other than I have worked very hard in this industry ~ for fifteen years now ~ and the only way I will continue having opportunities like this is if I keep working hard. Remember my favorite quote from Jenny Doh? She said it perfectly:
"The lesson I've learned through it all is this: Work hard. ALWAYS WORK HARD. And always be committed to quality and attention to details. Because when you do, you create a foundation of credibility that can weather anything ~ a foundation upon which you can construct with unbridled imagination, your destiny."
* Gratitude ~ I get to write a book! And work with a circle of amazing, extraordinary women who are granting their time, attention and inspiration to this project! And I won't have to write, create, edit, format, press check, pack, ship, distribute, market, promote and sell this book all on my own! I loved publishing Ordinary Sparkling Moments myself, but let me tell you, I am thrilled beyond belief that I now get to collaborate with North Light. That is what feels HUGE in my heart right now ~ gratitude.
* Trust ~ I don't think I have ever set forth on a new creative journey feeling as expansive and open as I do right now. This book is going to come together perfectly, and I know that even though ~ believe it or not ~ I do not have an especially detailed vision of what this book will look like. I don't feel like I am taking a hammer and chisel to a piece of rock, which I need to shape into a form already worked out in my mind, as much as I feel like a channel, where I am taking in a million pieces of light and letting them tell me where they want to go. And if I do my job, then ~ voila! There will be a book. My job is to serve the book, and the book will guide me. I trust its voice; I have already heard it.
And with that, it is time to get to work, because the first two chapters are due in less than two months."Don't be afraid of the space between your dreams and reality. If you can dream it, you can make it so." ~Belva Davis