Creativity & Opportunity

Creativity & Opportunity. Or, how my book deal fell apart. #design #blogging #publishing #booksbybloggers

Back in the fall, I received an email out of the blue from a book publisher who was interested in knowing if I had a book agent. Why no, I did not, I replied. And the conversation began on the possibility of me writing a book on color, decor, and style.

This absolutely positively thrilled me to pieces. Writing a book is kind of a big deal to me as an avid reader and lover of pretty things. I’ve spent my life in bookstores: Saturday afternoons with my Dad in Barnes & Noble, local bookshops with fireplaces and rolling library ladders, up to my elbows in design books and shelter magazines. To be a part of that felt like the penultimate honor in some way, a rounding out of this blogging and design career I’ve honed for myself.

I began researching books written by fellow bloggers as well as other design books that felt true to me. The talks with the publisher continued right up until I had the baby and things were very close to being signed/sealed/delivered. I held this loosely in the proverbial palm of my hand and only told a handful of people outside of family.

And then it all fell apart right after the baby was born. The feedback was that perhaps I was a bit too personal and conversational in tone, much like how my blog reads. They wanted something a little more DIY-related, more of a how-to. Less me, perhaps? Which I get.

Admittedly I was really disappointed. I was excited about the opportunity to create some fun new things with a nice little budget (aka, the book advance) that would ensure that I could try things that otherwise wouldn’t be financially feasible.

But at the same time, I felt a sense of relief. If it isn’t the perfect fit, then it’s a waste of everyone’s time. And this particular opportunity didn’t feel like an absolute perfect fit.

The moral of this story is this: you’ve got to know who you are and what your gifts are in order to give your best. There was a time when I would’ve lobbied hard for an opportunity and completely lost myself in the process (see: the first few years of my design career). Part of identity and branding is having a solid sense of self. I know my strengths and part of that is in my storytelling.

I believe a book will happen for me someday. Just not this time.


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