I wrote a book! In keeping with my theme lately of not burying the lead, I figured I’d just go ahead and get it out there. I’m thrilled to finally share this news because my book has been a long time coming. I started this journey when I was pregnant with Babywoods 1 and the book will publish after Babywoods 2 is born! And what a wonderful journey it has been.
Writing is my passion, it’s one of the things that brings profound happiness into my life, and I feel unendingly grateful that I get to do it for a living. I’ve always–truly, always–wanted to write a book and the fact that it finally happened is the realization of a major life goal and a childhood dream. Doesn’t hurt that it’s on my very favorite topic: frugality and financial independence! The book is called Meet The Frugalwoods: Achieving Financial Independence Through Simple Living and it’ll be published by HarperCollins on March 6, 2018.
The Truth About Writing A Book (it’s hard; at first I was bad at it)
Over the years, many of you have requested that I write a book and I’ve always wanted to write a book. I was buoyed by your confidence in me and I thought it sounded super cool to be an author. However, I was terrified I wouldn’t be able to do it. Or that it wouldn’t be any good. Or that no one would read it. Now that I’ve written it, I’ve proven to myself that I can in fact write a book, but in truth, I’m still dogged by fears that it’s not any good and that no one will read it.
What I’ve come to realize during this (lengthy, challenging) process of pursuing a dream is that, quite simply, it’s not easy. I am hard on myself and I expect to get things right the first time. When I don’t, I get frustrated and feel like I’ll never get there. But I didn’t give up. I will tell you that, with the guidance and support of my fabulous editor at HarperCollins, I re-wrote the first chapter of this book no less than 17 times. And those are the times I remember. It honestly might’ve been more. Every single chapter in the book, in fact, was either completely thrown in the (digital) trash and re-written or heavily, HEAVILY edited by me.
This was a humbling process and one that, I hope, made me a better writer. Since I write all the time, both for Frugalwoods and in freelance capacities, I went into writing my book with the naive assumption that it would be easy. That it wouldn’t take too much time and wouldn’t be that big of a deal. Well. Allow me to tell you right now how very, very, very wrong I was. It took me for-freaking-ever to write this book.
I kept blowing past deadlines and needing to re-write and re-do. Some of my initial chapters were so bad that my editor didn’t even bother editing them. She just called me up and, in her incredibly kind and diplomatic manner, told me I should simply start over “with a blank Word document.” I was deflated after each one of these (many) calls. I’d cry. I’d whine to Mr. Frugalwoods. I’d go hiking and feel like a miserable writer. I was crushed. But instead of staying under that leaf of moping self-doubt, I wrote more. I read all the books my editor suggested (all of which were about improving one’s writing… my favorite of which was The Art of Memoir, by Mary Karr) and I doggedly re-wrote every last word of whichever doomed chapter was under discussion. I wrote through tears, I wrote while inhaling cheese and carrots, I wrote while listening to Babywoods 1 play with Mr. FW in the next room. I wrote while nauseous during my first trimester with Babywoods 2, while tired, while traveling, while happy, and while mad. But I did not stop writing.
I still carry a lot of fear about this entire project–the book, Frugalwoods as a whole, this weird thing I do of espousing frugality as a means to find purpose in one’s life–but I love it anyway. I cannot deny the passion I have for this subject matter and for my deeply rooted belief that consuming doesn’t make us happy, that spending money doesn’t make us happy, and that freedom from worry over money is a way to liberate oneself and find one’s true calling.
But what if people don’t like the book? My self-doubting side still questions. Well, what if they don’t? I’ve decided that I want to live my life boldly. I’d rather do–or attempt to do–big things. And if I fail at those big things? If everyone hates my book? At least I will have tried. At least I will have done something. I’d rather go out in a bursting fire of effort than hide my passion under a meek facade of passive indifference. I’d rather stand for something, be bold, and fail big than never stand for anything and never do anything at all.
I share this story with you all not just to tell you how I felt writing this book, but to encourage you to take a step towards whatever bold project it is that you want to pursue. I didn’t know anything (like, nothing) about writing a book before I wrote one. Come to think of it, I didn’t know anything about blogging before I started this blog. What I’ve learned is that if you want to do something, you have to dive in. You have to cling firmly to your beliefs, to what brings you joy, and you have to go for it. Otherwise, what’s the point? What’s the point of this life here on earth if we don’t go for it in a big way every now and then?
Whatever it is that you’re thinking about doing, whatever it is that you want to say you did when you’re on your deathbed, start doing it today. My book started with the first sentence of the first chapter. I didn’t copy and paste from the blog, no one told me what to write, I just stared at a blank Word document on my computer for an embarrassingly long period of time before I finally had the courage to write down a few words. Of course, those words have long since been re-written, but I had to start somewhere. I had to have a first draft in order to get to the 18th draft, the draft that’ll sit on library and bookstore shelves (and hopefully in some people’s homes other than my relatives).
And Now For Some Book FAQs!!
Ok, ok, you’re saying, enough about your tortured writing process, Mrs. Frugalwoods, we want the details! The info! The FAQs! I have no idea if the following Q’s are really F, but these are my best guesses. You can ask any other Q’s you might have in the comments section.
Q: Does This Book Cost Money?
Yes, this book costs money. For the first time ever, I’ve done something that’s not free. My blog is free, my Uber Frugal Month Challenge is free, all of my email/Facebook/Twitter/Instagram/blog comment responses are free. This book, however, is not. And if it doesn’t fit into your overarching financial plan to purchase the book, I totally understand. If that’s the case, please ask your local public library to order it so that you can check it out and read it.
However, if buying my book does fit into your budget, I would really appreciate it! Purchasing my book is a way to support all of the work I do through Frugalwoods and it would be super nice of you. Plus, it makes a great gift for anyone in your life who could use a dose of inspiration to get their finances in order and follow their dreams (note that “get their finances in order” is listed first).
If you’re a diehard Frugalwoods fan (for which I thank you) and want to get in on the action early, please consider pre-ordering the book. What does pre-order mean? This means you order the book now (although you don’t pay for it now) and you receive the book when it publishes in March. Pre-ordering also means you’ll receive a….
It’s true! If you pre-order, or order, my book by March 13, 2018, and send me a proof of your purchase (commonly known as a receipt), I will mail you a signed bookplate. This bookplate will be signed by me! And mailed by me! We don’t have anyone working for us, so either Mr. FW or I will put your bookplate in an envelope, take it to our local post office, and send it your way.
What’s a bookplate, you might be wondering? I’m so glad you asked. It’s a handy little sticker you affix to the inside cover of your book so that you have a signed copy. I took a picture of one and included it at right for your handy dandy reference. Hooray! Easier (and less awkward) than me coming to your house and signing your book for you.
Unfortunately, due to our capacity (that would be the capacity of me and Mr. FW sitting at our dining room table after Babywoods 1 goes to bed), the signed bookplates are only available for folks who pre-order or order the book by March 13, 2018.
If you pre-order your book by December 1, 2017, you will receive your signed bookplate in time for Christmas! And if you order two books, you’ll get two bookplates. If you order 20 books, you’ll get 20 bookplates!
Please note that signed bookplates can only be mailed within the United States.
Q: Where Can I Pre-Order The Book?
I’m so glad you asked! You can pre-order my book from any of the following retailers by clicking on the below links:
Another advantage to pre-ordering the book is that Amazon specifically offers a pre-order price guarantee. What this means is that you’ll pay the lowest price the book dips to on Amazon between when you place your pre-order and the publication date (which is March 6, 2018). Also, your credit card won’t be charged for the purchase until your book ships, which’ll be after the publication date (which again, is March 6, 2018).
Q: How Do I Get My Signed Bookplate Again?
Follow these steps:
- Pre-order my book through one of the above listed online retailers by March 13, 2018
- Forward your book pre-order receipt to this email address (AND ONLY THIS email address!!): firstname.lastname@example.org
- Fill out the form I’ll send you via email requesting your name and address
- Wait by your mailbox for your signed bookplate to arrive (give me a few weeks to get it in the mail to you)
- Store your signed bookplate in a safe place for several months since…
- Your copy of the book itself will arrive from the retailer your pre-ordered it from AFTER the publication date of March 6, 2018
Q: When Will I Receive My Copy Of The Book?
If you pre-order the book online, you’ll receive it sometime after the publication date of March 6, 2018. Don’t be panicking when you pre-order the book and it doesn’t show up immediately. It’ll be shipped to you after March 6, 2018. You won’t be charged for the book until that time.
Q: Why are you announcing the book now, Mrs. FW?
Well, for several reasons: firstly, I am having a baby and will not have time to sign bookplates after Babywoods 2 is born. Secondly, I happen to think that books make great holiday gifts and so perhaps you might think that this book happens to make a great holiday gift :)!
Q: Is The Book Different From the Blog?
In a word: yes! In a few more words: the book is a wholly new, freshly written memoir that’s completely different from the blog. Yes, there are similar themes, arcs, and conclusions (I mean, you know how it ends after all 😉 ), but the book represents a different take on the story of how we reached financial independence.
I didn’t copy and paste from the blog, which is why it was so painful to write. You might recognize a few of the stories, but I guarantee they’re told in a more in-depth, thorough, usually much-more-embarrassing-for-me method. My writing took on a new approach and style in this book, one that was crafted and honed through working closely with my editor and, you know, re-writing many of the chapters one thousand times.
I want to close by thanking all of you–the devoted members of the Frugalwoods community–for your ongoing encouragement and inspiration. The stories you send me of how frugality has improved your life, how it has enabled you to pursue unusual dreams, how it has saved your marriages, how it has made you happier, less stressed-out people, how you’ve paid off all your debt, how you’ve achieved financial independence, how you’ve found your true passion in life–these are the reasons why I do what I do.
I love the successes you experience and I’m inspired by your dedication to creating better lives for yourselves. I wouldn’t have the motivation to get behind my computer and write every day if it weren’t for all of you and the inspiring stories of transformation that you send to me. Keep them coming and thank you for supporting me as I support you on your journeys to more fulfilling, more financially secure lives!