When Penn and I started writing this book two years ago, I pictured us tucked away in a log cabin, wearing cardigan sweaters, and typing away. We’d only stop to smile at each other and sip herbal tea. It was quiet and blissful. No juggling of kids or meetings, just lost in our own thoughts. You can stop reading and laugh now… I know how ridiculous that is. You back now? Cool.
The Reality of Writing A Book
As you know, that’s not AT ALL what any work project looks like, much less writing a book with your actual spouse. Here’s some things I didn’t expect:
- I didn’t expect the writing process to take so long. We crank out these silly videos in a few hours, I honestly thought we could write a chapter a week. (Again, laugh if you need.) I know many authors are extremely prolific and can crank out a novel in a weekend. We were writing about our marriage, and how we solve conflict in our marriage. That process required a deep emotional dive I wasn’t prepared for.
- I didn’t anticipate the pandemic. Two years ago, when we started this process no one could have predicted the world we live in today. We had three more chapters due to our publisher in March of 2020. So let me spell that out for you: we wrote the last three chapters with that new, fancy lockdown anxiety. I do detail some of my baseline mental health issues in the book and here on the blog, but this one was a doozy. There were many moments we were under deadline but the adrenaline of life in 2020 had my head buzzing. The words just… stopped. I gave myself permission to rest. I gave myself grace. When I came back (with a graciously extended deadline) I felt stronger and more balanced and I think the book is better for it.
- I thought we’d have an actual photo shoot for the cover. Read the above note. We were smack dab in the middle of the pandemic when the publisher called wanting thoughts on our book cover. Penn and I had visions of a shooting on a set, with a full hair and makeup team and fans blowing my hair like Beyonce. Okay, those were just my visions, I digress. We had not had haircuts (or color) for several months. A wonderful photographer and friend Elijah had been strictly quarantining with his family. He came into our house with a mask and face shield. Still, he set the room with a camera, lights, and tripod while we waited in another room. We entered the room with masks on and took them off for about five frames. We didn’t want to risk any more exposure to Elijah or ourselves then we put our masks back on and left the room. We didn’t have a lot to choose from so we picked what you see below and a graphic designer had to cover my roots and trim Penn’s hair in photoshop.
- I thought we’d have a real live book tour. There’s a local bookstore we love and I really enjoy hearing authors read the words they write. I’ve been to several book signings and I envisioned getting to do the same. Perhaps, we can find a safe way to gather this summer to meet the wonderful people who buy this book, but until then we are figuring out “zoom” signings and online webinars to meet people.
- I thought I’d know exactly how to sell this book. Penn and I come from a marketing background and when we aren’t singing and dancing in our kitchen, we help companies create campaigns to sell their products. So silly me, I thought I’d have brilliant ideas on how to market the book we are endlessly proud of to the good people of the world. It turns out, I’m really terrible at asking people to buy OUR things. I pray this book helps people connect in a more authentic way, but that’s not exactly a jingle you can post on Facebook.
So here I am writing about all the things that went according to plan during our book process, asking you to consider, maybe, possibly thinking of maybe buying this book. Only if you want to. I don’t want to force it on you.
Get your copy of Everybody Fights here: https://theholdernessfamily.com/book/