Well, I did it. I wrote a freaking book.
And holy crap, it’s good — far better than I ever imagined it could be!
A provocative take on self-empowerment, I trust it’s going to bring much-needed relief to mothers around the world.
Because if there’s one thing I know for sure, it’s that the demands of a busy life are taxing, but they don’t exhaust a mother’s soul. It’s the warped belief that you can and should be doing more that’s keeping you down.
And that’s what the book is about — putting on your big-girl pants, realizing you’re in charge of your own time/energy/happiness, and slaying the shit out of the self-doubt that’s been preventing you from accessing the good life all these years.
The timing of the release is remarkable. (Thank you, Universe.) We live in a time when women need to stand up for themselves more than ever before, but you can’t even remotely accomplish that goal if the negative voice in your head is set to the soundtrack of, “You suck, lady,” or if you constantly compare yourself at your worst to other mothers at their best.
In other words, you can’t stand up for yourself until you believe in yourself.
You’ll be hearing more about the book in the coming months. We’ll be updating the Slay Like a Mother website along the way.
But until then, in an attempt to avoid my tendency to just keep barreling through to the next milestone, I thought I’d hit pause and bring you up to speed on how the book came to be in the first place.
How it all started.
After studying the lives of mothers for two years as part of my job as a strategic planner at a national advertising agency, I felt compelled to share the insights, stories and truths I’d collected about motherhood with other mothers around the world. Why? Because what I learned about the trials and tribulations that all mothers face set me free from the self-doubt and guilt I carried around like a 20-pound ball and chain strapped to my ankle.
The research findings opened my eyes to the fact that every mother struggles with whether she’s mom enough, wife enough, daughter enough, sister enough, etc. So, why continue to annihilate myself with negative self-talk based on the fear — or false evidence — that every other mother has life, motherhood, marriage, and the struggle of bedtime all figured out?
Truth be told, that initial research changed my life and I felt selfish keeping the information to myself.
In 2013, in an effort to share the insider knowledge I’d collected with other mothers, I stood on the TEDx stage, took off the mask of perfection I’d been wearing for years, and gave mothers everywhere permission to do the same.
After the talk was shared over 40,000 times, it was clear to me that moms were benefiting from the knowledge that dealing with the chaos around you becomes light-years easier when you’re not fighting chaos within you.
So, in late 2013, despite having absolutely no clue how to write a book, I decided that one needed to be written.
How it got done.
Long story short, it took five (long, not short) years to develop, write and sell the book to a major publisher. It was a grueling timeline, but I never gave up. Not because I was dying to be an author, but because I was saddened by how many mothers give up on themselves every day by giving their me-time away to unworthy causes, lacking the ability to say no, and comparing themselves at their worst to other mothers at their best.
It’s a vicious cycle, but after self-helping myself away from my own palpable doubts and fears, I spent the next five years figuring out how to teach other mothers to do the same.
Here’s what went down between 2013-2018:
- Got going. Put together an initial book proposal (non-fiction books sell to publishers on proposals, not on full manuscripts), submitted it to a half-dozen literary agents and every agent said, “Thanks but no thanks,” in no uncertain terms. #boo
- Asked for help. Begged for introductions from anyone who would listen and finally landed a great agent through the connection of a good friend. #winning
- Got rejected again. Submitted the book proposal to 24 different publishers; every single one said, “No way, José. Not interested.” #crap
- Asked for more help. Threw a pity party, vowed to keep going and eventually teamed up with a top-notch editor in NYC who loved the message I had to share, but agreed the proposal wasn’t provocative enough to stand out from the thousands of mom-based book proposals submitted each year.
- Landed a new agent. Revamped the book proposal and held my breath as new agents determined whether they’d rep my work or not. Thankfully, several were interested and I picked one of the absolute best in the business. It was the wind in my sails I desperately needed.
- Started over. Shed a lot of tears as my new agent insisted I try again, starting over from scratch and rewriting the book proposal in a way that would feel fresh, new and provocative for all the publishers to see — even the ones who had previously said no.
- Awarded a book deal. Landed several offers from top ten publishing house. I picked the publisher that believed in my message the most. However, I almost croaked when they said they needed the full manuscript written in seven months. #saywhat
- Wrote the book. Mustered up all the stamina I had and wrote 8-9 hours a day, five days a week for seven straight months. It almost killed me, but I knew that every word I was putting on the page had the potential to lead moms to greener pastures, more inner peace and a sense of calm within the chaos of their daily lives.
The bad news is that the book won’t be released until March 19, 2019. Talk about a buzzkill, right? The long lead time is influenced by everything from publishing cycles to marketing campaigns to how long it takes to print books and ship them all across the country. Insert sad face.
The good news is, we’re using the downtime to build a digital experience (site/app) that will allow us to collect wisdom and experiences from mothers who have slayed everything from the negative voice in their head to saying no and meaning it to dealing with divorce.
My motivating force is simple: When a mother does the hard work and homework to slay something in her life, why not make that information readily accessible to other mothers struggling with the same issues?
As mothers, let’s stop starting every struggle from scratch.
Between the book and this new digital platform, it’s been a long, crazy road to right now. There have been a lot of highs and lows that I have no doubt will continue.
And while I desperately want you to read this book right this very minute, I’m excited to use this mandatory downtime to develop even more tools to help you slay your dragon of self-doubt, sling that debilitating beast over your shoulder, and never look back.