Say F**K it to a book deal

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A couple of months ago I said F**K It to something quite major and I didn’t tell you about it because I worried I’d made a big mistake. I was worried that it was a sure sign that self-help had made me crazy.

In April I was offered a book deal and I turned it down.

I was offered something that I’ve dreamt of my whole life and said ‘No, thanks.’

The offer came when I’d just got back from my uncle’s funeral. My lovely five star hot shot agent called me just after I’d got off an overnight ferry from Ireland and instead of thinking ‘Oh my god! Oh my god! Oh my god’ I just thought: ‘Oh.’

I put my apathy down to sadness but when I was sitting in the conference room of the big publishing house, a couple of weeks later, I felt exactly the same.

There I was having a meeting with a real life book editor who was saying nice things to me and offering me coffee and croissants, and instead of wanting to jump for joy it all felt wrong.

The publishers had ideas about what should and shouldn’t be put on the blog and how much publicity I could or couldn’t do around it – and even though everything they said was perfectly reasonable, it didn’t feel right.

I didn’t want anybody telling me what I could or couldn’t do – it seemed to go against the whole idea behind this project. I didn’t want this – whatever ‘this’ is – to belong to anybody else but me.

Around the same time I was also approached by a few television people who were interested in doing documentaries on the project. I had fancy meetings in fancy places and it was all great for the ego but my feeling after every meeting was ‘No’.

And so I said ‘No’ to everything and then tumbled into a spiral of self-doubt.

I was proud of myself for having the guts to follow my, well, gut – but I worried that I was crazy too. I’m broke and here are people offering me money – not mega bucks but good bucks – and I’m passing on it. I’ve always wanted to write a book and this was a big, reputable publishing house saying ‘yes, write a book for us!’ and I’ve gone, ‘no, ta.’

What I was doing made no sense, rationally.

Then I did F**K it last week and for the first time in ages I absolutely trust what I’m doing.

Unsurprisingly trusting your gut is big in F**K It land.

In Urbino we had a lot of conversations about why we strive for the things we strive for.

We want the big job because we hope it’ll make us feel better about ourselves. We want more money because it’ll let us buy nicer clothes and a bigger house, which in turn, we hope will make us feel better about ourselves. We want to impress others because we think that if other people like us enough, we’ll feel better about ourselves. But then we get to where we thought we wanted to be, that place we thought we’d feel good about ourselves and there’s still a hole and so we push ourselves more and more.

And on we go forever.

The truth is – and this is such a cliché it’s ridiculous – we have all we need to be happy right now. No matter what kind of situation we are in.

I was thinking about why I wanted a book deal in the first place – and basically it’s status, prestige and ego. I want to be able to tell people that I’ve written a book and I want them to be impressed. I want to tell myself that I have written a book and be impressed. I wanted the outside validation that what I’m doing is good. That I’m good. Enough.

But ultimately that’s bull. Good enough for what and for who? And who cares? The reality is that I’m getting up and writing every day and doing something I love (well, some days I struggle but that’s life). It doesn’t need to be a book or a film to be worthwhile.

Since starting this project my life been more weird, wonderful, moving, challenging, hard, fun, random and gorgeous than I could have expected. I’ve been having conversations and experiences I would never have imagined. I’m getting lovely messages from lovely people (thank you).

This is it – I don’t need anything else.

It goes back to that comment I made to my friend Rebecca when the whole talk of a book deal came up in February. I got all excited that the book would be made into a film and I’d be filthy rich and fantastic. ‘Imagine how much fun we’ll have!” I said to Rebecca while googling ‘LA beach house’. Rebecca’s answer will always stay with me: ‘But we’re already having fun, aren’t we?’

We were and we are. I am.

In Italy we were each asked to pick a tarot card type thing from a deck. I usually hate this kind of crap but the one I picked out seemed so perfect it gave me a shiver.

It was called Moment to Moment and this is what it said: ‘You can be in the present only if you are not ambitious – no accomplishments, no desire to achieve power, money, prestige, even enlightenment because all ambition leads you to the future. Only a non-ambitious man can remain in the present.’

And so here I am turning my back on ambition, on the things that make financial and professional sense. It’s scary. My life feels in free fall (just to be dramatic about it) but so be it.

John and Gaia say we have to trust the world is on our side and realise that we’re never really in control anyway. They say that when we let go good things happen. As soon as you let go of the wanting, planning and controlling, things fall into place. Amazing stuff that you could never have predicted or imagined can happen.

And yesterday their point seemed to be proved. I met with my lovely five star hot shot who told me I’ve been offered a book deal in Brazil. how random is that?! They aren’t worried about what I do on the blog over the rest of the year they just love the idea and want the book. So there you go. I’m going to be big in Brazil. Maybe.

Nothing’s signed yet, so no doubt things can fall through but just the very idea of a Brazilian book deal has tickled me pink.

I’m now googling ‘beach house Rio’ and going on a crash diet. Only joking. I’m sitting in my sister’s house in East London, drinking tea, listening to Stevie Wonder on the radio and looking at the roses in her garden. All is well, book deal or no book deal.





43 thoughts on “Say F**K it to a book deal

    • Tracey thank you. And I’m sorry I’ve still got your collection tins – they will make their way back to you, with money in them, at some point. Thanks very much for reading and for messaging, it means a lot. How’s life with you? Anything new to report? x

      • There’s probably no right or wrong, just apples and pears (I think that’s Feel the fear and do it anyway’ talking!). But it seems like you did it all ‘right’, namely giving yourself time to think it through but then making a decision based on your own truth. I can relate. And that inner compass hasn’t seen me wrong yet! I’m cool thanks, juggling lots of big things but getting there…

      • Elizabeth, yes you’re right re right and wrong. Just what’s right for you on the day and beyond that who knows what’s going to happen but to quote Susan Jeffers ‘It’s all happening perfectly…’ Good luck with your big things. x

  1. Great post! I’ve been following your blog over the past few months and it’s really lovely. I think you are 100% right to listen to your inner voice and it takes real guts do so….bravo!

  2. Well done you, it is so inspiring to follow your journey and we could all benefit from listening to our guts more. I’m going to Uni in Sept at the age of 58 and it feels so right in my gut. For the first time in my life I am doing what I want and saying F**k it to worrying about having no money. I always try to just enjoy what I have now since losing my son 3 years ago. Shortly after he died I went to ‘The Hill that breathes’ which was John and Gaiais home and retreat centre in Urbino and it is a magical place and I met some amazing people. Keep following your gut and write what makes you happy x

    • Ann, thank you! Fantastic about uni, that’s so exciting. What will you study? And where? The money will come. At least that’s what I’m telling myself. And as for enjoying what you have now, I’m realising that’s the name of the game – even, if as in your case, you’ve had great sadness. You’re a fantastic person, sounds like you’ve done a lot of soul searching and thinking. Thanks for sharing. The F**K IT retreat is not at their place anymore but loved Johh and Gaia. Want to go back already. Thanks for reading and taking the time to message. x

  3. You are amazing, loved this post so much. Feel really inspired and kind of humbled by it as well. Thanks for sharing the wisdom from your fab retreat. One of my colleagues is guy in his 80ies who qualified to teach the Alexander Technique just a couple of years ago. He is very proper and wonderful and one day decided that he could take the the F***k it principle on board only if we decided that it was actually the Phuket principle!
    Also, I need to tell you that I met a friend for coffee yesterday who mentioned your blog and was totally impressed/amazed/jealous that I have met you. You are celebrity! And tons of congrats on the Brazilian Book deal!!!!!!

    • Alex, thank you very much. I don’t feel very amazing but seem to be throwing myself off the cliff anyway and we’ll see what happens. F**K It. That’s so funny re your friend. Can send her an autograph for a fee – ha ha!! Like the Phuket principle too. Thanks for messaging, how is life and work with you? Reading any good books? xx

  4. I second all the replies…. I love reading your blog… and also the replies! I’m sort of living it through you at the moment (especially Italy!!) …. so please keep them coming till I get brave and say F**K It too!!!! xx

  5. You’ve come so far right in front of our eyes these past months and it’s awesome. Thanks for sharing your journey – I’m also wise-ing up this year and it is joyous. By the way, I can totally see a big Hollywood movie about your project!! (P.S. How do you spell wiseing? Looks wrong!)

    • Ah, Alice thanks! No idea re wise-ing but it looks good to me. Re the film – what will be will be. And for once not just saying that! But if the mega-massive hit book become a mega-massive film you’ll be invited to the premiere. Thanks for reading and always writing such supportive comments. In what way are you wise-ing up? xx

  6. Wonderful and inspiring post as always. I once watched a fab film called ‘Under the Tuscan Sun’ in it there is a line someone says…’the worst thing that can happen is it’s a mistake’. That sentence has always stuck with me as it reminds me nothing is that bigger deal, sounds similar to the F*** It principle. Congrats on sticking to your heart about the book and film. Lovely to hear more perfect doors are opening up for you elsewhere.

  7. I absolutely bloody love this blog. I just love it. It is perfect. I am so glad that you just did what was right for you and I am so glad for your sisters garden in East London and you’re friend who reminded you that you were already having fun. I know a guy/writer who who lives Leicestershire. Most people in England have never heard of him. Most people in the world have never heard of him. Except in Taiwan. In Taiwan – he is huge! He wrote something that appealed to that culture. In his home town he walks around unrecognised ( he’s happy with this) – in Taiwan… he’s huge! He’s happy with that too!

    • Ha!! Funny. He’s big in Taiwan – I love it. And I could be big in Brazil. Maybe. We’ll see. So glad you like the blog, these messages make me want to burst with happiness. THANK YOU. Have a nice weekend. xx

  8. Best post ever! I am an INFJ with a very well developed sense of intuition so I nearly always make decisions based on how I feel about something, what vibe I get from things. The funny thing is every single time I listen to that voice, my life falls into place in the most beautiful way. Not always the most lucrative way and definitely not in the most logical way but perfect for who I am. My friends don’t understand the decisions I make, but I have learned to be ok with that and not need their sign-off/approval.

    I think it is so great that you are able to say “all is well”, I think it is so good you didn’t sell your soul (internal knowing) and your freedom (re blog) away for money, but I am equally glad that you do have the potential to have a book published and get to share your experiences with others. My sense is that you are made to be a published writer, and I have every confidence you will be.

    • Michelle! Thank you thank you thank you! Such nice words. I am pretty sure my friend told me she thought I was an INFJ too. (Jo? is that right?!) Most of my friends were brilliant about my decision but a couple were confused but, as you say, that’s fine – I don’t need their approval. Although I would, one day, like to make at least one financially lucrative decision in my life!! Thanks so much for reading and messaging. How are you? Where are you based? x

      • Hi Marianne. I’m good, although I think I could do with some F**K it therapy myself – definitely in relationship to finances, but also in relationship to dating at the moment. I hear your pain re finances but I have a feeling that something lucrative will come out of this blog for you – so I’m going to hold that hope for you even when you are doubting and freaking out that you are making bad decisions. I love that you are INFJ too! I’m based in Dunedin, New Zealand. Currently winter here and a bit cold (about 7 degrees). Keep writing. I love it. You inspire me!

      • Michelle, thanks! I’ll keep writing and believing that money will appear, which it will, but actually a lot of what Kate Northrup says is staying in my head. You could give me mega bucks now and I’d find a way to get myself in the same situation. I’m very childish and scared around money, so don’t tackle it head on or take responsibility. That needs to change. Love the way that you’re messaging from Dunedin. How’s the dating going? Dare I ask?!

      • Badly! I’ve met two amazing guys recently, been on the best dates of my life but sadly neither of them has worked out, even though I can tell both of them were attracted to me. Are guys just commitment-phobicc or is there something I’m not seeing? Seriously beginning to doubt myself! Although I do feel really grateful and lucky to have even met these guys and felt these feelings cos I haven’t felt something for anyone in years!

      • I have no idea – I’ve had about three situations like that, where I’ve had dream dates/weekends with guys – the kind of stuff where you’re finishing each other’s sentences and there’s instant chemistry but then boom. Silence. Never hear from them again. Don’t get it but what can you do?! Just keep going I guess and yes, it’s a relief to even know that there are guys out there who you can like. Progress! Keep in touch… and F**K em!!!

  9. Thank you Marianne for making me see how my outlook, on a whole other topic, is contributing to my unhappiness. You never know this project could turn you into a very wise young woman and that’s worth a fair bit!

  10. Amazing post, Marianne, so inspiring. 🙂 And I remember your “Secret” posts, when you wished for the book deal, and hey, there you go, it came to your way. I will definitely dig out that book from the bottom of my old suitcase. 🙂
    Joking aside, I love your blog, and can’t wait every week to read your new posts. If your book happens to be published in English in Brazil (a girl can hope), I’m surely a customer to buy it. 🙂

    • Where are you based Monika? Are you in Brazil? I think I’ll self-publish the book as an ebook in English too, so promise you’ll be able to read a copy. Thanks so much for the lovely words – and yes, as much as I struggled with the Secret there is something in it. John and Gaia, in F**K It land, absolutely believe in the Power of Attraction and manifesting. I think I need to read more books on it, other than The Secret, to see if I can believe too. I want to. Thanks again for writing and for liking the blog. It means so much. xx

  11. I’m only catching up on F**k It therapy posts now (shakes fist at sun) but it’s wonderful stuff. That’s fantastic about Brazil – you’ll be a hit!!

  12. It is always right to listen to your gut, otherwise the decision would make you unhappy in the long run. I just did the same: being unemployed at the moment and looking for a new job, I took the difficult decision to turn down a seemingly good job offer, as my gut said “never, ever will I be happy in that job”. But it took courage, you never know, if you will ever get a new offer, especially if you are a certain age. Only 1 week later I was lucky and got a much better offer, which I happily accepted.
    Marianne and by the way, I love your blog! It takes much courage to write so openly about your fears and doubts, even if we all have the same fears and can relate perfectly. And we regard to the book publishing: this will surely happen one day and if not, this is also ok. With Susan Jeffers words: “It’s all happening perfectly”.

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