Book deal part two and a half: leaning into joy…

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Wow, thank you so much for all the lovely comments yesterday. It was a good day and with your encouragement I let myself be properly happy.

Every time a ‘Who do you think you are?, this is all going to go wrong, you shouldn’t have told people’ voice came into my head I told myself that this is an old pattern of thinking and that it’s not being big-headed to celebrate and share good news.

In our house the worst thing you could ever be is ‘full of yourself’ (a very Irish thing) but while modesty is charming to a point, if  we don’t celebrate the good stuff, what is the point of life? The other oft-repeated phrase in our house was ‘Pride goes before a fall….’ so I always associate rare moments of being proud with the dread that something bad is going to happen. But apparently that’s normal.

I wrote a bit about this yesterday but Brene says that one of the most terrifying emotions we have is joy.

She says: ‘How many of us have thought, “Work’s going well. Good relationship with my partner. Holy crap, something bad’s going to happen.” So what is that? It’s when we lose our tolerance for vulnerability. It’s when joy becomes foreboding. We think, “I’m not gonna soften into this moment because I’m scared it’s going to be taken away. We dress rehearse tragedy to beat vulnerability to the punch.’

She continues: ‘A man once told me, “My whole life, I never got too excited about anything. That way if things didn’t work out, I wasn’t devastated, and if they did, it was a pleasant surprise.” And when this man was in his 60s, his wife of 40 years was killed in a car accident. He told me, “The second I realised she was gone, I knew I should have leaned harder into those moments of joy. Because not doing so did not protect me from what I feel now.”

So I really did lean into the joy and I’m going to try hard to do that a lot more from now on. And by ‘leaning into joy’ I don’t even mean shopping!! Yes, you’ll all be happy to know that…

I did not go out and celebrate by dropping a load of money. Hurrah! 

I didn’t celebrate with a triple frappuccino with chocolate muffin, a slap up dinner and a bottle of fizz, nor did I go out and buy a new jumper/shoes/handbag. (Although I really do need a new handbag. The one I have now has a really rough texture and it keeps bobbling the sides of all my jumpers). Instead I went to a work do, had two free wines and came home like a good girl. I don’t even have a hangover today… God, I really am changing… Also, thank you to the people who encouraged me NOT to go blow the advance and to put aside money for tax. It’s a mark of how far I’ve come that I actually found these reminders lovely and encouraging as opposed to ‘Oh my god, get a life…’.

Also, I did not get my hair done 

My friend Rebecca called last night and asked ‘What’s this about you getting a Brazilian Blow Dry?’ Me: ‘Er, dunno, but I would quite like to….’ Her: So why have you written a post about getting a Brazilian Blow Dry. Me: I didn’t, I wrote about getting a Brazilian Book Deal. Rebecca: Oh! I didn’t read it properly.

Evidently!! Just in case you haven’t heard about them, Brazilian blow dries (I guess I’m talking to male readers here) are a straightening treatment for your hair and I always think about getting one but they’re about a hundred pounds so I haven’t.

Finally, just to clarify…

This book deal is just for Brazil. I know, random

A few people have asked if the book will be published in English – it will be but not through this deal. I turned down a UK deal because it didn’t feel right at the time…. (I know, I know, it was a crazy, weird decision but listening to your gut is big in self-help land so I did)… then, randomly, a Brazilian publishing house said they liked the idea and would like to publish it in Portuguese and sell it in Brazil (a very big country!!).

So I will be writing the book in English (obviously) and they will translate it and sell it only in Brazil.  Whatever way we do it though, the book will be available in the UK too. I might try to get another UK deal or I could self-publish. I haven’t decided yet. I’ll keep you posted.

And that’s it! I’m just about to re-read Brene’s book and will do another post tomorrow. Look at me, I’m back!

Have a good day. Looks very cloudy here in London. xx


PPS – I used the phrase ‘tits up’ in yesterday’s post, classy girl that I am, and Zoe, my New York friend pointed out that it’s not a phrase anybody uses in the States. John C, a reader, then kindly informed us that ‘Tits up’ is ‘alleged military slang for ‘Total Inability To Support Usual Performance’‘ So there you go. Love those kinds of titbits. John was also the one who told me to keep money away from tax… so double thanks, John.

PPPS – The quote at the top of the page isn’t a Brene Brown one, I just really liked it. Marianne Williamson is a self-help goddess to many but I haven’t read too much of her stuff. She wrote a book called A Return to Love which includes a quote that gets shared a lot. Its a quote that either annoys me or moves me, depending on my mood but it fits right into this theme actually:

“ Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we’re liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” 




10 thoughts on “Book deal part two and a half: leaning into joy…

  1. Thanks for the name check, Marianne, reality bites back on Monday, back to work. I really hope the book deal is the start of a new chapter.for you. I haven’t read any of these self help books of yours, I must try to read a few but I don’t think there’ll be any in my field.

  2. Go Marianne!! Love the whole positive vibe of your last two posts. I’m 2/3rds of the way through The Secret and everytime I think about you and your book deal, I smile, especially as (forgive me…) you were fairly cynical at one point – writing out your cheque, and sitting in your ‘car’ in the showroom etc, who knows where this will all end, it’s really exciting huh.

    PS I’ve had a Brazilian (Blow-Dry) and they’re fab!! I swear by them, so if you really want one, go for it I say, despite the cost (well you have got a book deal!) 🙂

    Happy Thursday,

    Sarah x

  3. Brilliant news, and you are allowed to be happy. I went round in a daze, telling everyone after I got my book deal (I actually got the call from my agent when I was in the ladies’ loo in Selfridges (washing my hands, I hasten to add, rather than anything else) – and so the first people I told were two women at adjacent sinks, who looked at me as if I were deranged! And as I said on facebook, overseas publishing deals often end up being UK ones too (if that’s what you want) – so all very, very good!

    • Ah, Maria, thanks! Love the image of you in the loos, that’s lovely. When I first got the call with the UK offer, when I’d just got back from my uncle’s funeral I was in a coffee shop (surprise surprise) and sitting next to a BT engineer. I told him too! He was surprised then delighted to be included in the moment.
      Thanks very much for all the encouragement and support. Much appreciated.

  4. Thanks for that lovely quote Marianne. I needed to hear that today. I am at that scary stage of telling people about my, quite frankly awesome book idea and absorbing people’s reaction. So far everyone thinks it’s awesome too – phew! – although had a meeting today with my marketing whizz and she doesn’t like the name – agh! But she loved the idea so not a disaster. I’ve realized that I’m more scared of being successful than I am of failing.

    • Alice, you might like this quote too: ‘To put our art, our writing, our photography, our ideas out into the world with no assurance of acceptance or appreciation—that’s also vulnerability.’ It’s from Brene. Please read the book if you haven’t done already – think you’d really like it.
      Easier said than done of course but it would be nice to not judge your idea on what other people think about it. If you love it, as you do, then write it, the rest will happen as it’s meant to. Write it for it’s own sake and enjoy the creative process. I’m really talking to myself here too.
      The book deal is exciting and brilliant but what’s really fulfilling is putting words down every day, words that help me understand what I’m feeling, and also words that help me connect with others. Would love to hear more about the book if you’d like to share.
      GO FOR IT!

  5. A military phrase not popular in the US? Shocker! We better be careful or our reputation as cowboy liberators could definitely go tits up. (P.S. Can’t wait for my signed copy!!! Of your book. Not your tits.)

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