WELL HELLO MY FRIENDS! This is me hitting the surface after a couple weeks on a deep dive in the book-writing ocean. *Big, celebratory inhale*
As most of you know, Christine Koh and I are writing a book together: Minimalist Parenting: Enjoy Modern Family Life More by Doing Less. In my case, as we approached the submit-the-manuscript-to-the-editor date, it meant doing more book-writing and less of everything else — which is why you haven't seen me during the last couple weeks here or in social media. But I am so very excited to tell you that the first draft of Minimalist Parenting is finished and is sitting on our editor's virtual desk.
So much about writing a book has surprised me (and we're still only at the beginning). I wrote books before blogging, so I naively thought going into Minimalist Parenting that I knew what to expect. But, so far, this is a totally different game, in the best possible way. Christine's and my partnership has been the best thing to happen to my writing since…I don't know, getting a computer in college. She has inspired me in so many ways. Talking about what I've learned through my own experience and here at Parent Hacks — about connecting with other parents, but ultimately finding solutions that work for your family — has been incredibly powerful. And the actual writing has been fun.
I had intended to talk more here about the process of putting together the first draft, but it turns out that now is actually a better time to talk about Minimalist Parenting. Our ideas and stories are consolidated in a way that makes them easier to talk about now. The book will change a lot during the editing process, so there's still lots of opportunity for your input and wisdom.
While the manuscript being edited, I'm enjoying the sunshine. My daughter's ninth birthday was yesterday, and I'm amazed by that. (Funny how you watch your kids grow every day, but then there are moments that slap you upside the head and say LOOK AT THIS. Her birthday was one of those.)
Later this week, my family and I fly to Park City, Utah for the Evo Conference. I'm speaking on a panel with two fabulous writers, Doug French of Laid Off Dad and Helen Jane Hearn of HelenJane.com, on the interaction between blogging and offline relationships. Talk about fertile ground for a conversation! I'm so excited for this conference (my first time at Evo): old friends will be there, looking forward to meeting new friends, and I get to share the whole thing with my family. This is a biggie. Conferences used to be my grownup-solo time. As my kids get older, the less I need or want that. I find myself looking for more ways to involve Rael and my kids in my writing and online work…bringing my two "lives" together where I can.
In the coming months, the edited manuscript will return for its next round of polishing, there will be new hacks and new posts at The Accidental Expert (my Babble Voices blog), plus plenty more. But for now, it's a good time for us all to just breathe and notice how fast these kids (and we) are growing.
I hope YOU are having a wonderful summer.