Hello, my beautiful friends! I know it’s been a little while. 7 weeks, to be exact! But 7 is my favourite number (my birthday is 7/7) so it felt like as good a time as any to make a return. :)
There are so many things I want to share right now. I’m a big believer in only writing blog posts when you feel like you have something to say, rather than forcing yourself to stick to a strict schedule. I have also taken enough short periods of time off from the blog to learn that distance always helps me generate new ideas—and after 7 weeks, I now have an abundance of them! But first, I want to share some general updates on what I’ve been doing, consuming, and thinking about so far this year.
What I’ve Been Doing
As you probably imagined, I’ve spent the majority of the past 7 weeks promoting The Year of Less. I knew I would have to leave a couple weeks of my calendar open for any possible press opportunities, but I was not prepared for how all-consuming this launch would become. The week before it came out, Raincoast Books (my Canadian distributor) told me they were making it one of their lead titles of the season, which also meant they would be setting up a bunch of Canadian press, etc. That’s when I learned that book launches are a HUGE TEAM EFFORT. I honestly feel like I won the lottery, and have no idea how I got so lucky to have an entire team of people working on this for me. I mean, I know now that this is how they make a living too! But up until a week before the book came out, I genuinely had no idea how this part of the publishing process worked. It’s all been so fascinating, and I’m just extremely grateful to be part of this experience.
So for the past 7 weeks, I have been doing A LOT of press. In the first week alone, I did 30 interviews (more than half of which were radio). I also got to do my first live TV interviews in Vancouver, and am now in Toronto to do more (I talked to Ben Mulroney yesterday! And was a guest on THE SOCIAL!). I was SO overwhelmed by how many friends in the personal finance + minimalism spaces reached out and offered to have me on their podcasts, spread the word, do giveaways, etc. (Thank you, thank you, thank you, my friends!) And then a couple big things happened I still can’t really believe!? Like Vogue listed TYOL as 1 of 7 nonfiction books to change your life in 2018. CBC Books listed it as a work of Canadian nonfiction to watch out for. And then there was this little article in The New York Times! Yep, I’m still pinching myself about that one.
It has been an incredible time, friends. And something I can’t imagine I will ever experience again!? I mean, I guess I could write more books and have more launches. But TYOL will only come out once, so I have been trying to soak it all up! As such, I haven’t been doing a whole lot of, you know, actual work!? Whenever I have downtime, I’ve been trying to get some quality time in with family/friends, and also going out for walks/snowshoe adventures (and sharing pics of those on Instagram). I’m so grateful for the interviews, but they can also drain my usually-introverted self. But after this little Canadian book tour, I am guessing the press will die down and things can go back to business as usual. I’m still not sure what the “usual” looks like, because it feels like a lot has changed, and the book has opened up some doors I didn’t even know were an option for me before!? But slowly and surely, I will figure this stuff out.
What I’ve Been Consuming
Ok, so aside from doing all the things related to the book launch, there’s one thing I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about + trying to change this year, and that’s how I’m consuming information. It started with my decision to cancel my Netflix membership. That’s something I was toying around with for a month or so, then pulled the plug in early January and have been living without it ever since. I will write a full post about this soon, but for now I will say that it is not my intention to never watch Netflix again. I just entered 2018 knowing I wanted to spend less time watching television—and that’s exactly what I’ve been doing. Here’s a list of the books I’ve read, podcasts I’ve been listening to, and blogs/newsletters I’ve been enjoying this year.
- Rework by Jason Fried + David Heinemeier Hansson
- Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
- Bored and Brilliant by Manoush Zomorodi
- Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
- Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon
- Show Your Work! by Austin Kleon
- Indestructible by Allison Fallon – my fave, so far!
- Harry Potter #1 by J.K. Rowling
As you might notice, a lot of them have been on the topic of creativity (although Ally’s memoir has definitely been my fave). I’m also in the middle of reading: Meet Cute, Let the Elephants Run and Scratch.
- Hurry Slowly – new fave!
- Note to Self – how to use technology more intentionally (she’s the author of Bored and Brilliant)
- Terrible, Thanks for Asking – warning: will probably make you cry
- Real Talk Radio – discovered Alli Owen, who is a new FI blogger! also, some very real talk in this ep
- Being Boss – an old fave I have been listening to since they first launched in January 2015
I’ve also been listening to basically every interview Ruthie Lindsey has done (just search her name in iTunes and you’ll find some) and I think I read she’s starting a podcast!? Fingers crossed that’s true.
At the beginning of this year, I deleted my Feedly account and decided to change the way I find/read blogs. Instead of scrolling through hundreds (even thousands) of blog post titles each week, I have started signing up for people’s newsletters again—and I am loving getting the updates and inspiration delivered right to my inbox. Here are some of the ones I’ve been enjoying. If you have any faves, please tell me about them!
- Weekly Letters from Jen Carrington
- Sunday Dispatches from Paul Jarvis
- Teacup Owls from Elin Lööw
- and I support my friends Tammy + Nicole and love the newsletters for their members
(As a side note: this is the exact opposite of how I have been consuming content for the past few years, so here’s a reminder that you are allowed to change the way you do things.)
What I’ve Been Thinking About
Aside from cancelling Netflix, one of the other reasons I’ve been able to change the way I consume information in 2018 is because Jay and I both stopped working on Rockstar Finance at the beginning of the year. For the past three years, it has been my job to read as many blog posts published in the personal finance space as possible. That was an incredible privilege, and I am so grateful that we were able to help so many bloggers by sharing their amazing content on the site! But it wasn’t until walking away that I realized how many hours I would get back each week—and that I would have so many other interests and ideas for what to do with them!
I have become obsessed with the idea of finding inspiration from other sources. That means not consuming as much of what’s created by people in the same space, but instead consuming content created by people who are in entirely different fields. I’ve been reading about design (and following more designers/makers on Instagram), writing, baking and what it means to live more seasonally. I have also thought a lot about creativity, and some of my fears (and also big ideas!) around what it means to live a more creative life. I don’t know what all of this means for me yet, but it feels really good to be exploring new topics and thinking outside the box.
One thing I know for sure: I’m so happy to “be back”! I have missed writing and missed you. And I’d love to hear how 2018 has been for you, so far. :)