Skeered.

It’s Tuesday afternoon, which means it’s high time for some over-sharing (aw yeah, let’s talk about feelings, shall we?). The very first hot-off-the-presses copy of our book arrived via Fed Ex yesterday and it kind of melted my brain a little, I think.

We couldn’t stop beaming at it and saying things like “It’s real! It has pages! It has a cover! It has our names on it!” – but I’d be lying if I said that “crazy-pants excited” was my only response to seeing it there on the floor looking all real and book-like.

I’m also skeered. Really scared actually.

And since I’ve spilled my guts about 14 months of breast feeding, owned up to a bunch of my unglamorous $herdog quirks, and even a copped to a beyond embarrassing teenage moment caught on video with a certain platinum-haired rapper, I’m cool with dropping this whole “jittery sweaty-palmed fear is actively happening” truth bomb. I mean I think I can be described as a lot of things, but I wouldn’t call myself especially brave. I have normal insecurities and self-doubts and all that. The book is a really big thing, so it feels especially scary. And for some reason I thought that pouring my heart out in a little online ditty could be the emotional equivalent to owning it (and perhaps others who’ve struggled with similar things might chime in and make me feel less weird). So here it goes.

I think it’s one thing to keep an online DIY diary for the world to read for free, but somehow putting out a book that then exists in the universe forever feels a lot more intimidating. Sure it’s hardly a high-profile thriller or much anticipated non-fiction, but there’s something crazy about not just being able to toss up an update if there’s a sentence that’s unclear or a typo that sneaks through like we do on the blog. The words that we wrote in that manuscript back in 2011 are printed and soon they’ll be on a shelf. Lots of shelves. And it just feels a lot more weighty and permanent.

Plus people have to pay for it. We worked darn hard to keep the price down, and even though books are returnable or re-sellable (and we got on our publisher’s last nerve to keep that price down) it still feels a lot… bigger. More complicated than a blog post by about 500 percent. I mean it’s 336 pages long with 243 suggestions/tips/projects, so it’s sort of like secretly writing 243 different posts and then publishing them all at once for a fee and then not getting to update or edit them if anything about any of them calls for a little note. Wait, it’s not sort of like that, it’s exactly like that. Maybe that’s why it feels a lot scarier.

It was also pretty intimidating to plan the entire book over three years. Finalizing the outline a year and a half in advance (that’s when we pinned down every last project) and shooting all the projects nearly a year ago (in an epic three week marathon at our house where neither of us remember eating or sleeping) was definitely like nothing we’ve ever done.

It was nerve-wracking in that “what if we regret these color or fabric choices later?” kind of way.

I’ve even had nightmares that there were typos on every page, chunks of blank pages, and even a particularly vivid one about some fictitious magazine that somehow recreated every last one of our projects identically (same exact fabrics and colors!) and scooped us by publishing them before our book came out. Oh yeah, my brain can go a little nuts whirring away while I’m laying in bed thinking of all the ways this endeavor could make me want to crawl under the covers a la Burger:

But this little freak-out fest does have a silver lining. The thing that I feel the most – even stronger that the jitters and self-doubt – is actually gratitude and pride. Not “I’m an author, look at me” pride, just “wow we actually did this” pride. Sometimes I can’t believe that I somehow convinced myself (and John) to put ourselves out there and write a book. Knowing that just like our blog not everyone will love it, and that’s ok. Blogging has taught is that we can’t please all of the people all of the time, so we want to focus on the positive and amazing aspects of this experience. Whenever I’m feeling especially clammy I just remind myself that there hasn’t been a single book on the planet that was beloved by everyone who ever read it (some of my faves have 5-star reviews as well as 1-star ones) so that helps me let go of that “be perfect or you suck!” voice in the back of my mind. Imperfect = real life. Like this crazy seconds-from-a-paw-yank family photo from last week:

So you can find me hiding under the covers with Burger when I get that guts-in-knots feeling, but don’t get me started about how excited I am for the tour. I know meeting you guys will be awesome and I’m literally giddy with excitement to thank you guys in person for the love you’ve shown us. And speaking of the tour, they added four more signings! Woot.

You can see more general tour info on our book page (just click the tour dates button), but here’s the news that we have so far on the new dates:

  • RIDGEWOOD, NJ: Friday, November 2, 7pm – Bookends, 211 Ridgewood Ave, book signing. More info here.
  • WASHINGTON, DC: Saturday, December 1st, Time TBD – Living Social, 918 F Street, Talk, holiday crafting, and book signing. More details to be released here.
  • RICHMOND, VA: Sunday, December 2nd, 1pm – Mongrel, 2924 W. Cary Street, book signing. Store information here.
  • CHARLOTTE, NC: Early February. Other details TBD

*There’s also serious talk about an Atlanta stop while we’re nearby in Charlotte, so we’ll keep you posted! And of course other places like Philly & Cali are still being chatted about. We wish we had more control over what cities we’re hitting! It really is all about who invites us where (so it has nothing to do with how big a city is, it’s all about if a certain vendor or bookstore works with the dates/times/etc).

Anyway, thanks to you guys for being so excited and supportive about this whole crazy book journey! It’s kind of a big deal in our little lives, and you’re just the best readers ever. So in return we’re burning the midnight oil to churn out a bunch of projects for ya (even when we’re slipping through 20 cities we’ll be doing our best to blog at our regular pace, with lots of secretly stockpiled makeovers & projects of ours along with house crashing & window shopping adventures a plenty). Not to mention that we have another before-and-after-fest in the hopper for you tomorrow.

Not sure how to end this ramble-fest, so… word to your motha. $herdog out.

Comments

  1. S says

    Big projects make us nervous for a reason – we wouldn’t be nervous if we didn’t care, and obviously you care a lot about the book after investing so much of yourselves in it!

    I will see you in Cincinnati Saturday – I am ridiculously excited!!! Thanks for coming to my neck of the woods.

  2. Marie Kovarik says

    Don’t be afraid, Sherry. We love your blog, and your whole fam, and soon we’ll all love your book too. I can’t wait to see you guys in Chicago.

  3. says

    Is it weird that I feel a little bit scared for you guys? Probably…but I’ve followed your little blog for a while now and I’m so happy that you guys finally published a book! Call me old-fashioned, but something about having a physical book with pages to turn just has some kind of magic that the ol’ interweb can’t compete with.

  4. says

    A huge congrats! And so amazing to see your name come up as the author. So much good comes from riding that edge of discomfort – that’s where the neat stuff happens when you stick with it. But you two know that already! Can’t wait to read it!

    • Anika says

      Love the way you said that, Marlena – “riding the edge of discomfort” – and it’s so true. Hang in there Sherry (and John!); you know you have a strong ‘fan’ base that will come out to support you and this new endeavor, and we too are extremely grateful for this book! Can’t wait to meet you guys in person – crazy!

      And seriously, take a break while you’re touring! We will all survive a day or two without an update – you guys definitely deserve to just enjoy your hard earned moment!

    • Mia says

      I totally agree with Marlena – it’s important to push yourself beyond where you’re comfortable. That’s when you make a difference…now if you’ll only schedule a little stop up here in northern New England :)

    • Jamie D says

      I’m also on board the train that wants you all to not feel like you have to post every single day on the book tour. Do some fun Instagrams or Facebook posts of your travels, or make your posts about the tour, instead of feeling like you HAVE to post about projects. The true fans would probably all agree!!!

    • says

      I’m not sure I can handle a day or two without an update. LOL

      Come to Paris! You know you want to! :-)

      Part of the reason I come to this blog is I know I’m getting to read about the real life of the bloggers. Keep it up- thousands of us are behind you.

      (Katie Bower would insert butt joke here.)

  5. Jennifer W says

    am I misreading that “sign two book deal” part or does that mean you’ll have another book?

    Either way, congratulations! And that’s awesome they added Charlotte!!

  6. says

    By the looks of the schedule, it appears you might have family/friends time in the NOVA/DC area. If so, good for you all! You deserve it!

    Might I suggest taking homemade treats on the road, if you have any that are special to your tummies? I always make sure I have what makes me happy when traveling (and will pinch back on the grocery bill at other times to ensure this “safety food travel fund” reality).

    Something else on food I learned recently, microwaveable popcorn packets make a really good dinner when one is stuck/not really hungry for local fares while on travel.

  7. Melissa says

    I am incredibly excited to get my book signed at your first DC stop! But you know what, I think part of the reason that you guys have so many followers on your blog, and so many people who leave comments is *because* you two are super real. You never try to be anything you’re not, and you always fess up when something doesn’t go right (a la John and the deck :( )and I think that makes us mere DIY mortals a bit more willing to take the risk and try something new. You guys keep on being your awesome, real selves…and we’ll keep trying to do things ourselves!

    • Nicole says

      I agree with this wholeheartedly! We love you because your real and can relate to you on many levels. Congratulations on your book, it is a big deal to your fans as well and most of us don’t even know you personally! See you in Toronto!

  8. Emma says

    I hope Atlanta gets added!!! What a wonderful post, I think it takes a lot of guts to put yourself out there like that! Good for you guys!

    • says

      me, too! atlanta! atlanta! atlanta! if you come here, you can crash my house. i have a yellow doooooor. heck, you can crash AT my house—unless twin 4-year-old boys scare you.

      and as far as your fears go … typos = real, and real is why we like you. fabric/color remorse = a little slice of history. (you’re too young to remember, but in the 70s people chose to have avocado green refrigerators!) your book is a time capsule—a thing of beauty and a joy forever. you should be so proud!! you give us free advice, free stories and free smiles every day. i am excited and honored to BUY your book!

  9. Kati says

    So sad not to see a blue star in the middle of that map! Midwesterns DIY too! LOL! Congrats on everything though, I am on pins and needles waiting for my book copy to arrive at my house!