I Started.

After weeks and months of harrassing my husband with questions and ‘what if’ situations, I finally listened to him tonight. It may be the first time. It may be the only time. But that is how it goes when you are always right.

Tonight I started writing my cookbook proposal. Tonight I started pouring stories of Mother Lovett out on paper, for the first time other than on my blog. For those of you who don’t know, Mother Lovett was blind as a bat, legally deaf, stubborn as all hell, and baked a fabulous cake. She left us this past April, almost one year ago.

For a few months, I have been tossing around the idea of writing a cookbook chock-full of not only her recipes, but her stories. Her stories of strength, stubbornness, and vitality. Her stories of marrying her dead husband’s brother, and being most excited that she didn’t need to change her last name. Her stories of fondling every shrimp on the shrimp cocktail platter, before choosing the one she found to be most worthy. Her stories of scooting down the grocery store aisle, pushing her cart and wondering out loud if the maxi-pads in her cart had wings.

And do you know what I’ve learned so far? It is hard. It is freakin‘ hard.

Not writing about her. That comes easily. She provided us with 88 years of laugh-out-loud tales, and sometimes I don’t even know where to begin.

But writing this cookbook proposal is hard.

I do not possess patience. Patience isn’t even in my vocabulary. A victim of the internet generation, I want everything now, and yesterday would have been even better.

I debated talking about it on the blog. I’ve talked myself out of it time and time again. In fact, all I find myself doing is talking to myself. I think my husband is about to have me committed.

What if I jinx myself?

What credentials do I have?

Will people wonder, ‘who does she think she is?’

Am I even a good writer?!?!?

I’m setting myself up for failure.

I’ve never written a professional or published article in my life – I’m insane!

I’ve been over and over and over this in my head for months. I’ve been driving my husband crazy, constantly asking him questions. I keep asking myself ‘should I do this? Am I setting myself up for failure? Am I going to embarrass myself by publicly writing about?’

I finally realized – I want to be that person that does it. I don’t want to talk about it constantly, analyzing the situation and telling myself I’ll start next week. The fact is – I have nothing else to do. There is nothing else in this world that I want to do more. If I don’t do this, I will be lost.

I want to be a do-er. I don’t want to be a talker.

A huge (read: HUGE!) part of me is scared that I am jinxing myself. What if I write about it and it never happens? I expect to be rejected, but what if I am forever rejected? Will people laugh at me?

I’ve decided that it just can’t be a possibility. I’m going to do what I want to do, and work until it gets done. If I want to be successful, I need to put myself out there.

So tonight, I started the book proposal. I can’t believe I’m putting myself out there. I can’t believe I’m WRITING IT DOWN. And even though I don’t have a book deal, and may never ever have a book deal, I really need to thank you all. I would have never had the idea, courage, knowledge, or passion to do this if I hadn’t started blogging. And I certainly never would have started something like this without the overwhelming, amazing outreach that I have received from all of you.

Out of all the lessons Mother Lovett has taught me – from baking, to loving, to never giving up; from using expired dairy products to finding stool softener in the grocery store – I never would have thought she would be teaching me patience.

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58 Responses to “I Started.”

  1. #
    Caitlin@TheTwentyFifthYear — January 13, 2010 @ 6:34 pm

    Jessica I am SO glad to read you have decided to do this. After you told us on Sunday, I wondered if you’d take it to the next step! This is so exciting and I can totally see it all coming together with pictures and stories! AND I can totally be your publicist – I’ve got the experience and I can have coffee with you while we map out your book tour!!


  2. #
    Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction — January 14, 2010 @ 6:54 pm

    That’s awesome! I would love to read your cookbook! My husband is always pushing me to do things like that. I know how hard it can be to put yourself out there like that. Best of luck!


  3. #
    Jenny — January 17, 2010 @ 7:34 am

    Congrats on starting your cookbook proposal! I do NOT think you are jinxing yourself in anyway by sharing this with us. I talked about applying to grad school, and yes it’s possible I won’t get in and that will be sad, but I talked about it on my blog to share the experience. Experiences are full of meaningful emotions and discoveries, and I really appreciate your willingness to share all of this.

    And for what it’s worth, your stories from Mother Lovett as well as the way you write daily are very intriguing and attention-grabbing for me. I love reading your blog!

    Best of luck!


  4. #
    Lauren — January 17, 2010 @ 3:01 pm

    Sorry, I am so late on getting to this but CONGRATULATIONS!!!! I am so proud of you for starting this amazing endeavor. Good for you for following your dreams! :)

    We are all 1000% behind you my dear.


  5. #
    Mary — January 17, 2010 @ 8:47 pm

    I am looking forward to getting this cookbook when it comes out. Every time you share a recipe from Mother Lovett, it is one I save to make in the (hopefully) near future.

    Good luck with everything and I look forward to updates about the progress of your new cookbook!


  6. #
    Avanika (Yumsilicious Bakes) — February 3, 2010 @ 6:44 am

    Congratulations :) I’m new to your blog, so I can’t say much, but each time I visit, I go through a bunch of archives, and even read non-food posts, which I NEVER ever do!! So you can be sure that you are a great writer, and I will buy this book when it comes out!


  7. #
    Deb (SmoothieGirlEatsToo) — February 10, 2010 @ 12:22 pm

    OMG hilarious about being thrilled not to change her name, fondling shrimp and wondering about the maxi-pad wings. And how wonderful that she’s teaching you patience. I find that those people who leave us, leave us with gifts that we discover later in our journey.

    The fact that you have started and that you will get pleasure out of writing about her means that you are a success. You are immortalizing an amazing woman- and that means more than publishing/selling/etc.

    Think about all of the crap that gets “published” or made into movies. Stuff that millions upon millions of dollars get sunk into, and they are sheer and utter crap- not worth the two hours of your life to spend watching, or the eye-strain of reading. This world is not fair with regards to things monetary.

    Kudos to you- can’t wait to read all about her- she’s the stubborn swede right?


  8. #
    Cassie — August 19, 2011 @ 6:06 pm

    are you still planning on publishing a cook book? if so i cant wait to buy it


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