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. #
    Amy from She Wears Many Hats — January 11, 2010 @ 6:19 pm

    Baby steps baby. Take one thing at a time and you’ll get there for sure. And with a big crowd of cheerleaders behind you all the way! Rock on!


  2. #
    Evan Thomas — January 11, 2010 @ 6:20 pm

    Congrats on taking the first step! I think that’s half the battle with anything


  3. #
    Lily @ Lily's Health Pad — January 11, 2010 @ 6:20 pm

    Congratulations! I KNOW that you will write a good cookbook. You ARE a good writer!


  4. #
    Abby — January 11, 2010 @ 6:22 pm

    This is great! I’m so glad you’re writing it allll down! And I promise that I for one would buy and read your cookbook… but I can’t say I’d make anything out of it :)


  5. #
    tony ramirez — January 11, 2010 @ 6:25 pm

    Thats so awesome. It really is! Most people get so caught up in talking about their ideas but never really taking action on them. I find myself doing it too, which makes me feel bad. You definitely just inspired me right now, to get up and do work. I have all these great ideas in my head about doing this and that, but haven’t gotten around to do any of it. I’m glad you decided to take action and share with everyone that you have. You may not realize it but even when you don’t notice, you are being an influence to someone else.
    This quote reminds me and goes perfect with this post:
    “I’d rather take the shot and miss, then to live with the fact of never taking the shot”


  6. #
    christy from pittsburgh — January 11, 2010 @ 6:26 pm

    yay!!!!!! i can’t wait!!! if you need a guinea pig to try out recipes, you know who to ask!!


  7. #
    Stef — January 11, 2010 @ 6:31 pm

    i’ll be first in line to buy your book!!!


  8. #
    Nicole — January 11, 2010 @ 6:34 pm

    Good for you for writing it down and starting!! I can imagine it took a tremendous amount of courage! You ARE a fantastic writer and you have so many people that love your blog – it will translate into a “real” book too! very excited to see what is to come! (no pressure though haha)


  9. #
    Whitney @ Lettuce Love — January 11, 2010 @ 6:37 pm

    Congrats on taking the first step!


  10. #
    Rose — January 11, 2010 @ 6:38 pm

    Congrats to you for taking the first big step! You can do it!


  11. #
    Heather @ The Joyful Kitchen — January 11, 2010 @ 6:41 pm

    once again, i am crying at your unabashed candidness. you’re going to do such great things with this book, YOUR book :)


  12. #
    julie — January 11, 2010 @ 6:49 pm

    yay!!! girl what have you got to lose right!? you’re an amazing cook and recipe creator and you’re fun and a great writer :) so only the best will happen for you! just keep truckin and following your passion and anything can happen!


  13. #
    Jessie (Vegan-minded) — January 11, 2010 @ 6:54 pm

    Wow, congratulations! From reading your blog I can tell that you are a wonderful writer, and I would love to read your book one day. Good for you for overcoming your fears and taking the first step! :)


  14. #
    April — January 11, 2010 @ 7:02 pm

    I can’t wait to buy the book! I know she is smiling down at you right now :D I be my gma Hommel is telling her how she made her homemade noodles. I wish I had written down all of her recipes.


  15. #
    Ally (Sweet & Savory) — January 11, 2010 @ 7:27 pm

    This is great! Good job on taking this first step. I also have the dream of one day writing a cookbook….but until then I’ll buy yours!


  16. #
    Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg — January 11, 2010 @ 7:31 pm

    BEST, BEST, BEST of luck!!! Good for you for biting the bullet and taking the plunge!


  17. #
    homecookedem — January 11, 2010 @ 7:31 pm

    Woohoo!! Good luck!! :)


  18. #
    Mrs. Practically Pefect — January 11, 2010 @ 7:33 pm

    I’m so excited for you! I think it’s courageous and a lot of hard work, but I’m glad that you’ve STARTED. I think that, in the end, you and everyone who knows you will be so proud :-) I wish you the best of luck!


  19. #
    Lindsay — January 11, 2010 @ 7:48 pm

    I know lots of people who have written cookbooks and you have the same if not more talent to do so yourself. No go get em!


  20. #
    Jamie — January 11, 2010 @ 7:50 pm

    CONGRATS!! I would buy it :)


  21. #
    Lindsay — January 11, 2010 @ 7:50 pm

    whoops, meant to say, NOW GO GET EM! hehe..


  22. #
    Jessica — January 11, 2010 @ 8:05 pm

    You can do it!!!


  23. #
    Joy — January 11, 2010 @ 8:11 pm

    you can doooo it! can’t wait to get it!


  24. #
    Mara @ What's For Dinner? — January 11, 2010 @ 8:11 pm

    WAHOO! The first step is SO HUGE!!! One step at a time and you’ll get there…


  25. #
    Dimitry — January 11, 2010 @ 8:50 pm

    Congrats, and you can do it, I’m not there yet maybe next year.


  26. #
    Julie @savvyeats — January 11, 2010 @ 8:56 pm

    I honestly just squealed aloud when I read this. If you need any recipe testers, I would be more than happy to oblige, you know ;)

    So excited for you!!


  27. #
    Cheryl — January 11, 2010 @ 9:11 pm

    You’ll never know until you try! Just in the brief stories you wrote about her, I would read that, and I’m sure enjoy the recipes too:) Do it for yourself and no one else:)


  28. #
    genesis — January 11, 2010 @ 9:20 pm

    i’ve been a lurker for a while (that sounds creepy), but I wanted to tell you GO FOR IT! out of everyone who has been all of a sudden getting book deals up the wazzu, yours would be one I would buy, and thats the truth.


  29. #
    Linda — January 11, 2010 @ 9:31 pm

    Woot! You can do it!


  30. #
    Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) — January 11, 2010 @ 10:32 pm

    I think it’s amazing that you’re wanting to write, be it a cookbook, a memoir of Mother L. Whatever it is, it’s awesome. It’s fab that you’re starting. As we all know, just starting can be the hardest part. Once you get going, momentum can help pull u thru the rough patches :)
    Mazel Tov!!!!!!


  31. #
    Nicole- Geek Turned Athlete — January 12, 2010 @ 12:44 am

    That is so awesome!! I love your attitude!! I often ask myself those same questions dealing with my career/schooling decisions. I had this same conversation with my hubby about a month ago. Another thing to remember that our mind can sabotage us. I was saying to him, “Why do I always feel like I’m not smart enough or capable of accomplishing something careerwise?” My hubby told me that I was the smartest person he knows, and that I just need to ignore that negative voice or tell it to stick it! Sometimes, it is best to ignore all those demons and just do it like you said. You are a wonderful writer. You will never know if you don’t try!


  32. #
    Naomi (onefitfoodie) — January 12, 2010 @ 3:49 am

    wow, well this post right here was SO beautifully written i dont know what you have to worry about Jess. Youa re a FABULOUs writer adn I can see your passion for Mother Lovett and this cook book shining through your words. You are going to do an AMAZING job, but just take small steps. I am so bad with patience as well (being a child of internet generation) if something takes longer than it should, that doesnt go over well with me, but see this as a challenge. Something youa re going to accomplish and tackle and pour your heart into this!

    cant wait to hear about your journey!


  33. #
    intheskinny — January 12, 2010 @ 4:06 am

    Your cookbook would be awesome!! I would buy it right away!


  34. #
    Heather @ Side of Sneakers — January 12, 2010 @ 5:22 am

    I think that’s absolutely fantastic!! Good for you!! I’ve enjoyed reading your blog and I’d enjoy reading your cookbook :) Give yourself some credit! And you know what, worst worst case scenario, it doesn’t work out- you’ve gotten to relive those stories for yourself, and come up with some great recipes. And you get to tell us all about the journey.

    But I’m sure we’ll be reading a published version before you know it!


  35. #
    Cindy Coniglio — January 12, 2010 @ 5:51 am

    I believe in you and know you can do it. This is your passion.. xoxo


  36. #
    Estela @ Weekly Bite — January 12, 2010 @ 5:57 am

    You were born to write this cookbook! I can’t wait to buy it :)


  37. #
    Morgan — January 12, 2010 @ 8:12 am

    Good luck! I think it will be amazing, and I’ll definitely be buying a copy!


  38. #
    That Kind of Girl — January 12, 2010 @ 8:17 am

    Congratulations! It’s scary and important to give voice to ambitions! I for one would definitely read the Mother Lovett cookbook: I love the Mother Lovett stories on your blog!


  39. #
    Shannon — January 12, 2010 @ 8:19 am

    Congratulations! How exciting! You’re right…putting yourself out there is so, so scary, but it’s the only way! You will be a success…look at all the people who are already ready to buy your book!


  40. #
    Lisa — January 12, 2010 @ 8:29 am

    Congrats! What a great idea for a book! :) Keep at it!


  41. #
    Katharine — January 12, 2010 @ 8:42 am

    Congrats! You’ve already taken the first step by deciding to just DO it, and admitting that it’s hard (and laying all your fears out for the world to see) helps, too. And remember: Anything easy isn’t worth doing :)


  42. #
    Kacy — January 12, 2010 @ 8:43 am

    I’m so happy for you! You will definitely get a deal. I would totally read that book! Good luck girl :)


  43. #
    Christina — January 12, 2010 @ 8:48 am

    Go for it!!!! You are amazing with the recipes you share and the stories are all so wonderful too! Actually, before reading this post I even nominated you for a beautiful blogger award on my blog because I love all your writing so much :) You are going to do great with this and the hard work will just make it that much more worthwhile!


  44. #
    Melissa — January 12, 2010 @ 10:27 am

    Think of how much fun you’re going to have reliving all of your great memories of Mother Lovett while you write. :) I’m really excited for you and I wish you the best. After just watching Julie & Julia last night, I feel like I know how hard writing a cookbook can be. haha.


  45. #
    Anne @ the doctor takes a wife — January 12, 2010 @ 10:32 am

    Oh yay!! I’m totally 100% supportive of this–I seriously star all your recipes in my google reader. You do a great job and have a total flair for writing, so make it happen girly!! I want an autographed copy ;)


  46. #
    Mellissa — January 12, 2010 @ 3:25 pm

    So proud of you! And I know you will write the best story and cookbook you can write and Mother Lovett would be proud of you and at the end of the day that is all that matters.


  47. #
    Blond Duck — January 12, 2010 @ 4:20 pm

    I’m so excited for you! That’s wonderful!!!!! :) If you ever need editing help, e-mail me!


  48. #
    Jolene (www.everydayfoodie.ca) — January 12, 2010 @ 6:25 pm

    I love this post, and I am so excited that you have decided to write a book. Sign me up to buy the first copy! I know you will be published!


  49. #
    Jenny — January 12, 2010 @ 8:46 pm

    Congratulations! You are *SO* going to do this! And your post is absolutely inspiring to me – I’ve just sort of passed off the stories as ‘just those things you know about your family, nobody else wants to know them…’
    Good luck. You’re going to do great, you’ve made it this far!


  50. #
    Chrissy — January 13, 2010 @ 8:50 am

    Remember that Julia Child’s book wasn’t published the first time she sent it in, but no one’s lauging at her! There’s even a movie about it! :) It looks like you already have a huge following of supporters which is more than she had!


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