A few days ago I was all set to officially embark on the journey for book #2.
I was seated comfortably on my favorite couch. I had my favorite mug filled with black coffee. The dog was curled into a pretzel and leaning against my right leg. I had my headphones secured and started listening to my favorite loud and aggressive bands. I had a blank Word document open on the laptop.
The writing process was in motion.
And then nothing.
What I thought was a good concept for the next book suddenly was not. It hit me like a ton of bricks. This wasn’t going to work. It wasn’t going to work because I was choosing what was easiest, not what was best. That never works.
So I’m back to square one. I’m back to evaluating all of the partially formed ideas that reside in my head. Back to the pros and cons columns.
And then I realized what I needed to do.
I need all of you to tell me what I need to do.
Here’s the cold hard truth: The first book was basically 8 years of blog posts curated into a book. Those posts formed the backbone of the book. Once they were pulled together, it wasn’t too difficult to tweak and edit it into a coherent book.
I have no regrets. I still feel strongly about the concept but realize the layout and content could have been better. While hooking up with a publisher wasn’t in the cards and there are limited options when self-publishing, I know there was still room for improvement. But I’m happy I took the plunge and published it.
#2 needs to be different.
I want to know exactly what you as reader would want to see in the next book. Yes, I want all of you to choose the concept/topic of my next book. Who knows better than the actual reading audience?
When that is determined, I then want all of you to weigh in on the layout/outline of the book. In short, I want to crowdsource this next book. I want the entire journey of the book process to be documented. I want the highs and lows accounted for in writing. After all, the fun is in the process and in the journey. If it’s going to be a marathon, I want you all there with me.
With that in mind, here are some of those ideas I referenced earlier. Read through them and let me know your initial thoughts. My best guess is that the topic for the next book isn’t in this first list and that we’ll slowly and methodically work our way there.
Let’s do this:
Ornamental grasses – including my origin story, my favorites, advantages, maintenance, history, etc.
Designing with ornamental grasses and perennials – I’ve got a ton of combos I’ve already identified from my own garden.
Part 2 of “Perennials Through the Seasons” – but presented differently and including bulbs and/or shrubs
Short stories/collection of garden essays – that tie to life – a mix of funny/serious/emotional. Like this:
My favorite shrubs – that match specific criteria in my garden – deer resistant, poor draining