The head and the heart.
Last fall, Melissa was wrestling with a big decision.
She wanted to write a book. But she was struggling to choose a topic.
She had two book ideas that both felt compelling…for very different reasons.
The first book idea felt sensible and practical. It was directly connected to her career. It would be good for her brand and establish her as an authority in her field. It would probably generate money, too. Yet, something about this project just didn’t feel right. She started working on it, but gradually lost interest.
The second book idea was neither sensible nor practical. It had nothing to do with her career, at least, not directly. Yet, this book idea tugged at her heart powerfully. It wouldn’t go away. It wanted to be born.
After wrestling a bit, she decided to go with the second idea. The heart book, not the head book.
She wrote and self-published the book: Questions You’ll Wish You Asked: A Time Capsule Journal for Mothers and Daughters. A journal filled with questions to ask your mom before she passes away—to collect stories and wisdom while there is still time to do so.
Melissa wrote this book while pregnant with her first child and while grieving the loss of her own mother.
She poured all of those emotions—sadness and joy, hope and longing—into the book.
She told herself, “I don’t know if anyone will ever purchase this book, but it feels healing for me to write it nonetheless. And maybe that is enough.”
She released the book in late 2020. At first, a few of her friends purchased the book and loved it. They told their friends about it. Those folks told other friends. Word spread. More orders came in.
The book took off with a life of its own. Before long—thousands of copies, sold. An unexpected financial success.
Melissa (who enrolled in The Tiny Book Course last year) wrote in to share an update about the project.
She told us, because of this book and the unexpected cash windfall that it created, she was able to take time off work during the last part of her pregnancy and early months of motherhood without worrying about depleting her savings. A huge relief for this new mom.
And, because of this book, Melissa felt like her own mother was present and supporting her—through this book—even though she couldn’t be there physically. Like her mother’s spirit was alive within the pages, touching Melissa’s life and readers’ lives, too.
Melissa is now working on a series of journals for sons and fathers, for grandparents, and couples. She looks forward to releasing these new treasures into the world and seeing what kind of ripple effect they will create. Who knows where the ripple may lead?
Moral of the story:
If it’s a battle between your head and your heart, go with your heart.
Create the thing that just wants to be born, even if it doesn’t feel practical, logical, good for your brand, or ideal for SEO website optimization.
Make it, share it, no expectations, and then see where things go.
What happens next…
…Could be the greatest miracle of your life.
PS. Huge thanks to Melissa for graciously allowing me to share her story with you today. Everyone, please go order her book and stay tuned for her future projects.