Our Story Is All We Have: I’m Writing A Book!

25 Apr
Smiley's Moleskines

My Moleskines are getting full.

“But then why do we write if not to tackle the fears that others look to us to conquer?” Joanna Penn

Less than a year ago, the voice inside my head telling me to listen to my heart and take a leap finally got loud enough that I couldn’t ignore it. So I quit my job at the Peace Corps headquarters in D.C., moved to San Francisco without a job, and now I’m writing a book about that journey and about taking the leap.

I know many of you reading are ready to make a change, to get unstuck, and to stop settling for mediocrity. With this book, I want to help you do that.

It was really scary to embrace the quarter-life crisis I was facing, move thousands of miles away, and start completely anew in a strange city—so part of this book is about that. Part of it is about empowering you to move through whatever crisis you might be going through, whether you’re about to graduate college, quit your job, launch a new company, travel the world, or turn 30 (or 40, in which case, you’re probably thinking, “Holy shit, I’m 39, and about to read a book by some dude named Smiley, it can’t get much worse than this…”). 

Through telling my story and what has worked (and has not worked) during my recent life transition (ok, quarter-life crisis), my book will be a friendly companion on your journey toward getting closer to who you are and actualizing your dreams.  I will encourage you to embrace rather than dread your current life crisis, and best of all, smile and dance a little bit more.   

The book will be closer to the length of a novella (but true!) and will have illustrations by a friend of mine who is a prolific visual storyteller. 

The goals: To finish my first draft by my 30th birthday (June 29), and have the book completed by August 1.  I’ll be launching a Kickstarter campaign in late June to help pay for my wonderful editor, cover art and illustrations, a designer, marketing and publicity, and a book tour. 

A close friend questioned my audacity, and whether I could raise money on Kickstarter, saying “People buy cool products like watches and gadgets on Kickstarter, but why would anyone just want to read your story?,” he said to me.  Just read my story?  My story is all I have.  Your story is all you have.  Our story is all we have. 

So, if you’re with me, if you believe that I, just like you, have a unique story to tell, I need your help!  Embrace the process of creation with me.  Sign up here for exclusive updates on my progress, and sneak-peeks at my Kickstarter campaign which will launch in June.

Ways to Help

1)    Sign up here to join my mailing list so you can spread the word about my upcoming Kickstarter campaign and let other people know about the book!  If you are currently going through a life transition, or know someone who is, please sign up for the mailing list.  The point of this project is to build a supportive community of people going through this arduous process together. 

2)    Let me know if you have any ideas for my book. I’m still working on things like title, design ideas, brilliant marketing strategies, and creative book tour ideas.

3)    Know any brilliant writers? I’d love to pick their brains.

4)    Let me know if you are connected to an awesome publishing company who might be interested in my project.

Thank you!

I would not be able to make this happen without your love, inspiration, readership, and support—thank you!  Feel free to contact me at smileyposwolsky@gmail.com with questions or ideas.  And most importantly, tell your story too—whether by prose, photo, film, installation, music, dance, code, or whatever medium you love.  The world is waiting for you. 

Storyboarding my book at the library.

Storyboarding  at the UCSF library.  A couple medical students looked at me like I was nuts.

11 Responses to “Our Story Is All We Have: I’m Writing A Book!”

  1. chrcowan April 25, 2013 at 9:37 am #

    You = the man.

  2. Shupac Takur April 25, 2013 at 9:38 am #

    Awesome man! Looking forward to it.

    I forgot we’re birthday neighbors. Mine’s on the 30th 🙂

  3. My Write To Read April 25, 2013 at 10:11 am #

    Thank you for sharing your story. You’re very brave for giving up one thing for something you love to do. I just turned 25 so I get the whole quarter life crisis. Can’t wait to read more about your journey, enjoy it.

  4. Lead Our Lives April 25, 2013 at 5:20 pm #

    Wonderful! Go for it! Wishing you well!!

  5. Abraham Weiner April 28, 2013 at 7:37 pm #

    GO SMILEY!

  6. tomjd April 28, 2013 at 9:32 pm #

    Smiley!

    I love the sound of this book. Your journey is not unlike mine, when I moved without a job to the US in 2008, and ended up at Ashoka, then two years later made the move to SF. Can’t wait to find out more about what you learned along the way.

    I couldn’t help but notice the mention of an upcoming Kickstarter campaign. Given that this book is all about helping people lead better, more fulfilled lives, ie. you’re hoping it makes a positive difference in the world, it would be a great fit for StartSomeGood – did you consider using us? We’ve had a couple of great book campaigns before and would love to support you.

    Cheers!

    Tom

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