In October 2021, I graduated from the Tiny Book Course—a 45-day intensive course in writing and self-publishing a book. A Map You Cannot Refold is a result of that effort.
Having said that, I didn’t quite embrace the tiny book philosophy as much as I had intended. The idea of the Tiny Book Course is to choose a book project that is manageable and that you can create in the 45 days. To that end, the suggested page count is 30-70 pages.
My book idea began simply. I would have seven chapters. Five of the chapters were already written, so I just needed to write two more, add an introduction and conclusion, and there you have it: a finished book.
Well…I have slightly more than seven chapters (60 or so…), and my page count is 216 pages.
“Well, if I put this story in, then I definitely need to include this story for context,” she tells herself at 3:00 am. My perfectionism got the better (worst?) of me in so many ways. My deadline to complete my book was constantly in flux.
October. No, wait. November. For sure by December 31st. Let’s try for my birthday, January 27th. Okay, February 15th. I just need a bit more time. March 1st for Women’s History Month. Technical snafu? March 15th. Seriously this time. March 27th.
Do I stand by the decisions that made my 60 (or so) chapter, 216-page book come to life? Yes. I am proud of the book that I created.
Did I struggle with self-compassion as I was making these decisions? Absolutely.
My (not so) tiny book is precisely the book it needed to be. Nothing more. Nothing less.
I could not have one central message, nor could I ever give the talk of my life.
Because still I live.
You can hear me read a 3-minute excerpt from my introduction here: Tiny Book Course Graduation. The authors are listed alphabetically by last name, so I’m near the bottom (fourth from the bottom).