13 Sep 2017

I Wrote a Book

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I wrote a book.

It’s a weird feeling.

I’ve wanted to write a book for as long as I can remember. When I was a little girl, I would fill notebook after notebook with short stories, poems, and ideas. I kept journals off and on, but never with any consistency. But writing was always a refuge, a place I went when I needed to process and vent. It, like my yoga practice, was a way I could make sense of my world.

And so, when the world got crazy at the end of last year–both personally and politically–I knew I needed a writing project to throw myself into. It was finally time to compile a bunch of words and thoughts and stories and put them out in a big way.

I’m incredibly proud of the result: A book of essays about lots of things I care about, things I’ve experienced, and lessons I’ve learned. I offer it in hopes that those things might resonate with other people and help them find some healing, too. I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunity to share this book.

Below are some often-asked questions about the book. I hope you’ll check it out!

Why did you call the book White Girl in Yoga Pants?

First and foremost, the idea of the title made me laugh. I think the “white girl in yoga pants” trope is both really funny and totally relevant to my everyday life.

Second, the title alludes to a lot of themes from the book. I talk about being white and how I view the nature of white privilege. I talk about being a woman and some of the challenges that come with that. And I talk about yoga, of course, and the role yoga plays in my life. So the title is a tongue-in-cheek allusion to some of the most important aspects of the book.

And finally, I wanted a way to communicate that I don’t consider myself an expert on anything I write about in the book. At the end of the day, I’m just one white girl who owns a lot of yoga pants and has thoughts on some stuff.

What is the book about?

Lots of things I care about: yoga, women’s issues, social justice, how social media affects our lives and the practice of yoga.

Things I’ve been through: overcoming an eating disorder, healing from sexual assault, the ends of relationships, health issues.

And just some stories I wanted to tell: how I came to yoga, how I decided to lead a teacher training, what it was like to sell the house I bought with my ex-husband, how volunteering with sexual assault survivors has helped me heal, and how I found peace on a secluded beach in Uruguay in the middle of a really hard time in my life.

It’s mostly just stuff I wanted to say. I’m grateful it all came together the way it did.

How long did it take you to write?

In a way, I’ve been writing it since 2012. About half the book is old blog posts, and I’ve been blogging for about five years, so some of the pieces are from way back when.

I’ve been working on the book as its own project since right after Christmas. I got the idea in my head at the end of last year and started compiling existing pieces and realized they made up about half a book. Once I realized that, the rest of the book started to take shape. It took me about four months to finish writing and editing the rest.

Fun tidbit: The trip I took to Argentina earlier this year was actually to finish writing the book, but I didn’t tell many people that’s why I was going. I knew I needed to get away somewhere where no one could reach me so I could focus, but was also beautiful and inspiring to keep me motivated. And Buenos Aires gave me exactly that. Some of my favorite pieces in the book were written on that trip.

Who took that awesome cover image?

My dear friend from high school, Josh Parker. The image is meaningful to me for a lot of reasons, and that shoot is a beautiful, joyful memory.

Why did you choose to self-publish?

This was a tough one. I actually had a couple of small publishing houses interested in the book, but the deeper into the process we got, the more it felt right to put it out on my own. I wanted to maintain control over the project and make sure it was what I wanted it to be. My self-publishing experience has been incredibly positive. I’d love to work with a publishing company in the future, but for this book, I’m happy with my decision to do it myself.

Are you nervous about the book coming out?

YEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSS. It’s wonderful and terrifying at the same time. On the one hand, I’m incredibly proud of it. It’s not perfect, but it’s what I wanted it to be. It tells the stories I wanted to tell and makes the points I wanted to make. On the other hand, it’s a really vulnerable project. I tell stories in there I’ve never shared before. I’m afraid of people’s judgment of me, of my choices, and of my writing of them. But I can’t get too hung up on that. People will feel how they feel about it. Mostly, I just wanted to get these things out there in hopes they might resonate with other people.

 

White Girl in Yoga Pants is now available on Amazon! Click here to order your copy.

And if you’re in Birmingham, please join Melissa for her book release party on Thursday, September 14th, 6-9pm at The Wine Loft.

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