If you have a blog you know the joy of connecting with people on a subject you love, discussing the pros and cons of a variety of topics, and teaching each other things along the way. It is a pretty fantastic experience, and I can’t recommend it highly enough. Strangely enough, though, we feel more connected to you all now after writing a book that you haven’t even read yet.
Let me explain.
We’ve been working on this secret project for almost six months now, and we’re excited to finally release it into the world next month. You’ve heard us mention it a time or two over the summer – this big guide we were working on – but until now we haven’t really spilled the beans on what is inside or why we’ve been doing it.
Today’s the day. (Feel free to share on Facebook.)
About the guide
The guide is called Dream.Save.Do and is a step-by-step guide for amassing the cash you need to live your dream. It is the same plan we followed to save a 5-year travel budget in just 25 months, and it includes all the “mental health” lessons we learned about ourselves, our friends and family, and how to live a life differently than what is expected of you. It is about 35,000 words, with pictures, videos, PDFs, and audio. We even have a special extra bonus on how to sell your junk to fund your dream (though you certainly don’t have to go to the extreme we did) as well as a video chapter contributed by Adam Baker of Man vs. Debt on credit card debt elimination. As a final perk, we’ve included 3 months of followup with emails, videos and encouragement for you to start saving for your big dream.
We know that a huge part of saving for your dream is the mental energy it takes just to be different from everyone else. We focused a lot of attention on the social and emotional aspects of saving for your dream and how that can be life-changing in itself (it certainly was for us), and we are really proud of the final product. (Check out my ambush interview from the “paparazzi” in Amsterdam below. Click here if you can’t see the video.)
Why we consider you all contributors
What’s been really great in this project is the fact that it has been a group effort from before it even became a project. From the comments you have posted on our blog over the past three years, to your personal emails, to the very insightful feedback several of you gave to us on the early drafts of the book (not only are you guys smart, you’re also very opinionated – and we like that). In fact, I don’t think there ever would have been a book without your frequent requests for the “inside scoop” or your emails requesting personal advice. So THANK YOU for pushing us to deliver something that we know a thing or two about to an audience that wants the information. You are the yin to our yang, and we love continuing this journey with you.
We’ve even been lucky enough to work with two readers professionally – Angela Barton is editing the book for all of our grammar mistakes, and Shea McGuier designed the cover, the interior layout, and the banner and graphics for the website. We’ve been lucky to meet Shea in person (at a train station in London as we were each going separate ways – you just never know how a brief meeting is going to impact your life) and we’ve gotten to know and love Angela online over the last 3 years as she documented her Year Without Spending. In fact, she was one of our very first readers.
The difference between blogging and writing
One thing we have learned is that writing a book is far different than writing a blog, and it has taken a lot more time and effort than we anticipated. From months of writing every morning at 6 a.m. so we could still fit in some sightseeing and travel, to learning how to take constructive criticism in two rounds of feedback, to letting go of our control issues to hand over our work to an editor and a designer to make it better, to learning how to sell our work for money for the first time.
In fact, we altered our travel plans and came back to Brussels at the kind invitation of Alison and Andrew of Cheeseweb to put in a solid week of work on the remaining tasks for the guide. There is still a lot to do in terms of promotion, final edit/layout changes, the back end of setting up the purchase/delivery, and all the guest posts/press releases/interviews, etc., that go along with a big launch.
(We’ll be writing much more about this after the launch – I think we can all learn a lesson or two about a big project that just keeps.getting.bigger and how to handle the stress and logistics of that. In the past, I usually just gave up. This time I had people pushing me to keep making it better and do more, and that has had a profound effect on my self-confidence and work ethic. Again, more to come on that subject.)
In short (one of my favorite phrases because it is never true for me), the difference between writing a blog and writing a book is huge. The blog gives us a daily infusion of feedback and connection with you, and writing a book is more of a gamble because we aren’t really sure what you’re going to think of it until it is done. Did we kick your ass too much? Were we inspiring enough? Are you going to take our advice and make big changes in your life? Are you going to store it on your computer and never even get around to reading it? Even though we don’t yet know the answers to those questions, we do feel closer to you now than ever before by reliving our experience with your needs in mind.
Will you help us?
The book is released on October 18, the same date as Meet, Plan, Go in cities all over North America. (You remember that we hosted one in Seattle last year.) But what is really profound to us is that we will finish the main work on the book on October 1, exactly one year to the day that we left Seattle on our big adventure to travel the world. Maybe we’re destined to do something terrifying and exciting every year at this time. We can only hope.
Something that would be a really big help to us as we gear up for the launch is if you would share the news of the guide with your friends and encourage them to visit the sales page. We have a signup form there for the launch date that will give people an early-bird discount, and we hope you and your friends will take advantage of it. You can share the news with your friends on Facebook by clicking here.