The truth is, I’ve had this folder in my Gmail titled: “If I Write a Book” for the last five years. Becoming an author would naturally come up in conversations here and there, and while the idea was certainly flattering, it never truly inspired me into action. It was always one of those “Maybe someday” ideas where I wasn’t totally convinced that someday would actually arrive. But then, a massage and a mouse changed everything.
This is my big official announcement: I WROTE A BOOK. Hard to believe I’m saying those words after so many years of resisting the idea. This episode is the behind the scenes of my book writing journey, the moment that changed my thinking, and what you can expect from the first ever JK book.
A Massage and a Mouse
You guys, I have to tell you this story! On some random day, I had booked an appointment for a massage. And I remember there was this mouse that scurried past the doors as I walked in, and immediately I’m like, OMG this massage had better be GOOD. But then, you know what happens, you get on that massage table and there’s peppermint oil and you’re relaxed and blissed out and you don’t have a care in the world.
My masseuse was named Thea, and before we get started, she told me that she is not only a masseuse, but an ‘intuitive healer.’ She said it like it was blasé, definitely not a big deal, incredibly normal. And all throughout the massage, I remember wondering if that ‘intuitive’ side of her was reading my mind.
I know it sounds crazy but her energy was like nothing I’d ever experienced before. Once we finished, I could tell Thea was kind of reluctant to end the session. And I had a million questions I wanted to ask her, so I rushed to get dressed so I could meet her back outside the room. I remember scanning the lobby to see if that dang mouse was still there, and just kind of blurting out: “There are so many things I feel drawn to ask you!”
Thea asked if I would be open for her to tell me what came up energetically during my massage? Of course, I wanted her to tell me EVERYTHING.
She Told Me to Begin
Thea told me I was fighting my creativity. That there was something I knew I should do but I didn’t want to produce it. I was resisting creating, and I was delaying the start. I was trying to veer off the path because I was afraid of it and I was turning my hips to try to navigate around it, but the truth was, I already knew what I needed to do. And I knew it could change a lot of lives. She told me to stop fighting it and surrender to it. She told me to begin.
And that’s the day I opened up the Word doc that eventually became the book you’ll soon be holding in your hands.
The Mouse Has Meaning
But that’s not the end of the story. A few nights before I typed the last word of my first manuscript, I remembered that mouse. You guys know me as someone who is always searching for signs from the universe, so I needed to know if there was meaning in the mouse I saw scurry past the door? I know it sounds crazy, but curiosity got the better of me. I found myself hitting the search bar in my browser and reading this: “A mouse symbolizes running away from problems or hiding from the challenges of life.” Like, whaaaat?
Eventually I learned that there would never be a magical spot that appeared on my calendar saying, “Now is your time to write.” A fairy-book mother would never appear with a wave of her wand and say, “I now deem you worthy of writing that book!” Time wouldn’t slow down and a window of opportunity wouldn’t carve itself out so that I could do the big, hard thing. Thea was right. I just needed to start.
In my years of leadership, I’ve learned that the things we teach are the things that we (the creator) need the most. I mean, how many times have I told you to just begin? But we all need the reminder, don’t we?
Not a Business Book
Let me say something that I think might astonish you, especially if you’ve known me for any length of time: this book is not a business book.
Here’s why: After educating thousands of women across the globe, I realized that the same things kept coming up over and over for all of us: self-doubt, imposter syndrome, unfulfilled dreams, fears and anxieties, and a deep, audible cry to have a meaningful life and legacy.
It all became so achingly clear — that to work on your business, you first have to work on yourself. That’s what this book is for. It’s the guidebook to enjoy being alive and not merely suffering through it. This is my owner’s manual to owning a life rather than the other way around, chocked full of soul-unlocking guidance to lead you forward in a way that moves closer to your heartbeat, your people, and the dang good life that awaits you. So, my book isn’t where I’ve shared my next 5 business secrets.
I’m here to tell you what makes all of that other stuff worth it. Because ALL of those things we love, the life-parts we want, need us to be all in. We need to know our ‘why’ to stay all in for the right things. The reasons that keep us going through the mellow and the tumult. The reasons that help us show up for our therapy appointments. The reasons that give us the grit to deliver a keynote or a baby. I’ll share the stories of my slow uncovering of my own ‘why’ and I’ll help guide you to digging up your own.
Writing a Book is Hard
I’ve been told by a lot of people that writing a book is a lot like birthing a child into the world. The funny thing was, a lot of my book writing process was centered around our journey to meet this second baby. I pushed hard in writing my initial manuscript before I got pregnant because I knew how sick I could get in that first trimester. I did the majority of rewriting and edits with a baby kicking in my belly, and turned in the final manuscript before I gave birth to a human! It was wild going through this process at this stage of life but it was also beautiful.
It is the slowest, longest process ever. If you’re a part of the digital world you’re used to having an idea, creating, and popping it out into the world. This was an over two year process that taught me a lot about being still, staying patient, and revisiting every sentence time and time again to make sure it said exactly what I wanted it to say.
It’s super vulnerable. I can’t tell you how hard it was to even tell people close to me that I was writing a book and I get hives when I think about sharing a chapter or even a paragraph with someone and watching them read it. It just feels so personal in a beautiful way but it’s a super vulnerable process.
Books are timeless in that you write it once but it lives on in a more permanent way than online stuff. You can’t just edit a chapter like you edit a caption on Instagram and so thinking of the permanence of these words was so hard, especially because I’m a huge believer that we grow and evolve and change our minds as we grow — all things I love — so I had to let go of wanting it to be perfect and just let it be an imperfect reflection of who I am today knowing what I know.
My Book Writing Non-Rituals
When it came to the writing process, I wasn’t super ritualized. I wish I could tell you I bought a special desk or drank a special tea, but it didn’t unfold that way for me. The process felt like a lot of “hurry up and then wait” and so there would be times where I’d write for hours upon hours and times when I’d pop in for 30 minutes to get some words out of my head.
Most of the time, I tried to do my writing in the morning before my energy tanked and if I was getting stuck, I’d record a voice memo and talk like I was talking to one of my friends about a subject to pull out the parts that stuck. At one point, I rented a hotel room for a night just to lock myself away and focus on finishing a few pieces that I was struggling on, but beyond that, I really just integrated the book writing process into my daily life.
Since I was still running a business and on top of the normal daily operations, planning for a maternity leave, there wasn’t a week long getaway in Palm Springs or a tiny cabin in the woods where I sat down and wrote the whole thing, it was a lot of baby steps and integrating the writing process into my other work and surprisingly, it worked.
Want to Read My Book?
Remember when I compared a book to birthing a baby? Well, the timing isn’t all that different — although, thank God pregnancy isn’t two years long. The book comes out in June 2022 and I couldn’t be more excited for you to get it!
I hope you’ll join my Insider’s Club! Go to jennakutcher.com/book and you can get exclusive access to cut chapters, sneak peaks, presale bonuses and more.
It feels SO GOOD to finally say this outloud. Thank you so much for championing me, for cheering me on, and for being a part of this community. I cannot wait for you to read my book. I can’t believe I’m seeing these words. This is amazing.