I Cut This Chapter From My Book, Here’s Why - Jenna Kutcher

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I Cut This Chapter From My Book, Here’s Why

Jenna Kutcher 

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I honestly thought I would never share this, but when I kept revisiting it, I knew I wanted to record an episode and share this piece of my book with you. When you get my book and open the pages, you won’t find these words on the inside, but I also want to remind you that sometimes the things we edit out, the things that get cut, the things that end up on the cutting room floor, they’re not meant to be thrown away. Here’s a little bit of context about why this chapter was cut from my book in the final hours of editing.

The book writing process is so long, essentially two years from start to finish at least in my experience, and I was doing my final round of edits with a tiny little baby Quinn on my chest. I kept coming back to this chapter. My editor, Carrie, was rooting for it. She really liked it and it had a story that I’m going to share with you today that is so important to me. We really wanted to keep this story in the book, but we literally kept tweaking it and revising it and rewriting this chapter over and over and over again.

There was just something that felt off, even though we all loved the message of it and thought it was important. I remember I voice texted my team and I said, you know what? I’ve got to follow my gut here. I feel like we just need to cut it. It’s not needed and let me explain why.

What was interesting is when I finally made that decision, we all kind of felt at peace with it. I remember someone on my team sent me a voice memo and she applauded me. She said that this is the right call because part of this book’s premise is that this idea of an enriched life leads to an abundance and we don’t have to compartmentalize our life between good and bad or mother and CEO or this role and that role. 

If we can truly let integration happen in all aspects of all the hats that we wear, whether it’s in parenting or relationships or work or play or all of the above, we can let the lessons learned in each area spill over. We can let the lessons learned in each area spill over and affect all of the other ones positively.

I wrote an entire chapter about how we don’t need to compartmentalize motherhood, and then we ended up compartmentalizing it into its own chapter. So we ended up cutting this chapter and we chose instead to integrate parts of my motherhood journey into this story all throughout the book, because I’m a mom, but that’s not all that I am. And that’s not all anyone else is either. 

Motherhood is just a part of me just as motherhood is a part of my book. It didn’t need its own chapter in books or in life. We also mentioned that a dude entrepreneur’s book would never be asked nor expected to include its own chapter on fatherhood, but that might be a discussion for another time.

So without further ado, let me read you what was chapter 12 because while it’s on the cutting room floor, and while it’s not in the pages of my book, it still matters.

My first book How Are You, Really? is out now. Pick it up wherever you love to get books and at howareyoureallybook.com.

A Preview

Here is the beginning of the chapter I cut. I invite you to hit play to hear the full story.

Wherever you stand on Paw Patrol or Daniel Tiger, I can promise you this: hang out with a preschooler for an hour and you’ll catch on to a few new ways of the world.

Whether you have children or not, there’s something absolutely magical happening in their lives on a daily basis. The next generation is growing up to be the most curious, contemplative, questioning human beings, but the generations’ who came before them have a call to action that is no small feat. As people who raise them, whether as parents, as family, as teachers, as neighbors or as friends, it’s up to us to help give them the answers to the inevitable “whys” they will ask, even if the response feels challenging. Their curiosity about why things are the way they are should challenge us as we dig deeper to do the thing that many of us desire: leave the world a better, more enriching, more welcoming place for all. 

For me, the magic of parenthood happened like they said it would. The baby grows from a crawling, drooling blob into a chatterbug toddler who understands every word you say and can run circles around you, making the leap in what feels like the blink of an eye. She learned the ABCs. She learned not to touch the hot stove. She learned that yellow is the color of the sun. 

I watched her laugh at the trees. I watched her chase the wind. I watched her lap water from the dog bowl. And on one particular morning, I watched her learn how to love herself.

When Coco was two, she became inordinately fascinated with cleaning up messes, likely thanks to her father who happens to include “neat freak” into his list of personal descriptors. Vacuums, dusters, soap suds – she loved it all. Nak-pin! Now! she’d request at every meal. The world was her oyster, but it sure needed a spitshine.

One morning, she awakes babbling. I slowly pad to her room, flip on her nursery light, and inch closer to her crib. I whisper hello as I unzip her sleep sack. As she stretches her body long and inspects her growing limbs, her brow furrows. I watch her lick her finger and start furiously rubbing at a spot on her arm. Dirt! Dirt! she says. 

But it’s not dirt. It’s a mole. Barely that, more like a speck. A tiny brown dot on her pure, toddler skin. A dot the world might soon call a flaw. And my smile quickly fades as I realize it’s something she wants gone.

Baby, baby… what’re you doing? I say. That’s your special spot! That’s what makes you, you! 

I show her my own mole on my arm. See? I have one, too! I wait for her to take it in, to understand the beauty of our unique bodies and our perfect design. Instead, she reaches up for me to get her out of her crib, ready to greet the day with oatmeal and mayhem.

So much for a teachable moment, I think. Maybe when she’s older?

But the next day, as I awake to the same scene – the babbling, the light, the whispered good morning, the sleep sack – and this time, I watch in awe as she blinks her eyes and sees, again, her tiny mole. Today, she doesn’t try to rub it off.

She gives it a kiss.

The Chapter Continues

This is just the start of the chapter I cut from my book. I hope you’ll press play to hear the full story about how I learn from Coco every single day and how things developed from that morning talking about moles with my toddler.

My first book How Are You, Really? is out now. Pick it up wherever you love to get books and at howareyoureallybook.com.


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Before you get any further... Hi! I'm Jenna Kutcher!

A small town Minnesota photographer, podcaster, educator and puppy rescuer, my happiest days are spent behind my computer screen sharing my secrets with the world. I'm glad you're here.

I’m an expert at online marketing, a nerd when it comes to the numbers, and my obsession is teaching others how to make a living doing what they love (without it taking over their life). 

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