On book writing: it’s not for me, and it’s an identity crisis for me

book writing

Oh hey.

Nice to see you again!

A while back, I took a breather from writing these “Karen’s Notes” so I could focus my writing energies on finishing the content for my book, The Accountant Marketer.

I meant to be intentional about it, explain what was happening, set some time frames. Maybe I’d take three months, or six, or the rest of the year.

It turns out I ended up taking nine months away from writing these. I wrote the last one in February. So I understand if you forgot all about them and are wondering why they’re suddenly appearing again.

I’m back because the book is done. It’s in the editing phase right now, and we’re looking at publishing in 2023. I’m hoping for May, because I feel like it’s a better month for a book launch than the summer, but if I’ve learned anything through this book process it’s 1) not to rush things and 2) I need to do everything I can not to hold the process back.

This week I met with the owner of the book editing company who is helping me move into the publishing phase of the book. We talked about how long things have taken, and why, and what I’ve learned along the way.

Here’s what I told her:

The right way is the long way. I’ve always believed this (for PF as well as for me personally) and the book process has been no exception. Lauren even told me I was probably the author who has taken the longest of all of her clients to get to the publishing stage. I heard that and didn’t even mind. I’d rather it done right than done rushed, and despite desperately wanting to get this book out there, I needed creative space along the way, and I gave it to myself.

Every book is an identity crisis. This book isn’t “personal” in the way a book about my life experiences would be. It’s a book for accountants who know they need to be involved in marketing and want to do that in the best way (and perhaps even come to enjoy it a little). And yet the process of writing a book, any book, causes you to look within. Figure out what you want to say. Cut out the extras, the fluff. Listen to the feedback from the people the book is for. Stand outside of it and look in. When I heard all authors take a long time but basically I’ve taken the longest, I thought you know what? That’s okay. The whole world shifted with an unknown virus and is still readjusting and reeling from it. I’ve completely changed the organisational structure of my business. And I’ve had some serious, major, life-and-identity-changing crises and trauma in my life which have required a great deal of reflection, therapy, and space to work through. Writing a book in the midst of all that changes you.

I don’t have to be like that other author or that other company. In the early days of my book process, seeing what others are doing (especially as it’s proclaimed on social media) used to really bring me down. I’m not writing fast enough. This is taking too long. They’re winning at life (or business or being an author) and I’m not. But now I don’t mind so much. They’re allowed to take as much or as little time as they need, too. Some people write a book in a few months. Some take a lifetime to do it. The point is not what they’re doing today, but what I am doing for me.

This book is not for me. I tell this to our clients all the time. “Your marketing is not for you,” I say. “Your brand is not for you. Your website is not for you. It’s for your clients, your audience.” I know this, I believe this….and yet the editing process of this book shocked me into the realisation of what that feels like to actually apply, in my own marketing. I sent a different chapter to 13 different clients, asking each one to provide feedback and suggestions, specifically about what I could cut out. Without exception they all said “cut out or reduce significantly the stories about yourself or PF”. When one or two people out of 13 tell you something, you take it with a grain of salt. When almost every single person says the same thing, you realise you’ve missed something. I have so many stories to tell I forgot for a moment the book was not about me. It says a few things about me – and I didn’t cut out everything – but it’s FOR the accountant. And the edited book is better, clearer, sharper because of it.

So I’ve made great progress. And we’re nearing the finishing line.

And it’s still not ready yet.

But it will be. And it is good. And I appreciate you being with me along the way.

Follow me


Popped into a fave local coffee shop in York this week and this was the mug they gave me. ❤️✨

Wasn’t feeling so superwomanny when I got it - this week was very full, plus period cramps and multiple migraines and my ankle being wonky and more travel than I’ve done in a while. I had intended to get coffee but the cramps were so bad I had to go for mint tea and just sit until they faded enough for me to walk again. 

At the same time, I also had an amazing time during this week with the @weare_pf Board meeting in person for the first time. Getting to know each other better as humans and sharing ideas and making plans and most of all appreciating that the weight of all the business decisions doesn’t rest solely on my shoulders. 

This is just one of your reminders that being a superwoman looks different at different times, and whether you’re striding along strongly or sitting weakly with mint tea, your superwoman status still applies. 

#justkeepgoing #superwoman #muglife #wegotthis #onedayatatime
Every single time I go sailing past this lighthouse on the mull-to-Oban ferry I think “this time I’ll just watch it and not take any pictures” 

And then something wild happens like A SAILBOAT GOES BY and of course I have to capture that, surely I haven’t taken that photo before (spoiler: I have), and then I have about seventeen lighthouse photos to add to my collection of seven thousand lighthouse photos from the last twenty years. 

But, I figure, what’s the harm anyway. It’s my photos and my memories and it brings me joy. I love the lighthouse as a visual of my journey from the mainland to the island (or a reminder I’ll be back soon). 

So, see you soon lighthouse. Thanks for standing there. 

#lismorelighthouse #eileanmusdile #lighthouse #lighthousesofinstagram #oban #ferry #calmac #isleofmull #sailaway #sailboat #scotland #travelscotland
I read. A lot. My list of “books to read” has over 100 titles listed, and every time I mention a book I’ve appreciated, I get another recommendation of a new one and the list gets longer. 

One of the books recommended to me years ago was “The Buddha in Me the Buddha in You”. She mentioned it had some helpful principles about how we navigate life - and whether you’re a buddhist or not, there are principles you can learn from and apply in life.

I wrote it down, forgot about it, and moved on with life. Read lots of other books.

And then when I broke my ankle, and was sitting and resting a LOT, with loads of time for reading, I went back to my list and started reconsidering some of the titles on it.

When I looked up “The Buddha in Me the Buddha in You”, the subtitle was “A Handbook for Happiness”, and that struck me.

Dealing with an injury is difficult. Sad. Wearying. It can be hard to find happiness and every day feels about the same. (Very Groundhog Day.)

So I bought the book, and put it by my bed. I started getting into a pattern of reading a chapter every morning with my coffee.

I thought I’d share some of the principles I appreciated and which are already helping me as I continue to navigate my life right now: 

[the full post on these is too long for an Insta post so click the link in bio or story if u want to read more!]

Thank the spoon - a spoon stirs up the mud in what had appeared to be clear water. Same with life: hard things stir up what you haven’t dealt with yet. So you thank them. “Thank you, spoon”

The Fundamental darkness (FD) - the “Survival Obsessed Self” who responds in a way based on survival but not growth

There’s a gift in the struggle - He describes it visually as “the lotus flower in the muddy pond”. You can focus on the mud, or on the flower, but they’re both there.

Nam - myo - ho - renge - kyo : The happiness soundtrack - I pulled out the core concepts of each of these words as they applied to me, and they are: 

Bloom in the struggle
Flow of life

#karensnotes #buddhainmebuddhainyou #books #reading #happysaturday 

[full note link in bio!]
The snow is swirling the wind is howling IT’S FROZEN OUT THERE 
#snowing #happyspringeveryone #inlikealion