A Practical Wedding Book – Done!

I wrote a book, you guys. That’s it, in the picture above. That’s ALL OF IT, all 211 pages, all 63,858 words. That’s all of it, because IT’S DONE. I handed it into my publisher on Friday.

Emily of Emily Takes Photos came over to my house on Friday to take pictures, and this is how I was feeling:

Meg Keene Author!

I believe we call that BAM!

A Practical Wedding Book by Meg Keene

And for those of you who are thinking, “You’re finished with the book already? It seems like it didn’t take very long!” You are right, my friends, it was quick, and I am tired. I left my job in January, and wrote the book in slightly under five months so it could get published next January, right in time for a new crop of baby brides (as Alyssa would say). A good question to ask right now would be, “How do you write a book in five months, while running a website, without being an insane person?” and I’d have a hard time answering that… because clearly I am a slightly insane person. But in general? You give yourself a schedule. You never miss a deadline. You write (almost) every work day (some days are just not writing days, face it). You don’t worry too much about making it good, at first, you just worry about getting it on paper. Then you worry about making it good, but not in an obsessive way.

Oh, and you get help. I’m dyslexic, and also have been known to take on a little too much at one time (achem) and go on small crying jags. So I knew I needed help and discipline. I hired my friend Kate, first ever reader of this website (Literally. I gave her the link the first day), and copy editor extraordinaire, to keep me on task. She picked up a chapter of the book every week, like clockwork, and edited it. She gave me feedback when I needed it, and told me to stop asking for feedback and get back to writing when I didn’t need it. She let me buy us both ice cream quite a bit, to dial down my stress. And here is the nutty thing… thanks to Kate (and Lauren, and Alyssa), I wrote the book without having a single massive meltdown. Whoa.

I’ve been struggling to find something really eloquent to say on the subject, and it turns out it’s not a subject I’m eloquent about. Frankly, it’s a subject I’m having a really hard time wrapping my head around at all. I wrote a book. A book that’s going to look like this:

Whoa. Yeah. That’s the cover. NotonlyTHAT? The book is listed on Amazon, and you can pre-order it already. What? Yes.

After I finished the first half, people would ask what I thought about the book, and I’d look into the middle distance and wave my arm around and say, “It’s not shitty.” And then I’d pause and say, “I really don’t have any perspective.” But in the last month a few things happened: I went to Mexico and re-read the book by the pool. Then we had some pre-engaged friends over asking me a lot of wedding questions, and I kept grabbing the manuscript, flipping through, and giving them a page to read. They’d read it, look up with a now-I-get-it, that’s-not-so-bad look in their eye, and say, “Oh, that was really helpful.” And that made me massively happy. Because what I really wanted to do was write a d*mn helpful book. A helpful, empowering book, that doesn’t make you crazy. And I’m pretty sure I did that. Plus, there are red shoes on the cover, so it’s kind of a win either way.

So what’s next? Well, right this second what’s next seems to be a massive head cold (which arrived the morning after I turned the book in, of course), and picking up the pieces of my life, literally and figuratively. I am telling anyone that asks that I am in Book Recovery right now. This week I’m helping out family, next week I hope to clean out our apartment (oh, and aforementioned awesome friend and editorial help Kate is insisting on taking me to see a movie… in the middle of the day).

But beyond that…. I’m really excited to turn my full energy to APW. This will be the first time in three years where APW is my full time job, and I can’t wait. I can’t wait to write more, to tweak content here and there, and to launch new wedding-related tools. And yes, this fall a new site will be in the works, but for now I’m happy to just be here, with you guys.

And a mother-f*cking-finished book.

Pictures: Me with the manuscript taken by David, Emily Takes Photos, The book cover, Emily Takes Photos

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