Weed-Free Gardening is in print and shipping out to readers today! Thanks to all of you who pre-ordered and to all of you who plan to order soon!
You do literally pay my salary (and lots of other people’s too). Plus, you make all the work that goes into creating a book like this so meaningful to me!
I am extremely appreciative that Cool Springs Press (an imprint of Quarto) and my editor Jessica Walliser, gave me the opportunity to consolidate 8 years of experience and experimentation, spent on extensive soil restoration and garden creation, into a book format.
I’m also thrilled that the design team were able to include so many of Greta Moore’s gorgeous illustrations throughout the pages of the book.
I have to tell you all, though, this whole process of writing and publishing a book, even the second time through, is as frightening as it is exhilarating. Making and releasing a book into the world isn’t a life or death kind of activity. But it is an emotional journey that forces me to repeatedly face and conquer my worst personal insecurities.
I spent six months writing and revising these 40,000+ words, taking photos, testing theories on soil types, and monitoring new soil and plant research… along with reading lots of books to round out my knowledge. I genuinely believe that Weed-Free Gardening is the best work I am capable of creating at my present level of experience as a gardener, writer, and photo taker. And I know that I put everything in to it that I had to give.
Yet, the awful, nagging doubt that I am just not good enough nibbles away at my enthusiasm. Fears fill in where enthusiasm evacuates and I start to think I was crazy to imagine that anyone would want to buy a book I wrote in the first place.
I don’t think there will ever come a time when insecurities and self-doubt won’t be my constant struggle. There is just some part of me that will always wonder if I’m a worthy recipient of this beautiful gift of life and the good fortune to pursue my passions.
Though dealing with these feelings is uncomfortable (and hard to share), I realize that living with insecurity and self-doubt is also a gift. It’s what keeps me present in the process because I’m so emotionally invested. It makes me want to know and learn more all the time. It also makes me grateful for the wonderful people in my life who love and value me even when they know my many faults.
Now, of course, I hope you’ll buy my book or tell people about it so that word gets out! I also hope that you’ll find some good information in there to improve your soil, grow healthier plants, and develop a deeper relationship with the natural world — while spending less time weeding unwanted plants.
More importantly though, I really hope that my words here on this website, and in my books, resonate and create a connection between us in some way.
Personally, I read every day to connect across space and time with people who have different perspectives than me. Whether I love the writing, or put it down with the sensation that I was not the intended audience, reading someone else’s crafted words always makes for an interesting encounter. And that changes my perceptions of the world in small and large ways.
Imagining that my words might have a similar impact on someone, somewhere is what gives me the courage to keep writing about my experiences on our Epicurean homestead and in the garden.
In spite of my fears, I am completely thrilled that Weed-Free Gardening is out in the world. Now please, pretty please, do share the good word that we can solve a lot more than our weed problems through ecologically-minded gardening!