I’m looking at a unique, hardcover book I made myself on a fantastic site, Lulu.com.
For years I searched for a hobby. I loved the idea of painting as a pastime (like my hero Winston Churchill), bird-watching, chess, collecting—but nothing appealed to me. I’m clumsy, bad at games, hate to lose, hate to shop, not good with my hands…the hobby field was narrow. But although I thought I wanted a hobby as a break from books, reading, and writing, finally I followed the words of my own commandment, “Be Gretchen.” Fact is, the only things I truly enjoy involve reading, writing, and making books.
Once I accepted this truth, I began noticing ways to “make books” for fun. That’s why I ripped out the article that mentioned Lulu.com—a self-publishing site.
I visited the site, and suddenly had an idea. I’d kept a journal of the Big Girl’s first eighteen months. I meant to print it out but kept procrastinating. So why not publish it as a real, hardback book?
The whole Lulu process, including formatting, conversion to PDF format, and choosing a cover design, took about twenty minutes and cost $33.
The book came yesterday, and it looks terrific. I worried that it would seem somehow shoddy, but in fact, it looks great. I’m so pleased. Having a bound book is so much nicer than a loose pile of printed-out pages.
My experience with Lulu proves, once again, that I’m much happier when I accept my own nature, my own true likes and dislikes, instead of trying to decide what I should like or what I should do. Everyone since Aristotle has been pointing out this simple truth–why is it so hard to put into action?