So let me take the opportunity to give a little State of the Blog address about what’s happened and what we can look forward to. (CHUMPALOOZA! More on this in a moment…)
Last year I shared the news that Mr. CL and I were moving to the country and I was going to give up my straight job to do Chump Lady full-time and freelance. I did it. Since last June I’m solo, albeit with the distractions of a house move and restoration on an ancient pile of house and very neglected garden, plus building a freelance business. A huge round of applause and heartfelt thanks to Mr. CL for working the straight job and having faith in my endeavors. There would be no book or blog without him.
Seriously. There wouldn’t be. It’s not just the gift of having a supportive partner, (which is HUGE), from the beginning, he willed “Leave a Cheater, Gain a Life” into existence when we lived in Texas. He believed I could write it when I wasn’t sure, and as he is the most productive human on the planet, I had to keep up. I’m still trying to keep up. People tell me really heart-warming things about how much this community means to them, but when you thank me, please thank him too. He’s my rock. None of this would be here without his hard work too.
Speaking of LACGAL, while I was sitting in the airport, ready to go to the Jane Does Well event in Boston last month, I got a notice from Hachette that my book out-earned its advance. In publishing, this is a big feather in your cap. Generally, it’s fewer than 10 percent of books that pay out. (Of course the publisher has made droves of money before the author sees any.) For years I’ve said, I don’t make money on my book. But now I do!
Let me put this in perspective — there was NOTHING on the market like LACGAL when I wrote it. I had to do a whole market analysis of infidelity books and I was the only one out there not predicated on reconciliation. I had to PROVE that a market existed for this message. In the face of a lot of doubt — because in book publishing, you have to demonstrate how you’re like another book that sells. These people are betting money on you.
I took the risk for them. I self-published my first book, and when it went #1 on Amazon in Divorce, the first day it was out, and sat there for a week, traditional publishing took notice. I got an agent, that agent got a book deal, an audio deal, a TV option…
Oh hey, chumps exist. And they’re sick of the unicorn bullshit. You’re welcome.
So please know, that every time you buy my book and review it positively, you’re helping to change the narrative. You’re solidifying “Leave a Cheater” legitimacy. The marketplace speaks.
So what’s next? I hope to finish the second book this year. There’s a Tell Me How You’re Mighty podcast in the works — a project with a CN member who is a BBC radio presenter. And, now that we’re finally on the other side of a pandemic — CHUMPALOOZA!
For years we’ve talked about having a big chump conference, and thanks to a couple of mighty CN members, Rebecca and Maryse — it’s happening. I’ll post more details soon, but it looks like this fall, the weekend of Nov. 4 in suburban Baltimore at the Maritime Conference Center. We’ll have a Friday night happy hour, a Saturday full of programing, a kill-the-unicorn piñata — and UXWorld has offered to do a Tell Me How You’re Mighty version of Moth radio storytelling. Besides being a song parody champ, he’s a seasoned Moth performer! On Sunday Maryse is putting together some Baltimore field trips. So save the date!
I do hope to get out more this year. It’s been such a shot in the arm to meet CN members in London and in Boston. Maybe in time we can do other meetups and a yearly Chumpalooza. Definitely check out the new and improved Facebook community that has international meet-up listings! A big thanks to Maryse for creating and moderating that space and putting together a Super Team of mods. And a big shout out to the private Chump Nation community on Reddit! Join them too!
I’m continually amazed at this community. The kindness you show each other. The healed chumps who come back to help the newbies. The support, the snark, the resilience. Being Chump Lady is the most meaningful job I’ve ever had. And it’s a job I hope I can keep doing forever.
And now we come to the awkward NPR tote bag part of the segment. (I promised Rebecca I would do it… Here I am Rebecca!) Last year I came to a crossroads. For the last 7 years, while this place has grown and grown, I’ve worked a full-time journalism job and gotten up at 5 a.m. to write, then worked a full day, and clocked out to come home to 400 emails. I had so much ambition for this place, but zero bandwidth. By taking the leap of faith to commit to Chump Nation and finally finish some of those goals (like a second book, like a regular podcast, like other writing), I had to leave the security of my regular paycheck.
I have zero paywall. Those who need this place will never, ever have to pay for this community. That means no Substack, or the other means by which writers pay themselves. That leaves the annoying ads and Patreon. I need both to make this place exist. A minority of Patrons support the majority of readers. THANK YOU PATRONS.
Please consider joining Patreon.
You can make a one-time donation and quit the subscription. Or sign up. Eventually you get actual tote bags! And stickers and stuff. And there is a bunch of extra content there — some podcasts I did early on and other things. Pretty much though, Patreon exists to support my work here.
Please support my work. What’s it taken? 11 years? I’m finally treating this like the vocation that it is. I’m here for you. Happy blog-aversary!