In Which I Reveal a Big Secret. Well, It’s Big to Me.

It’s time to admit that I’ve been keeping a secret from my blog. Now all will be revealed! At last, it’s time to confess…not only am I working on a new book, I actually just handed in the draft to my editor! I’ve been working on it for a long time! (I know, this secret may not seem quite as earth-shattering to you as it does to me.)

Happiness is an inexhaustibly fascinating subject; I’d just begun to plumb its depths by the time I’d finished my last book. I wanted to pursue the subject more deeply — but how?

For the first project, I had to develop a framework to understand happiness, and I took a wide, encompassing approach. For this new project, I wanted to go narrower, and deeper. I wanted to put some striking concept at the center, to find a single lens through which to view happiness. But what should that idea be?

As I was pondering this question, I recalled one of my favorite lines from Samuel Johnson: “To be happy at home is the ultimate result of all ambition.” HOME! That’s what’s most important to me, I realized. To be happy at home.

Happier at Home is about what I did to try to be happier at home. I was pretty happy when I started — happier than when I started The Happiness Project — but still, I knew I could be happier.

Why am I announcing this today? Well, today my two daughters headed back to school, to start seventh grade and first grade, and I’m reminded, once again, of my Third Splendid Truth: The days are long, but the years are short. (Of everything I’ve written about happiness, I think this piece, as short as it is, is the one that resonates most with people.) Now is the time to be happier.

And for me, throughout my life, September’s back-to-school atmosphere has always given me a new zeal for self-examination and self-mastery. Those fresh clean notebooks, that new schedule…everything seems possible. I make resolutions at New Year’s, and also in September.

For that reason, Happier at Home spans a school year. From September through May, I work on being happier at home, with themes like Possessions, Time, Marriage, Interior Design, Parenthood, Neighborhood, Body, Now.

Happier at Home will come out next August.

Ah, it feels good to talk about it!

What do you think? Does it grab your interest? How do you like the subject and the title? (Subtitle is still a work in progress.) Each time I write a book, I think sadly, “Alas, no book will ever be as much fun to write as this book. It’s all downhill from here.” And each time, I’ve loved my next book even more. And so it is with Happier at Home. It is such a joy to write this book.

* Good news, bad news. Good news: Colleen Wainwright successfully hit her goal for her fiftieth birthday, to raise $50,000 in 50 days for WriteGirl, a project to which she’s deeply committed. Bad news: now she has to keep her promise and shave her head — bald! Learn more about the fabulous “50-for-50 project” here.

* Sign up for the daily Moment of Happiness to get a happiness quotation in your email inbox. Or sign up for the monthly newsletter, to get highlights from the blog and Facebook. If you’d rather, send your requests by email to gretchenrubin1 at gretchenrubin dot com.

  • Elizabeth FInney

    Can’t wait to read it! Oh my gosh AUGUST! Publishing schedules kill me – really? Almost a year? Could you release it on Kindle earlier? ; )

  • Congratulations! I work part-time as a blogger and can’t imagine the dedication it takes to write a book. Way to go!

    • gretchenrubin

      Thanks so much. I really appreciate it!

      _____

  • Bess

    Congratulations! I really loved “Happiness Project” and have been hoping that you’d take on another one soon. Can’t wait to read it!

  • Kristi

    How very exciting – Congratulations!  Looking forward to reading.

  • Super proud of you! Can’t wait to read it.

  • Themacleods

    It will be interesting to see how you progressed from the first book. Looking forward to it.

  • As a homebody (who works from home), I’m so excited to read that you’re tackling this in your next book, Gretchen! Can’t wait to read it.

  • Congratulations on taking all your hard work to this next step in publishing. A LOT of people will be eagerly waiting its release. Sounds like a great topic- so many people are trying to figure out ways to spend more/better time at home.

  • Congratulations on taking all your hard work to this next step in
    publishing. A LOT of people will be eagerly waiting its release. Sounds
    like a great topic- so many people are trying to figure out ways to
    spend more/better time at home. I love hearing about people who make that work.

  • Stephanie/seenonflickr

    How exciting! Congratulations on the new book – I will be looking forward to it!!

  • Congratulations on your next book!  As a stay-at-home mom, I am VERY interested in your new book, based on its title and premise.  My personal Happiness Project revolves around the home anyway, because that is my life experience at this time.  I will be interested to read about the specifics of your Happiness Project applied to YOUR home!

  • emd04

    This sounds great! Can’t wait to read. 

  • Stephanie

    Congratulations!  I can’t wait to read it.  When I started reading the post, I was sure your new book was going to be on Scent!

    • gretchenrubin

      You were close! — there’s a big section on scent. one of my FAVORITE parts to work on.

      _____

  • Peninith1

    Great focus for your new book! I SO agree with your choice of HOME as the focus. I look forward to next August a lot . . . and I still look forward to your blog posts every day!

  • erin

    I like the idea and think you will reach a large audience. I can’t relate to spouse/children yet as I am in my mid twenties but maybe they will prepare me 🙂

  • Megan Gordon

    Love the idea and can’t wait to read the book. I envy you your ability to write a book. I cannot get one off the ground.

    • gretchenrubin

      I so appreciate all these good wishes. Thanks so much!

      _____

  • Caroline Reich

    Congratulations! I look forward to reading it, certainly. In the meantime, I’m not handling stress well lately, and I think I need to re-read The Happiness Project!

  • Caroline

    I think what makes me so “unhappy” is that I am not sharing my life with anyone 🙁 Not really by choice, just that I can’t find the right man – after getting divorced at 33 years old. It’s hard to embrace the happiness in being lonely and single. I’m struggling with it. When I watch, “The days are long …” all I can think is how lucky you are to have a little girl to share your days with.

    • Tika

      When I read your note it took me back to my old raw memory… 36yo, unexpected ending of what I thought was a solid relationship & 2 almost my own but step-children torn away too… then lost my career job of 11 years… a couple uninspiring make due jobs … I decided to crete a list of everything I want to try, to do, to see, to learn, also volunteer working with homeless children later abused wm & children, taking fun classes in community, writing, creating art, etc… for a change I was going to be & do only for ME for 1 year and no dating  (w/exception of the volunteer w/ kids & moms).  My schedule was absolutely full and then I met my husband and had to figure out where to fit him in. I explained to him that I made a vow of no dating for 1 year, so we were just friends for … we have been together now 21 years, have a strong foundation,  and celebrate our 12th anniversary tomorrow. Spend time on the most important person, YOU. Believe me,  your life will get better as you grow into the authentic you! 😉

  • thefriendlysociety

    Yay! Yay! Yay! That makes me HAPPY! At HOME! OMG!  I can’t wait to read it! Congratulations!!

  • I’m excited!!! That is right up my interest road. Since I’m home all the time, it’s most applicable. Is it August yet???

  • Alison

    So exciting! I can’t wait to read it. The topics sound totally applicable to my life as a SAHM. I loved ghe happiness project and felt that so much of what you said could have come from me if I had a remote ability to write! Hurry up August!

  • Grandma Honey

    I’ve never commented here before, but I just have to say I LOVE the name of your new book and CANNOT WAIT when it is completed!

  • Tara

    Congrats on the new book!  I just finished reading the Happiness Project, and my favorite parts of the book were reading your family anecdotes.  I cannot believe your daughters are in the 7th grade and 1st grade.  Don’t they grow up so fast!

  • Can’t wait to read it.. I wish you Happiness!

  • Hi Gretchen, I am still reading your first book and cant wait to get this one too.. Thanks for the info.

  • just watched The Days are Long, but the years are short. Tears rolled down my cheeks… 

  • Guest

    Congratulations & good luck.

    I’m not surprised. The originality of your post over last 6 months has dropped considerably…I can see why!

  • You make writing a book sound like so much fun, like you can just pick up a subject that intrigues you, read about it and read about it and make copious notes and then make a book.  All that sounds like a lot of fun!  But surely writing books is hard work and all…  Never mind.  Happier at Home?  It sounds intuitive to me, obvious even, but maybe not everyone feels that way already.  Popular psychology is already telling us that experiences are more satisfying than things; now you’re going to tell us we’ll be happier staying at home than travelling?  But we just bought an RV…  Seriously, I shall look forward to reading your next book!

    • gretchenrubin

      An RV can be home!

      _____

  • Crawfordclan

    Best wishes on this–can’t wait until next August!

  • Alison

    Congratulations Gretchen.  My friends and I were only talking yesterday about how you might follow up The Happiness Project.  Roll on August!  Will it be released in the UK at the same time?

    • gretchenrubin

      Don’t know that yet. Thanks for the kind words!

      _____

  • That’s great news!  I can’t wait to read another book of your happiness learnings!  I love the concept of happiness at home – often this is the place where there is the most happiness and familiarity, but we get caught up in the little things, and don’t always feel it.  It’s sometimes the hardest to be patient with those we love, and live with.  Sounds like a great idea, and a great read.

    http://rewardsofsimplelife.blogspot.com

  • Jenny

    Gretchen, this is great news! Thanks for sharing your new plan — I can definitely tell it’s a relief and a treat for you to share it! Like you, I find September an inspiring time to set resolutions midst the back-to-school vibe. Somehow, it always makes me want to buy more books…

    Good luck with Happier at Home — I look forward to reading it next year!

    • gretchenrubin

      Thanks so much. I so appreciate it.

      _____

  • megs283

    Congrats!! I’ve been a longtime reader and I bought the Happiness Project “just” to support you, but it’s helped me take steps to be happier in my own life. Thank you!  I’m looking forward to round 2. What an achievement!!

  • Hunniebun

    Brilliant! I’m only sorry it doesn’t come out until next year! If you need a test audience before then I volunteer! 🙂

  • Mbstarshak

    Exicted about hearing more about Happy at Home.  I have to say I just received a huge boost of happiness after reading “Love and Logic” an amazing parenting book that is making a big difference in my home happiness.  No more frustration with children running late, or not cleaning their room or picking up toys.  The book is about our discipline actually teaching our children to think and when that happens, they are more independent, cooperative and proud of what they can do on their own.  My 8 and 6 year old girls are making beds and loading the dishwasher daily without a word from me.  Uniforms are laid out before school and they are taking responsibility for what they need for school.  I simply make breakfast and the lunches and sip my coffee.  Now that is happiness at home!

  • Ladycraig

    I am super excited to hear the focus of your new book!  As a happy housewife & mother of young children, I can’t wait to read it!  Congratulations xo

  • Congratulations! I’m looking forward to reading it. A focus on home as September rolls around always works well for me, too.

  • Kelli

    Gretchen!! I cannot wait for your book to come out… what do you mean I have to wait until AUGUST though.. on a sidenote, I just wanted to let you know how many people my age (22) I have now ‘hooked’ on “The Happiness Project.” I’m sure many people will agree with me that your writings can touch and relate to people on any age level. Keep up the good work 🙂

    • gretchenrubin

      Ahhh, thanks so much! And it’s so funny that August seems so far away to you — to me, it seems almost terrifyingly close. I have a lot of polishing to do before then…

      _____

  • Shari

    Gretchen,
      I look forward to your new book. Nothing like a little anticipation to increase my happiness!

    • gretchenrubin

      Ah, you are so nice to say so.

      _____

  • Ametrine

    Yay!!! I’m going to reread The Happiness Project soon, and I’m so glad to know there’s more of your take on the subject on the way!!!!!!

  • Congratulations – and also I’m not surprised. Such truth in that statement that the days are long but the years are short – and they feel more short as we get older (why is that?) 

    August 2012 will be my 32nd birthday. I’ll buy it for myself, with the hope that I’m happier at home, too. 

  • Congratulations. I had just said to someone last week, “I wonder when her next book is coming out:)”

  • Alison

    Love your stuff. I have found some of my best and new favorite websites and blogs from you! Swissmiss is a bigee and now Colleen Wainwright. Thanks!

  • Tracy

    This makes me so incredibly happy! Congratulations, Gretchen! I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy!

  • Catseye

    Congrats, Gretchen!  One of these days, though, you need to publish a novel, okay?  ;o)

  • UnearthMyMuse

    Congratulations, but not MY happiness level has dropped; I have to wait nearly a year before reading it!

  • Sgoewey

    I still remember the time my mom had to take me out of kindergarten and on a bus ride to the dentist. I remember because SHE told me how guilty it made her feel that she didn’t do more with me (middle child of 3).  She said I was SO excited that day on the bus, swinging my legs, telling a woman rider , “I’m going to the dentist!” Then afterward she took me to S&W Cafeteria, which was so exciting to me because I ‘d never been to a cafeteria before where you could look at all the food and TAKE WHATEVER YOU WANTED 🙂 I also remember, vividly, that though they had so much to choose from, they didn’t have _Blueberry_ pie (my favorite) so I settled for Cherry, just like in my favorite book, The Blueberry Pie Elf, I found it disappointing and kind of sour.

    I really am enjoying your book. Almost done. I get alternatively energized and overwhelmed, then I remember: it took you a year to get all that done.  I’m sure like many readers, I wish you were my personal friend, lived close by and would come help me CLEAN A CLOSET 🙂  (I do have a couple of friends who have done that for me before…I should ask again, but I’m sheepish).
    Seriously, you should make that the big prize if you decide to run some sort of Happiness Project contest: Gretchen Rubin will come and help you clean a closet. It could be a (ugh) new reality show! 🙂 (but we don’t like to waste our time on reality tv do we? it doesn’t _really_ make us happy!)

    Yesterday I was all excited to start a Happiness Project book group with my friends to read it together & support each other’s resolutions (I love how you distinguishe them from goals).  I called my most popular friend who is a “great gatherer” to see if she was in (that’s all it takes to get a crowd is to get her first), but she was on the phone w/ someone else and forgot to call me back. By today I got too tired. Then I realized, that friend is already too happy, she probably doesn’t need it. I should make 3 new friends. And this would be a good excuse/avenue, and get each friend to bring a friend. But I’m thinking people will say they are too busy.  

    (Not to mention that  “the big one” already hit me:   my son has autism and it’s hard to entertain w/ him running around, so it will be difficult to volunteer my house as meeting spot.)

    Ok. Deep breath. ONE closet.
    Keep up the great sharing, Gretchen. I look forward to your next book, although, I do think you’ve pretty much “covered it all” in your book. 

    PS I love  your tip to stop nagging: Use one word.  A lot of those kind of tips work with kids with autism too. Fewer words the better. Relationship Development Intervention (RDI) therapy takes it a step further: you pretend you’ve LOST your voice, don’t talk AT ALL and just mime everything. It turns communicating into a fun guessing game and gets the wheels turning in their little brains. It’s fun, you should try it on your youngest.

  • Monika

    That’s the best news we could get! The happiness levels have just gone up for me in anticipation of the new book. Hope it all goes quick and smoothly and soon we will be ordering a lovely, fresh smelling print.

  • Srwilfong

    Yes! In fact, I have been scouring your blog looking for the doorway prayer that you say when you return home. Can you remind me?

    I’m also a mom of two girls, and your thoughts on family and home really resonate with me!

  • Marla Foreman

    Yay, so excited!  Loved The Happiness Project, and your blog… looking forward to your next book!  I’ll buy it the day it comes out!  Wish we didn’t have to wait so long for it though, oh well.

  • Heyjude27

    I am just thrilled to hear about your new book!  My family and I have been so much happier since we started your Happiness Project and it didn’t matter what age….we are all happier!!!  We plan to continue making ourselves happier day by day.  Your book has made one of the biggest impacts on my life and I thank you, thank you, thankyou. warmly, Judy in Mi.

    • gretchenrubin

      I’m so happy to hear that my work resonates with you and your family! Thanks so much for your kind note, and your enthusiasm for the next book. Very nice to hear.

      _____

  • Abbie Miller

    Congratulations Gretchen! Can’t wait to read your new book!

  • Swegmeyer

    Looking forward to the book! I am on month 10 of my project – charts galore! Sharon

    • gretchenrubin

      Terrific! Good luck!

      _____

  • Flyeagles5

    I am looking forward to this book!  My one-and-only headed off to college in August and years being short never hit home so hard.

  • Maryl

    Ah, just saw this via the link in today’s post — so happy!   I love the title.  The happier-at-home elements were among my favorite aspects of The Happiness Project , so I can’t wait for the book.  Congratulations!

    • gretchenrubin

      Thanks so much!

      _____

  • Amy Jo Trager

    Awesome!   I can’t wait to read the new book.  Congratulations!

  • I can hardly wait for this book to come out. I am praying that we will once again be home owners by this time next year and so a book to go along with that to help me happier at home will be perfection. Of course I still am going through a second time your current book and discussing on my blog each month my journey, it still has been rough to find the level of happiness I had hoped to achieve in life after all the hardships and current ones including worsening health. I spend so much time at home and feel as if I am never truly happy in the four walls, perhaps because they are not mine, but if perhaps I have guidance once again it will help. So here is to August getting here quick!

  • I am so buying your new book! I’ve just ordered 10 of your new desk calenders and 4 more books…that champagne you’re ordering for Chrissie young Gretchen is from me- cheers!
    I’m such a homebody that happiness to me is a fridge full of fresh food for 3 days so I don’t have to leave the house ONCE! I get my friends to come over by luring them with afternoon tea or dinner. I too love kid lit, chintz and tea cozies, have 3 cats whose bellies I adore burying my face in many times a day.  I’m building my first home and it’s going to have a wood stove, carpet everywhere except the kitchen and toilets, super comfy chairs and solar panels and rainwater tanks..I’m the comfort queen!

  • Fiona

    I’ve just finished reading your book and was really impressed!! You have managed to put things into such a down to earth fashion that makes perfect sense.  I’ve even thought about writing a book …

    • gretchenrubin

      I’m so happy to hear that it resonates with you!

      _____

  • Nicole Friend

    Excited about this.  I’m trying to downshift and be home more and be really there when I’m home. 

    I’m hoping, though, that one day you’ll do a version of the Happiness Project for kids/teens.

  • Sljcalypte1

    I have kept a notebook of quotes pertaining to contentment for many years.  Samuel Johnson’s is one of may favorites.  I also like “The gretaest wealth is to live content with little for there is never want where the mind is satisfied.”  Lucretius

  • Congratulations! This wish may be a lil’ too late as I just found out about your new book like 10 minutes ago! I am still reading and re-reading your Happiness Project Book and I can’t wait to read Happiness At Home! 

    All the best,
    Syaf / motivationMY
    Malaysia

  • Sarah W.

    Very  much looking forward to your new book! Can’t wait! 🙂

  • Jennie Floyd

    So happy for you Gretchen!  I loved your first book and have given it twice as gifts.  Can’t wait to read the new one.  One of my favorite happiness quotes is “Choose thy love, love thy choice.”  Not sure where it came from.  I also love Paul’s quote from the Bible: “I have learned to be content in all circumstances.”  For me, learning to be content with what I have will still striving to improve my circumstances is a delicate balance, and is key to my happiness.  Thank you for your beautiful writing.  You have taught me a great deal with your work.

    • gretchenrubin

      Thanks so much for your kind words. I’m thrilled to hear that my work resonates with you. Wonderful quotations!

      _____

  • Claire Vorster

    Love it Gretchen.  If we are to be happier anywhere, surely home is a good place to start?  Keep on keeping on.  

  • emso

    I love the cover and the preview of the new book – I’ll be waiting with excitement for August!! Thank you for all you do, Gretchen.

  • Liza

    Love the cover the the new book, the blue bird and the different color bird houses, love it all.

  • Rean

    Just found that the hardback won’t be available in the UK until mid September and the paperback isn’t out until April 2013 🙁