More Happier: How to Manage the Stress of Having a Book About to Hit the Shelves: Personal Mantras & Hacks

Something Making Us (More) Happier

  • Elizabeth: Jack has decided he likes walking the dogs with her.
  • Gretchen: The flowering trees in Central Park are absolutely gorgeous. #GoOutside23in 23!


I’ve Been Meaning to Ask You

Elizabeth asks me how I’m managing my emotions and energy in the last few days before my book, Life in Five Senses, comes out.

My mantras for handling potential criticism and failure:

  • There are many ways for a book to succeed. 
  • A strong voice repels as well as attracts.
  • I am who I am.
  • This is what I wanted.
  • I can keep creating—for instance, I launched the “What’s Your Neglected Sense?” quiz after the book was finished.
  • Don’t let the book become more important than everything else in my life.

To comfort myself during a time of anxiety:

  • I re-read and re-listen to my favorite books and podcasts, such as Binge Mode: Game of Thrones.
  • I don’t read reviews or profiles.
  • I remind myself: Enjoy the process.
  • I remind myself: The things that go wrong often make the best memories.
  •  I can only do my best.      

I bought myself a good-luck postcard: Entrance to the Gankirō Tea House in the Miyozaki District, Yokohama, Bushu by Hiroshige.

Spotlight on a Tool

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In the best times of my life I always think I am making room, even more room in me.  Here I shovel away snow, there I raise aloft a piece of fallen sky; there are superfluous lakes, I let them run out (I save the fish), overgrown forests, I drive crowds of apes into them, everything is astir, but there’s never enough room, I never ask why, I never feel why, I just have to keep making room, on and on, and as long as I can do so, I merit my life. Elias Canetti, The Human Province




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