My Most Personal Blog Post

Cat trying to get in way of work

I’m going to let you in on a secret: I’m writing a book. I have no idea if the book will ever be published — that’s why I kept it secret for so long. I hate the idea of publicly failing at something that’s so deeply personal to me, and yet I’ve decided to blog about it.

A little backstory.

About a year before this blog came to be, I had an idea for a book. It’s morphed over the years — and I’ll go over the most interesting bits in future posts — but it started out as taking a look at where wedding etiquette rules originated and then how they morphed into the modern etiquette rules we know today. Then it offered what I felt was truly useful advice geared toward the modern bride.

It’s not quite that anymore, but I’ll cover this in a later post.

After working through many versions of the proposal, which feels like writing a mini-book in itself, I started to show it to knowledgeable friends and eventually agents. I received this advice: Start a blog, make it successful, and then try and sell the book.

You should have seen my face at the idea of building a successful blog while simultaneously writing a book and maintaining a full-time job. Let’s just say it took me awhile to warm to the idea.

But eventually I did because here we are.

So I built Retroette. It’s been both fun and satisfying at times and really, really hard and frustrating others. And while I enjoy writing about retro and modern etiquette, I’ve been thinking how this blog could offer something more substantial if I offered a peek behind the curtain, so to speak, by writing about my book project.

I think of it like The Wonder Years (because I love to think about The Wonder Years). They have free-standing episodes, like I’ll have my freestanding blog posts about etiquette, but then there’s the through-story about the ups and downs of Kevin and Winnie and sometimes Becky Slater. For me, the through-story will be building this blog, my successes and failures with it, and writing my book.

I’m hoping it will keep me honest too because now that I have a blog to maintain, it’s been really hard to attend to my book. Hopefully, writing about the process here will keep my motivation up, and combining the blog and the book in a more overt way — as I plan on sharing parts of the book — will make my projects feel more manageable.

My hope too is that other bloggers and book-writers will find a spot here that’s of use to them. People don’t always write about the hard parts — I, in fact, even avoid talking about the hard parts. So I’m hoping that I can voice some things that tap into what other writers experience, and if they haven’t experienced them yet, maybe it will be helpful if they eventually do.

I’ll tag these posts “book project,” so that’s how you can find all these posts in one place. And by all means, please share your personal blogging and writing successes and failures in the comments. This is hard for me, and hearing from other people would make it so much easier!

Photo by my husband of me writing this post, while Linus tries to steal my attention away.

It's good etiquette to share what you like!


  1. ioana

    your blog is lovely! i just discovered it and loved the poison rings and the 1903 post! looking forward to a whole book to thumb through!

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