At 3am on October 31, 2008, I wrote the final sentence of Escape from Cubicle Nation, saved the document and got ready to send it to my editor. Only I couldn’t open my email because at that very moment, the Internet connection for my entire neighborhood went down.
It was frosting on a caffeine-fueled, sleep-deprived bender of writing a book. It was the hardest thing I had ever done.
That is why they make babies so cute
My agent told me to take my time and wait for the next book. “Don’t rush it,” she said.
That was welcome news, because I could think of nothing that I wanted to do less than start a new book after pouring so much of my lifeblood into the first one.
It kind of reminded me of giving birth. Nothing prepares you for the enormity of the experience until you live through it.
But afterward, holding a tiny, perfect baby in your arms, you think “Aww, look at how cute he is! I think I want another one.”
The whisper in my ear
About eighteen months ago, I started to hear tiny whispers of ideas. They spoke faintly, when I was driving to work after dropping my kids at school, or right before I fell asleep, or in the middle of a coaching call with a client.
It felt like a force, a mystical shape inside of me. But I couldn’t see it through the fog.
It resembled the elusive creative genius chasing the poet down the hill that Elizabeth Gilbert talks about in her brilliant TED talk.
I spent months and months scribbling down ideas. I made flip charts with post it notes. I read books. I talked with friends and mentors. I tested concepts on coaching clients.
And finally, after five revisions to my book proposal, my agent sent it to my publisher.
As I was standing in line at Disneyland, my phone rang. It was my agent. We had a deal with the best business book publisher in the world, Penguin/Portfolio.
What is the new book about?
The world of work has blown up, and with it, the old framework of career development.
Our market has fallen to pieces in the recent recession, and many people are afraid that they no longer can have significant, stable and financially viable careers.
They feel this way despite the rising economy of freelance and web-based businesses, spun out of home offices, co-working spaces and coffee shops around the world.
Many lament that they “play by the rules” and still get left behind by the economy.
The truth is, the old rules worked for a linear career path. Our lives are now non-linear. We need a new way to look at the world of work that embraces our current opportunities, not laments that we don’t have those of the past.
“The future is about gigs and assets and art and an ever-shifting series of partnerships and projects. This revolution is at least as big as the last one, and the last one changed everything.” – Seth Godin
In the new world of work, the purpose of work is not just to contribute your skills to a company or industry and in exchange make enough money to take care of yourself and your family.
Rather, the purpose of work is to allow you to create and contribute a meaningful, useful, and beautiful body of work to the world and along the way, take care of your financial needs.
To do this, you need a new framework, new skills and a new approach to your entire work life.
I am writing this book for all of us — corporate employees, academics, entrepreneurs, freelancers, and non-profit professionals.
For now, the working title is Body of Work.
When is the book coming out?
The book will come out in Fall, 2013. There will be a global dance party to celebrate its release. 🙂
Do you want to help me write it?
When I wrote Escape, 150 brave people volunteered to be emailed at random times with questions. I asked for real-life examples of life in cubicles. I asked if deadly algae or mating rabbits was a better metaphor for an out-of-control inbox. As I got close to the deadline, I probably asked for coffee. I felt so supported knowing that a small group of people were actively invested in the book. And it was so fun to include some of the responses from this advisory group in the final manuscript.
If you want to participate in the Advisory Council for this book, submit your name and email below. I may email frequently one month, and not at all the next. I will read every response, but cannot promise a reply, lest I spend all my writing hours in email, and not writing the book. You can choose to reply only to questions that interest you. You can jump on or off the list at any time if it gets to be too much.
What about John Legend?
Those of you who have followed my obsession with John Legend’s story of going from Excel Cowboy to Grammy-winning musician to social activist will be happy to know I finally have a really good reason to interview him for my book. Between my connections with his college friends, former co-workers, friends in the entertainment industry and good old persistence, I think I have just the right degrees of separation to snag an interview. I will tell you as soon as it is done. 🙂
Let’s do this
I am excited about the great adventure we are about to undertake. Here is to ALL of us finding problems worth solving, work worth doing and life worth living.
[…] on the New York Times list this week!” As someone who is counting on him to execute my upcoming book launch in December, this was very encouraging news (and you better keep your record Tim, no pressure or […]
Wonderful blog! I found it while surfing around on Yahoo News.
Do you have any suggestions on how to get listed in Yahoo News?
I’ve been trying for a while but I never seem to get there! Thanks
[…] have been in the throes of writing my new book, which is why you might hear some crickets chirping over here on the […]
I would love to help with your book. Ask away!
[…] And then there were our teachers: Pamela Slim of Escape From Cubicle Nation fame, the wisest, warmest and most practical person I know. She is a speaker and business coach for entrepreneurs and is working on a new book, Body of Work. […]
Wow, marvelous blog layout! How long have you been blogging for?
you make blogging look easy. The overall look of your website is magnificent, as well as the
[…] was kind and patient with my book proposal writing process, and helped me close a deal for a brand new book with my favorite book publisher Penguin Portfolio. We will be working hard together this year to […]
[…] for the current group of Beta Authors to talk about writing her next book. Tentatively titled Body of Work, it will be published by Penguin Portfolio in the fall of […]
This is surely a great book coming from a great mind like yours Pam. Can’t wait to read the book. Good Luck!
[…] biggest project is writing a brand new book about success and happiness in the new world of work. It is due to my publisher at the beginning of […]
I’m feeling excited for you on your second book.
Your first book ‘Escape from cubicle nation’ changed my life.
It is through this book that I decided to have a entrepreneurship
Mindset to leave the corporate world.
I’m hope I can contribute to your second book project 🙂
That’s great news. Your first book was such a great source of inspiration and support. There is a new normal when it comes to business and entrepreneurship. I think we all have a great deal to learn.
Yay! Count me in…really, really looking forward to it 🙂
YES! Love to be a part of IT.
This sounds so great I couldn’t miss the opportunity to contribute.
Happy to help, sounds very interesting.
It will be nice if you can tell us how you plan to write it, I mean do you write x amount of pages daily, or how?
Pam, that is one heckofa working title. I started reading your blog years ago, a true blue corporate employee with no intention of ever becoming an entrepreneur. I just liked what you said and how you said it. Now, after several economic crises, “restructuring measures” and funding drying up, I was (forced) propelled into self-employment. Thank heavens I was reading your blog all the time… I hit the group running.
Long story made short… I’d love to be involved in your book project…
I can’t wait to read the book!
I’m SO in, but just received a confirmation email for the newsletter…
I’ve joined the millions who would absolutely honored and delighted to answer any question at all. This book is sure to set things a-rumbling.
I only wish that I was also writing a book so that I could join you in Sedona in February.
It all worked for me, just to confirm to you that it’s working now 🙂 Good luck in your next book!
Hi Pam – I’m in the process of changing careers to my true vocation and was knocked out by illness for several weeks. Today is the first day since the health mess began that I have real hope I’m getting better, and by coincidence, today this news crossed my path. I’ve signed up. Respectfully I say to you that you’re one of my idols, and I’m really looking forward to this opportunity. Thanks! 🙂
I’m in for the sequel, Pam! Congratulations. I’m also been hearing the little voice to start my second one, just not quite there yet.
I’m in!!! Looking forward to the journey.
I’m getting the unable to process error as well!
The book sounds great – can’t wait to read it 🙂 I wish you energy and passion as you embark on this new book-writing journey!!!!
Thanks ladies! We fixed one thing and broke another. Now you should be able to sign up. 🙂
I’m getting the unable to process form message, too, but I’m in.
Hey Pam -I am in! But just tried to submit the form and got an error response xo Cheryl
Thanks so much Sarah and Beverly! We fixed the form, then realized the error in the confirmation message. Ugh, Friday brain! 🙂 It is fixed now, thanks for testing it and reporting the bugs.
I’m in, although the confirmation email said I was now subscribed to your newsletter (which is just fine by me!).
Hey Pam! It says “Unable to process form” when I enter my name. But I’m in!