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  • gretchenrubin 16:42:15 on 2019/04/02 Permalink
    Tags: , book tour, , , , , , questions, tour   

    Report from My Book Tour! Some Observations and Insights from the Road. 

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    I'm visiting many cities across the United States as part of my book tour for Outer Order, Inner Calm. Many writers don't like to go on tour, but I love it. I really enjoy getting to meet book readers and Happier listeners, and I'm very interested to hear what people have to say on the subject of outer order.

    Some observations:

    I'm noticing that many people apparently buy the book as a helpful resource, or possibly a gentle nudge, or possibly outright pointed commentary, for someone else. I'm often asked to inscribe a book with sentiments such as "You can do it!" or "You got this!".

    It's interesting to me that many book clubs are reading this book. I wouldn't necessarily have thought it would be a candidate for a book group, but there's indeed much to discuss.

    I've been struck by how many people who attend book events come through the Happier podcast.  It's tremendously fun to see the two strands of my work coming together.

    I've been surprised by how many people have told me that of all the books I've written, Better Than Before is their favorite. I love all my books, and I love Better Than Before, so I don't know why that's a surprise. Maybe because it's about a subject—how to make or break habits—is often considered a challenge.

    Speaking of Better Than Beforepeople often bring their old books for me to sign, so my life flashes before my eyes as I see the various covers and editions of my previous books. That's fun, especially when a book is very dog-eared or marked-up. I love to see a much-read book. I really mark up  books when I read (except library books of course).

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    When I speak, my favorite part is always the question-and-answer, because I'm so curious to hear what's on people's minds.

    A few questions keep coming up over and over:

    • "Because of a death or downsizing in my family, I've inherited a bunch of stuff. How do I manage it?"
    • "How can I teach a child the value of outer order?"
    • "How can I use the Four Tendencies framework to get myself, or someone else, to do a better job of maintaining outer order?"
    • "How do I manage my emotions? I want to create more outer order, but it's very hard for me to relinquish things that have sentimental value."
    • "How do I manage digital clutter?"
    • "What should I do with my photos?" Once a woman started crying as she asked her question, because she was so overwhelmed by her photos.

    Fortunately, the book Outer Order, Inner Calm tackles all these issues! It would be discouraging if I found out that I hadn't addressed issues that were pressing on people's minds.

    One funny question: a Happier podcast listener asked if I'd been sticking to #10 on my "19 for 2019" list. I'd added the item: "On my book tour, read children's literature instead of watching HGTV before-and-after shows, which for some reason is what I want to do when I'm alone in a hotel room."

    Yes, I've kept this. I realized that as an Abstainer, it would be easier for me to follow through if I watched no TV. So I haven't turned on the TV once! I've been reading adult literature as well as children's literature, but I accept that as within the spirit of the resolution.

    Speaking of "19 for 2019," many people included "Go to a Gretchen Rubin event" on their lists. Several people even asked me to sign a copy of their lists—so fun to see.

    I'm sure no one else noticed, but I thought it was funny when someone introduced me by saying that I'd "walked hand-in-hand with the Dalai Lama" instead of "arm-in-arm." A big difference!

    Another question often raised by audience members—and journalists—is how my approach differs from that of Marie Kondo. It's so different!

    I love the work of Marie Kondo. I read her book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up as soon as it came out, years ago, and I binge-watched Tidying Up as soon as it was available on Netflix. I see tremendous value in her approach.

    But the fact is, Marie Kondo has a very specific, structured way to approach outer order. On the TV show, the specificity of her approach is softened somewhat, but in the book, it's clear: to do it right, follow the KonMari way.

    From my observation, there's never just one way to achieve an aim. There's no magic, one-size-fits-all solution that's "best" or "most efficient" or "right." People are different, and different approaches work for different people. So while I love Kondo's work, and have followed some of her suggestions, I don't think there's one best way.

    Marie Kondo is a simplicity-lover, but many people are abundance-lovers.

    Marie Kondo says to do clutter-clearing in one big effort, but many people prefer to tackle it a little bit at a time, with strategies like the "one-minute rule" or "power hour."

    For some people—like me—it would be a waste of time and energy to follow her advice to unpack my bag every night, put things away, and re-pack the next day.

    You can read more about my thoughts on Marie Kondo's work here.

    In my observation, the problem arises when a certain system (like KonMari, David Allen's Getting Things Done, minimalism, etc.) doesn't work for people, and they get discouraged and think that their situation is hopeless, because they've failed with a specific approach.

    My own view is that if one way doesn't work or doesn't appeal, just try something else until you find what works for you. If something doesn't work, that's still helpful, because you've learned value information about what does and doesn't work for you, so now you can try something different.

    One last note: It has been great to meet so many people who are doing The Happiness Project Experience this year, and to hear how the program is going for them. I've been very gratified to learn that people are really enjoying it.

    Thanks to everyone who came to an event! I so appreciate the enthusiasm and support.

  • Crystal Ellefsen 10:00:38 on 2019/01/22 Permalink
    Tags: , book tour,   

    My 2019 Book Tour 

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    Outer Order, Inner Calm is about to hit the shelves! And that means I’m about to go on a book tour. I love getting the chance to see readers, listeners, and viewers face to face.

    Please note that most events require a ticket. Details and ticket links for my 2019 book tour are here. (If you have questions about an event, such as when tickets will go on sale, ask the event organizers; they're in charge of those issues.)

    My favorite part of touring is the question-and-answer sessions, because people’s questions give me a lot of ideas and insights into people’s concerns.

    In fact, I wrote The Four Tendencies book in large part because whenever I spoke about Better Than Before, even though I was highlighting the most interesting ideas about habit-formation, most people asked questions about the Four Tendencies framework.

    Similarly, when I was touring for The Happiness Project, Happier at Home, and even Better Than Before, I noticed how energized people became during any discussion of outer order. Any time the subject came up, people laughed, talked among themselves, and were clearly interested. The fact is, for most people, outer order contributes to inner calm, and any time the subject arose, people wanted to hear more. So—I wanted to write a book about it. And now it's time to take it on the road!

    During previous book tours, for reasons that are mysterious to me, I’ve spent a lot of my hotel time watching HGTV shows. I do love a before-and-after, and while I never watch these programs at home, I couldn’t get enough of them on the road.

    But as I said in my “19 for 2019,” I’ve pledged that for this tour, I’m going to keep the TV turned off and read children’s and young-adult literature instead. I’ll get a lot of great reading time that way. If you have any book suggestions, send them my way. (I just discovered Peter Dickinson, wow.)

    Another thing I enjoy about book tours is that people often show me their heavily marked-up copies of my books, or their completed One-Sentence Journals. I love to see how someone has engaged with one of my books. I’m a big underliner and dog-earer, myself, so I get a big kick out of seeing my work get that treatment.

    This tour will be interesting because Outer Order, Inner Calm// is a narrowly focused book—outer order is a big subject, but it’s not as big as habits or happiness. I like tackling broad subjects (The Happiness Project, Better Than Before, Forty Ways to Look at Winston Churchill) and I also like to go more deeply into a specific area (Happier at Home, The Four Tendencies). This book goes deep, but it’s also a very quick read.

    My hope for Outer Order, Inner Calm and book tour is to create a “get psyched” experience. Sometimes I read a book or hear a talk that gets me so fired up, I can’t wait to get started myself.

    So far, the book does seem to be having that effect! For instance, the day after I finished recording my audio-book, my audio director emailed me a photo of all the junk she’d cleared out of her office. And the book’s publicist recently told me that she’d set aside a day to tackle some major clutter piles in her house.

    Even after spending all this time thinking about outer order, it still surprises me how much it matters—how much energy, focus, and cheer we get from creating outer order. It seems like a fairly trivial thing to worry about, but the effect certainly isn’t trivial--for most people.

    As I’ve said many (too many?) times, if you’re inclined to buy the book, a pre-order really helps me. Because of the way the book industry works these days, pre-orders give a big boost to a book, by creating buzz among the media, booksellers, and other readers.

    So, as a way to thank people who pre-order, I’ve created a pre-order bonus. It’s a 21-day clutter-clearing challenge, so you can get started creating order right away. Don’t worry—everything I suggest is concrete and very manageable. Remember, we can get a surprising amount done, if we do just a little bit each day.

    Gold star to everyone who has already pre-ordered. Periodically I get pre-order updates, and it’s so encouraging when that number has grown. Thank you.

    Added bonus: do you want a signed, personalized copy of my new book, Outer Order, Inner Calm?

    Pre-order now from famous indie bookstore The Strand, and you can have it shipped anywhere (yes, internationally!) or pick up in store once the book is out on March 5.

    I had such fun writing this book! I hope you find it useful as you find ways to make more room for happiness in your own life.

    Claim your preorder bonus here: outerorderinnercalmbook.com/bonus/.

  • gretchenrubin 16:55:14 on 2017/09/24 Permalink
    Tags: , book tour, , ,   

    A Few Things I’ve Learned During My Current Book Tour. 

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    Some writers don't like to leave their desks, but I love the chance to meet face to face with readers of my books, listeners of the "Happier" podcast, viewers of my Facebook Live videos, people to whom I'm connected on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook -- I get so much energy, and gain so many insights and ideas, from meeting with people in real life.

    I still have several stops on my book tour, but so far, here are some things I've learned.

    1. It really is easy accidentally to trigger the spirit of resistance in a Rebel.

    When Elizabeth and I did our meet-up in L.A., I noticed that we had only one Rebel in the crowd. I mentioned that to the Rebel, and she said, "Oh, I can tell you why." I was flabbergasted. "Why?" I asked. "Because the meet-up was from 5-7:00 p.m. All day long, I've been struggling with that. I wanted to come meet you two, but I hated the idea of showing up at a particular time." Gosh, I know better, having studied the Four Tendencies! My message should have said something more like "My flight lands midday, so Elizabeth and I be at the restaurant in the late afternoon, around 5-7:00 p.m. If you have the inclination and want to hang out, stop by."

    2. I need to adapt my Four Tendencies quiz for children.

    At practically every book event I've done so far, someone in the audience has asked for this. One million people have taken the adult quiz! Once the dust settles from the book tour, I will write the kids' quiz. If you have ideas for scenarios and questions appropriate for children, please let me know. Parents, teachers, coaches, instructors, and health-care professionals have already sent me many great suggestions, but I'd love to have more.

    3. Every book signing has a theme name.

    My signings are usually pretty large, and I've noticed that once a line is of a certain size, one name always comes up most often -- not always a name that I'd expect to be super-popular. The last theme name? Kristen/Kristin. It's fun for me to try to identify the theme name.

    4. Airplane reading is the best reading.

    Last Thursday night, I did a fun event at Books Inc. in San Francisco with the brilliant Kim Scott. Years ago, Kim told me, "Whenever I travel for work, I read for fun. Work travel is my time to read novels." I thought this was a great rule, decided to copy her, and so I get a tremendous amount of pleasure reading done during a book tour. Most recently, I re-read Marilynne Robinson's Home. Such a beautiful book. It does demand close attention, and planes are perfect for that, with the quiet, stillness, and lack of distractions.

    5. People really understand the Four Tendencies.

    I have to say, it surprises me how obvious the four types are, once you learn about them. These aren't subtle distinctions in human nature! I see them everywhere! (Side note: How is it possible that I'm the first one to recognize this pattern? As far as I can tell, I am.) But I thought -- well, maybe they're obvious to me, because after all I've spent the last few years obsessing about this framework. But no! People understand them thoroughly, even from a brief description in my book talk. During the question-and-answer periods, people astonish me with the sophistication, subtlety, and originality they show in their grasp of the Four Tendencies. I often rush back from these events and take notes on what people have said.

    My book tour continues, and I look forward to meeting many more readers, listeners, and viewers along the way.

    Do you go to author events? During this tour, many people have told me that the event was their first author event. Which is terrific.

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