Shambhala Decides (Part 3)

So. These two book proposals. As you'll remember, I submitted a proposal, went to a luncheon, got some feedback from an editor, and then split the proposal into two - one that I loved, one that was just kind of . . . meh.

Problem being: I was just about certain Shambhala, being a wise and reputable publisher, would choose the second.

(This is Part 3 in a multi-part series. For Part 1, please click here.)

A word on these two proposals.

Proposal number one, the one I liked, was about ethics. More to the point, it was about how to live an upright life right in the middle of everything going to hell in a hand cart. The target audience was millennials. Devon and I had no platform with millennials. And so I knew in my heart that Shambhala would never choose this proposal.

Proposal number two was targeted to middle-aged helping professionals. The idea was to take the brahmaviharas and offer them up in relatable, research-based vignettes. Middle-aged helping professionals: those were the folks who actually showed up to our workshops. And so I knew in my heart that Shambhala would definitely choose this proposal.

Which left me a little stumped.

Because I didn't really want to write a book about the brahmaviharas for helping professionals. Even though I love helping professionals. Even though I am a helping professional. What I wanted was to write a book for the kids in my Psychology of Mindfulness class, the ones I'd taught at UW-Madison, and then hope there were a hundred thousand other kids out there who were just as jazzed by the kinds of things we talked about in that class.

So I sat on my proposals for the whole week we were in Copenhagen teaching mindfulness to a group of Danish psychologists. And then finally I gave up and sent the damn things in.

Spoiler: Shambhala chose proposal number one.

Why? Because Shambhala kicks ass. Because they all decided that, just like me, "the millennials book" had "more excitement and energy." And even though it was going to be tougher to market, it was just the cooler project.

This - the fact that Shambhala chose what had energy over an easy sell - pumped a quart of adrenaline into the project for me. And it also lifted my appreciation for Jenn, our would-be editor, to monumental levels.

But of course, they hadn't actually sent me a contract yet. First Jenn needed a KEYNOTE and a DESCRIPTION so she could sell the project to the upper management. If they didn't bite, the whole thing would fall apart before it ever got off the ground.

And so I went back to work, all pumped and ready. But things were about to get a little more complicated.

Next time: Trouble in Paradise.

Craig Hase