I spent years working on a cookbook, and not just any cookbook, a 300 plus page cookbook. where I was the recipe developer, writer, recipe editor, stylist, and photographer, with only a Facebook friend following. What the hell was I thinking?!?
I searched through my newfound podcast, Everything Cookbooks, for an episode to listen to during my late lunch break stroll around the business park to break my mind free from status reports and purchase orders. There it was, episode 1, “Should I write a cookbook.” I chuckled the kind of chuckle you do when you see or hear something ironic. Just yesterday I was texting Shalee, fueled by lackluster sales and feeling rejected, that I wasn’t sure writing the cookbook was worth it. I knew I was wrong. Any project that tests, thus builds your character, as much as this cookbook has is worth it, but still, uncertainty breeds self-doubt. I’m all about treating setbacks as learning, but with the amount of time, energy, and sacrifice put into this book, failure to sell is not an option.
It’s a little too late for this podcast’s advice, but I was curious to see what they would say. I took a deep breath, and pressed play.
The podcast discussed the makings of a cookbook and ones they decided not to write and why. They were really honest about what it takes to make a cookbook because it does take a lot of work, especially when you don’t have a team.
They closed the podcast with each of the hosts addressing whether one should write a cookbook in one final thought. Write if you are willing to work hard, you know your audience, you’ve researched comparable books and understand how yours is different and write one if you have a unique contribution. In traditional Lyndsay fashion, I went into checklist mode.
- Willing to work hard-Really hard….really really hard….extraordinarily hard. Check!
- Know your audience-Beginner home cooks with maybe some skills that lead busy lives but understand the value of home cooking and how it is essential to living well so they can be more to themselves, their loved ones and the community. Check!
- Researched comparable cookbooks-Seeing as how I would classify this book as more of a self-improvement book as it’s written differently than a traditional cookbook, I haven’t found one that is similar. Check!
- Unique contribution-Although I’m checking off every item, the understanding of this one provides the most validation, as well as inspiration to push forward.
As I mentioned in item 3, this book is not written like traditional cookbooks. Unlike traditional recipes, the dishes are designed around nutrients, not ingredients, with the intention to improve one’s body, beauty and mind. The book is designed to help educate on how food works for you, not against you. Ultimately it is designed to help one live well, so they can be well, so they can be more. So they can be the person God designed them to be and fulfill their purpose. My Exercise Sports Science and fitness background, and all my years of researching on food science and lifestyle prevention is how I was able to design the recipes, while my endless hours of self-teaching in the kitchen and my innate artistry is how I was able to bring the dishes to life. What brought the book to life, was my experiences with Alzheimer’s, which reminds me of my why(s).
My whys for the book, are my sister, Marcy, who at the time of making the book, was suffering from Alzheimer’s and my niece, Ayana, who I want to protect from experiencing any of the pain I endured from witnessing this disease. Currently, the best way to prevent Alzheimer’s is lifestyle prevention. I knew in order to help this awareness I had to make a big move. I had to develop something at this level to help others to receive the message, and start building a platform to the foundation I wish to start for Alzheimer’s daughters and sisters.
Knowing I have a unique contribution to the world and remembering my whys (aka what the hell was I thinking), gives me strength to keep showing up, which is what I need right now, as I’m experiencing moments of doubt and fear. I am going to have to learn to live outside my comfort zone and keep up a fighter mentality. It’s time to channel my inner Rocky.