French Country Cottage. Powered by Blogger.

Perfectly imperfect

That first day that I sat down to write the first page in my book


I froze.
I sat and stared at the screen... and typed... 'My book" and under that... was a big old blank screen staring at me. And a moment of panic started to set in.


To be honest with you, there were many times over the course of writing this book that I paused.
Got emotional and cry- but I wasn't unhappy.  I simply could not believe that 'my book' this dream that I had for so long- was really happening.


I photographed 1000 different angles and rooms- styled tables, set up my camera when it was raining outside so that I could capture the sherbet colored sky if the clouds moved out. 
And I loved every.creative minute of it.
And I complied the photos into little folders and imagined what they would look like in the pages of a book.  
And then came time to write.
20,000 words.
And I sat down determined to start and finish based on the outline we had. I typed... My Book... at the top and then...

And I blanked.

I didn't know what to say, where to start, and struggled with anything beyond
'So my style all started on a day back in the day...that was...back in the day....' 



The reality of it was- there was so much about why I am the way I am, my style, where I find it, how I embrace those waves that come with being creative.
To tell you the truth, I used to think being 'creative' was a label that was negative.
Because, I didn't see things the same as others all the time. And it used to really bother me that I would get anxious sometimes or get too emotional about something and not really know exactly why.
My teachers would say I was a daydreamer. And that 'creative types are like that'. And that wild card in my personality sometimes made me feel that I was less than perfect.
And that I always would be.

Truth is-  long ago made a sort of peace with that side knowing that being 'creative' was simply who I was.  Even so,  that doubt and insecurity and feeling of not being good enough does creep in with those creative waves. And so as I started writing this book- it stirred a lot of those emotions. I wear my heart on my sleeve- but then I put a cute coat on top too. ;)
 So I thought back to where that style might have began- when I really first started to recognize what I loved and I started to connect the dots. 
There were things that I realized had made me always second guess when I was trying to take a step- 
and then there were the things that inspired me and I could get lost for hours in.

My obsession with flowers. My love of antiques and original.
My craving to make a house a home and why I loved getting lost in that make believe world.
Those things inspired much of what I love today, who I am today and that day dreaming world that I love to create and capture when looking through my camera lens even now.
 It was all there and it all made sense- even if it was more 'creative' or imagined than real sometimes.

And so I wrote and sent the first chapter of my manuscript over to my always patient and kind editor- and then, I  panicked.
What if she hated it?
What if she read it and thought I wasn't interesting enough? What if the publisher didn't like what they saw?
What if they saw that I was Less than perfect?


It was a big hold me back for me to not run back into dropbox and take back that manuscript until I felt like it was good enough. Until I was more perfect and less imperfect. But I paused.
Because here is the thing.

I LOVE other things with imperfections. I see them as absolutely wonderfully, incredibly perfect.
The more mottled the mirror, the more worn the finish, the more 'real' and original something is - the more I love it.
The drawers in the kitchen that drop are some of my favorite things.
The old door knob with the dent from 60 years ago- I cannot imagine replacing with a brand new one.



I realized I have always loved less than perfect.
And that is where I find what IS perfection to me. So why am I so hard on myself then for being imperfect?
And with that - I sat down and the blank screen was staring right back at me started to fill up with words.
With memories. With inspiration. And I wrote and wrote. And wrote.
And then wrote some more. 
And I shared what I love and what inspired me
and what makes my heart soar and brings a smile to my face-
perfect or not. 


I am so excited to finally be able to start sharing more about the story and book with you here as well.
About the process, about the layers, about how I strived for perfection- and realized part way through our renovation- I was going in the wrong direction to achieve that.  And I'll share some of the stylings and the ones that didn't make the book cut.  (side note- did you know my publisher added 40 pages to the original book to include more photos? They are incredible. )

And today... something exciting... look at what I have in my house.



I have a stack of EARLY copies of my book.
My BOOK. 
I am not sure I will ever get over typing that one out!



My favorite part? 
It has a gold foil spine, a debossed title & Sweet Pea is on the cover. 
And there is so much of my heart and style inside.


To kick off the excitement of these early copies- 
and all the way through the release day which is August 14th- 
I am sharing something fun for YOU each week.  
Along with sharing sneak peeks - and the process of writing the book and all that goes into etc.  
I am hosting a giveaway.

More specifically- several giveaways.

I have the most amazing brand partners who are celebrating the book with me and they are offering the most amazing giveaways for YOU.

I am doing one giveaway a week for the next month and a half to celebrate and say 
Thank You for reading my blog and your friendship and support.
And something you may not know- pre-orders are so important for a book.
So of course, all pre-orders are greatly appreciated - and I will be offering a special thank you giveaway of my own to each of you who has ordered already or places a pre-order as well. 



And I realize this is a bit of a long post that I probably should have asked my editor to help cut me off with haha. How I am feeling is not easy for me to convey... this is really such a dream come true for me and I cannot thank each of you enough for your friendship and support over the years!




Stay tuned for the first giveaway next Monday!!

66 comments

  1. Oooh! I can't wait to read your book! It looks and sounds amazing! Thanks so much for sharing your incredible writing journey with us. 💗

    ReplyDelete
  2. Very, very imperfectly beautiful! Congratulations...looks like it will be a classic with a long life : )

    ReplyDelete
  3. I am sooooo excited to pour through this book; gazing at each page with an ooh and an aah on the tip of my tongue! Quick question. Will it be more helpful if I purchase one at the Lamps Plus party on Thursday (if you even have some there) or will it be better for you if I pre-order one? I'll do whichever is best for you! Did I say I was excited. I'm soooooo excited!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are so sweet- and I am so excited to see you at the party in a few days!!! I won't have any copies there-these are just the super early release copies for sending to the media. :( I will be bringing one to the party for Ivette (shhh- it's a surprise! :) ) so you can see it then. But yes- pre-orders are super appreciated!! See you soon!! xo

      Delete
  4. I have my pre-order done several days ago. I'm so excited to see your book!! Perfectly, imperfect says it all. Although I find ton's of beauty in each post you do, so I know your book will be perfect. I'm an identical mirror twin, so I know perfect, which was my twin! Thank you so much for being brave & putting yourself out there for the rest of us. ~ Cathy

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thank you for sharing with us!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Just ordered! So happy to support you in this. From the moment I found you, I've hoped you'd write a book. So glad you're behind Romantic Homes also.... have my 2 yr subscription..
    You are my absolute fave and inspire me so much. My mantra is, " What would Courtney do?" 😉😘

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. haha!! Such a fun mantra!! :)So kind of you! A book has been a big dream of mine for a long time too. Thank you so much for your support!! xo

      Delete
  7. Congratulations on publication of your new book! I became a follower recently and have fallen in love after seeing the pictures of your master bath. Your creativity and talents are amazing. Enjoy the ride of your success!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Kathleen- it is nice to meet you!

      Delete
  8. Beautiful! Congrats to a very talented lady.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Beautiful! Congrats to a very talented lady.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I ordered mine as soon as it was available for pre-order. I'm so excited about it and can't wait to see it!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much!! Some folks surprised me when they told me they had pre-ordered before I knew it was even available yet! :)

      Delete
  11. You had me at the cover. Gorgeous! Preordering my copy today. Congratulations!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sweet Pea is a perfect little cover girl!! :) Thanks so much for ordering!!

      Delete
  12. I am a Christian counselor and I found your insights regarding perfection have great healing value. I hope that you will not mind me sharing with others. On another note, I am looking forward to your book and it will certainly be on my upcoming birthday wish list!! 😉

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Deb! Of course- feel free to share. I think a lot of people are so hard on themselves and they wouldn't be if they looked at things a different way. I hope it helps someone!!

      Delete
  13. Courtney: I cannot wait to see the book. I remember the first time I found your blog. I have always loved everything you have shared and I am so happy for you.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Pre-ordered a long time ago and I don't buy books much anymore but couldn't resist this one. Thanks for your sharing today, really touched me, seemed you put so many thoughts down of how I feel. Plus my daughter is starting to write and illustrate her first book so an inspiration to her as well. Love, love your blog and the gorgeous photos, you are so very talented.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Melanie!! I am so glad my thoughts touched you- and huge congratulations to your daughter as well!!

      Delete
  15. Congratulations on your beautiful book! What an incredible 'pinch me' life experience! I love your photos and your way with words--I can only imagine how amazing your book is!! Looking forward to it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It really is one of those moments. Thank you so much for your kindness!

      Delete
  16. I enjoyed this post and just pre-ordered your book!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Courtney Congratulations!!! I pre-ordered my book weeks ago when you first shared the news of your book I was excited then, Now to actually see your book well I just can't wait to receive my copy, I already have it planned, I will sit on my front porch (which by the way I am sure you would love one of my favorite places) with a cold drink sit back in my rocking chair and slowly look at every picture and read every word!!! Thank you for always sharing a piece of yourself with us

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aww that sounds so wonderful!! Front porches are such special spots in a house- and just the thought of them is inspiring!! :) Thank you so much!

      Delete
  18. Congratulations! I have followed your blog for years and have loved watching your style and design evolve. I just pre-ordered your book and can't wait to see the inside.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Congratulations! You did it! Now so many of us can't wait to have it in our own homes as inspiration. And thank you for helping to improve Romantic Homes. You are amazing!

    ReplyDelete
  20. I share many of your passions........and as I get older the more I love the nostalgic imperfect! Thanks for sharing

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nostalgic imperfect is SO good. It just tells a story and holds so much charm. :)

      Delete
  21. You are an inspiration to all of us who are perfectly 'imperfect.' I have Preordered your book and cannot wait to receive it! You have no idea how much you are 'helping' me with the decor of our new NC home and landscaping. Out of the ashes of the 2015 Valley Fire, I feel renewed enthusiasm for creating again. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh goodness- so sorry about the fire and your home. I am so glad my blog is helping you! Thank you so much for your support Nancy!

      Delete
  22. Thank you for the opportunity to pre-order your new book. I can't wait to hold it on my hands ~ it looks heavenly. Congratulations!!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Huge congratulations to you....love your blog and every last photo!

    ReplyDelete
  24. Congratulations! I can't wait to read!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Oh what joy it is to get this sneak peak...I have just pre-ordered my copy and can't wait to peruse it at my leisure! Heartfelt congratulation!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Oh it feels like Christmas in July...! Just pre-ordered my book, can't wait to peruse it's gold leaf pages while at my leisure!

    Heartfelt congratulations! I have been a follower for years and have enjoyed every single post!

    ReplyDelete
  27. Just placed my pre-order. :) Can't wait. You are a truly gifted writer and photographer.

    Cindy

    ReplyDelete
  28. Congratulations on your beautiful book and story! I can’t wait to hear more about your journey as all us creatives can certainly relate! Looking forward to adding this to my coffee top collection of favorites!

    ReplyDelete
  29. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  30. It is a pretty book on the outside and I'm sure it's even prettier on the inside. I'm looking forward to owning one.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Dear Courtney, Congratulations on your beautiful book you should be very proud of what you have accomplished. I really related with your post today. I’ve really learned to love and appreciate the creative part of me over the years. I love the perfectly imperfect it gives me a chance to take a peace of history and restore it and make it beautiful again or just enjoy it as it is. People love or they don’t and sometimes they look at me like I’m a little crazy. lol I loved that you shared that side of you it’s beautiful.
    I’m excited to have your beautiful book sitting on my coffee table next to my new Floral Affair book. Good luck on your success as an author your photos are incredibly beautiful and interesting.
    xoxo Jo

    ReplyDelete
  32. Hi Courtney, Congratulations on your new book! I just pre ordered it, excited to receive it. I had to chuckle as I read your blog today; I am a children's book author and know exactly what you mean about the array of emotions when writing a book. I am not a "big time" author but it is so much fun when I see my work out there. Continue to be the daydreamer and creator you are, I love your style. Sometimes I think you might be reading my mind! LOL Congratulations again, celebrate and enjoy this wonderful blessing! PS I had posted prior to this and nothing came through, so if you get two, choose which one you want to share.

    ReplyDelete
  33. I’m so happy for you, I’m sure the book is fabulous! And thanks for sharing your process, you’re so talented and creative, it helps those of us with lots of decor angst to relax.

    ReplyDelete
  34. I just pre-ordered and I cannot wait! I am sure I will spend hours looking at every page and soaking in all your inspiration.
    I am so happy for you. Congratulations on being perfectly imperfect.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Can hardly wait to get your book. You have a natural flair for making anything look spectacular. Congratulations and I'm so proud of you!

    ReplyDelete
  36. I can relate to so much of this. It is such an amazing feeling when that books becomes real and you can hold it in your hand, or stare at it, photo it, touch it, to your heart's content. It's a gorgeous book--congratulations!

    ReplyDelete
  37. I enjoy your blog so very much, and I am quite sure you hear that so often. I am an old woman that has had the same soul story all of my life. It took me hitting a certain spot in my journey to be able to realize where I first began my love affair with beauty. I could trace it back to a very young age when I would collect broken pieces of china from an abandoned homeplace in my neighborhood and when I would section off rooms under the tendrils of a weeping willow tree where I could "play house" and pretend I was entertaining my friends with tea. I have never lost my love of color, softness, old things, old stories and old memories. Thank you for reminding me that joy in appreciating is actually our gift to enjoy and shine through. I ordered your book and wait with much excitement to get lost in the pages. Congratulations for shring it with us.

    ReplyDelete
  38. The book looks beautiful from the cover, and with your beautiful home photos inside I am looking forward to reading from cover to cover. Your inspiration story is so sweet and honest.
    Pat

    ReplyDelete
  39. Congratulations, Courtney. I'm sure it's going to be amazing and beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Imperfectly perfect.
    Looks absolutely dreamy, so I'm off to preorder.
    Best.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Oh Courtney!! Your book is absolutely gorgeous- I can't wait to get my copy!! I loved your words here as well. A timely reminder for me! On this drive to Haven my own insecurities have popped up making me question if I'm even worthy to attend. I have been clinging to Romans 12:2. Can't wait to meet you! You are such an inspiration!!

    Hugs,
    Amy Mings

    ReplyDelete
  42. A beautiful book to place on coffee table. Congratulations!

    ReplyDelete
  43. A beautiful book to place on coffee table. Congratulations!

    ReplyDelete
  44. Congratulations!!! So happy for you and wishing your book to be a great success! I am sure it is going to be full of beautiful pics and I can’t wait to read it!

    ReplyDelete