A Book of Modern Fables
I’m writing and illustrating a book of fables. Inspired by books like The Little Prince, my goal is to write whimsical tales that feed the soul, tug the heart and spark the mind. As a tiny teaser, here’s the opening line to one of the fables, Wolf’s Way:
A dancing wolf skips along grassy fields, singing and howling her morning chants.
I’m also illustrating the fables in the book, which is an exciting challenge. Here are a few sneak peeks:
Update (March 2023): After almost two years of work, I’ve finished drafting and editing the book! I’m now working on the illustrations. I’m planning to self-publish this book sometime this summer. I’m working with the talented Saeah Lee to put together beautiful printed editions alongside the digital version of the book.
You can stay tuned with updates on the book through my newsletter, where I also publish essays on art, creativity, self-awareness. I’ve also shared some learnings and updates on the book writing process below.
You can also check out some of the short fables I’ve published online: The Boat of Stillness, Point Price, and Holy War.
Thanks for reading!
Behind the Scenes: Writing A Book of Fables
I’ve published a few videos sharing my progress in writing the book, which I began working on in March of 2021. My biggest takeaway is that if you have an idea for a book, and it’s been bugging you for a long while, write it! At a minimum, you’ll let go of a creative burden and feel lighter. At best, you’ll go on to edit and publish a book into the world.
Why I’m Writing This Book — I share a bit more detail about the motivation and inspiration that led me to start work on this book.
One Year of Writing — After I spent over a year working on this book, I shared some of the biggest lessons I’ve learned along the way from the drafting, developmental editing, and early publishing research phases.
Showing Up — At first, the idea of writing a book seemed incredibly intimidating. But with the help of habits, community and a little self-compassion, I found a way forward. The most powerful advice I received came from Seth Godin, on the magic of showing up one day, one hour, one minute at a time:
“We’re not entitled to an audience, to applause or to make a living. The work we most want to do, the thing that pushes us to show up — it might not resonate with the audience we bring it to.
There’s no guarantee, none at all.
But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t show up. The lack of a guarantee is precisely why the work is worth doing, because it’s the guarantee that we’ve been brainwashed to require, and without it, few people have the guts enough to show up anyway.”
For even more learnings, check out these notes in my digital garden:
- Writing in Scenes: I shared learnings on writing a complete “scene” for a story every single day, ensuring each part of the story is compelling (not just the whole story).
- The Science of Storytelling: Writing lessons from the book Science of Storytelling. Crafting a compelling opening scene, leveraging visual metaphors, showing vs telling, the human condition and more.
- Overcoming Writer's Block: How I unblocked myself to start writing stories.
- Iterative Drawing: Learning to break apart complex drawing into smaller pieces, to make progress every day.
- Finding a Developmental Editor: I reached out to an editor of a short story journal I like and admire, and have been working with him to edit the stories.
The best way to stay updated on the the book is through my weekly email newsletter. You can subscribe below: