2020 Book Club Announcement
Do you enjoy reading books that will change your life, if you let them? Do you like the idea of being a part of a community of like-minded, open-hearted people? Will you take this journey seriously, and have some fun too? You have come to the right place!
Where did this idea come from?
In June of this year, I published this article, which was an open invitation to anyone who wanted to read The Artist’s Way in community. I capped the group to 15 people, and had no idea what to expect. All I knew was that I wanted to create community, and read The Artist’s Way with people who were similarly committed.
As a result of that article, and the publicity my call to action received on Nicole Rivera’s Stop Writing Alone podcast, 14 wonderful people signed up to read The Artist’s Way in community, from all over the world with me. Some of them I knew, most of them I did not know.
I set up reading schedule that each member is expected to follow. I also established a Slack environment where we keep in touch during the week. The group meets over Zoom video conferencing every week as well, to discuss the assigned chapter or chapters.
The group is run somewhat like a “mastermind,” but I am not a mastermind. I am learning along with everyone else. I am a community organizer, and I am passionate about helping people. We help each other grow — I just help to maintain some organization and decorum.
This group has become an Artist’s Way family. We support each other’s writing and artistic initiatives. The community I dreamed of creating has come together, and I don’t want it to end!
So, I have decided to put together three book groups that will begin in January 2020.
Why did I choose these three books?
Well, I guess the first question is, why only three books? That’s because of timing. I like to read these books slowly and really dig into them. I think the current group would agree that this is helpful.
One of the main points of these groups is community — there’s no point in rushing through the books. We will take our time, and go through them thoroughly to maximize the benefit for everyone.
Also, reading the books slowly means it’s more likely people will actually do the reading. If I were to assign a lot of chapters at one time, not only would we have trouble discussing all of that information on one call, it’s less likely that anyone would do the reading, and what’s the fun in that?
This is meant to be transformative, not overwhelming. It’s meant to be fun, not a chore. I want this to be genuinely meaningful for everyone involved — that’s why we move slowly.
Ok, now that that’s covered, here’s a little bit about each of the three books, and why I chose them for this year.
The first book will be Cathy Heller’s book called Don’t Keep Your Day Job. For those of you who may not be familiar, Cathy Heller is the host of a podcast called “Don’t Keep Your Day Job.” She is the reason I started my art business, and she helped me reclaim my life when I was very very low and miserable.
The book is about living your truth and finding your purpose, not necessarily about quitting your day job.
Have you ever met someone who upon asking what they do for a living, tells you, and then starts gushing over whatever they spend their weekends doing? For example, someone who works at Target, but spends their weekend writing on Medium, and really dreams of being a full-time writer?
Or maybe you’ve gotten the feeling that you are meant to be doing something different with your life? You were meant to do more. You only get one life to live, and too often you find yourself miserable?
Cathy Heller specializes in helping people figure out their purpose, and live fulfilling lives. It might mean quitting your job, or starting a side-hustle, or finding other ways to maximize your potential in life. But, being on that journey is worth it.
Cathy Heller is a mentor. She wrote this book inspired by The Artist’s Way, so there are activities throughout the book, just like The Artist’s Way. It is interactive, and perfect to read with a group.
The next book will be You Are a Badass at Making Money by Jen Sincero. This book changed my life last year when I read it with a group of people.
Unfortunately, part of my personal story includes being addicted to shopping — and not in a cute way at all.
My addiction took over multiple rooms in our house. I’m just starting to write more about it now here on Medium, but it’s a tender topic. It’s something I’m still working through. But Sincero’s book was the jumpstart.
You Are a Badass at Making Money taught me how to regain control over my life. It completely changed my relationship with money. So many of us have money mindset issues — why not address them with supportive peers who can help you and hold you accountable?
Also, for those who don’t know about Jen Sincero, she literally picked herself up off the floor, and became one of the most successful self-help coaches in the world. She was homeless couch-surfing at one point in her 30s. She’s the real deal, and she’s an inspration.
The last book of 2020 will be Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way. I cannot say enough about how this book has pushed me and transformed my life already. And we aren’t even finished reading it!
The Artist’s Way is known as one of the most transformative books for people who want to reconnect with their more authentically, creative selves. It moves you, and pushes you, and you come out with a changed perspective.
As I wrote previously, Elizabeth Gilbert and Jenna Fisher are among the famous professionals who credit their professional success to reading and doing The Artist’s Way. It is powerful.
What does the schedule look like?
We will start Don’t Keep Your Day Job in January, and I expect we will finish reading it during the last week in March.
We will then begin reading You Are a Badass at Making Money in mid-April, and that book will end in July.
We will take August off for a summer break, and then begin with The Artist’s Way again in September.
Subquestion: Do you have to read all three books to be a part of this group?
Answer: No! If you only want to read one or two of the books, that’s fine! I will be posting information as each individual book group nears. I will also list individual costs at the end of this post.
Yes, there are minimal costs, but we’ll get to that soon.
Commitment and Expenses
Here are a few specifics with regard to the commitment involved in joining this community, and reading each book:
- Read the assigned chapters for the week
- Do whatever “homework” is in the chapters — like morning pages, for example.
- Attend the majority of the zoom calls
- Engage with group members, as appropriate
- Be generally appropriate.. nice and funny are a bonus.
Can you miss a zoom call or 2? YES! Can you miss an entire month in a row? Not ideally, but if you’re actively engaging on our other platforms it might be ok.
I just really want people to get involved in this who care, and who aren’t going to blow it off.
Alright, here’s where I’ll break down the costs.
Don’t Keep Your Day Job ONLY: the cost will be $10 to join if you commit before November 1st. But, here’s the kicker, I will also be raffling off 3 free hard-copy books for those who commit before November 1st! After November the cost for joining the group will be $15.
You Are a Badass at Making Money ONLY: $15 to join. There will be a deadline to join as well, but it will be closer to February 2020.
The Artist’s Way ONLY: $15 to join. Again, there will be a deadline to join, likely in July 2020.
Besides the raffle for the Don’t Keep Your Day Job book, you are also responsible for purchasing each book on your own.
ALL THREE BOOKS: If you are interested in joining us for all three books next year, the cost would be $40. BUT, if you sign up before November 1st, I will give you an additional $5 off.
So, if you sign up to read all three books with the group before November 1st, the total is $35, and you might win the Don’t Keep Your Day Job book for free!
Again, this is NOT a money-making scheme for me. It is first and foremost about community building, because that’s what I enjoy. I enjoy doing this, and I hope you will too.
The reality is that I have to pay a fee to zoom each month that you are a participant don’t have to pay, so that’s $180 off the top. And even though I enjoy doing these groups, they take a lot of time for me to put together. It’s a labor of love, but it’s labor none the less.
And I think it’s worth your investment. Hopefully some of the folks in my current group will share some of their feedback in the comments below and agree (I hope) ❤. Frank McKinley Donna Barker Heather Huffman Tammy Breitweiser Jenna Nicole Britton Nicole Rivera Susie Taylor Eilidh Horder
If you are interested in participating in ALL THREE groups, I ask that you send me an email at: SamKimberle@gmail.com, and let me know why you would like to participate by October 28th. Please don’t write a tome — a few sentences will suffice.
The deadline to participate in the Don’t Keep Your Day Job group ONLY will be December 13th. You will also have to email me with the same requirements outlined above.
Please note: Because these costs are so low, I will not issue any refunds.
Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions — I’m happy to chat with you about this.
I want to make this a truly positive experience for everyone who wants to get involved.
Thank you, and I look forward to including you in the 2020 Book Club!
Sam Kimberle is a Writer, Poet and Artist. Her primary creative mediums are words and clay. She received her B.A. from Dickinson College in Religion and Philosophy, M.A. from Temple University in Comparative Religion, and J.D. from the University of Baltimore School of Law. Instagram: Sam Kimberle, Facebook: Sam Kimberle, Writer Creative Entrepreneur