So, I’m writing this book…

Posted on February 9, 2011

It occurred to me today that I have a matter of months to complete the manuscript for a book. An actual book. To be published by Penguin Australia in 2012. The working title is I want a career and a life!: How to thrive as a working mother, and I’m writing it with the fabulous Kate Sykes, founder of careermums.com.au (which, if you haven’t discovered it yet, is an incredible resource for working parents).

So far, so exciting.

Except that I’m a journalist and, as discussed previously, I tend to be a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-deadline style of journo – which means I’m frantically typing the night before a story is due. All well and good when you have 1000 words to produce. Not a great approach when you have thousands and thousands and thousands Β to deliver by a set date.

The good news is that it’s not my first book, so I do have an idea of what’s involved. I’ve previously introduced my little pink book (Credit Card Stressbusters), and I’ve also ghost-written an autobiography in the past (no, I won’t tell you which one). But this book is the one that’s due in a matter of months. And the bad news is that I do have an idea of what’s involved.

Why am I telling you all this? Motivation, of course. Now that I’ve told you all it has to be done, there’s a serious accountability factor.

Feel free to crack a whip any time you fancy it.

{image: Anchor Division}


  1. Ms Styling You

    I SO get that journo deadline thing – I work way more efficiently if something is due tomorrow! Good luck and I’ll be lining up to buy it.

  2. allison tait

    Sigh… or even like *that*.

  3. allison tait

    Sorry @suburp – that link should be working now. In answer to your question, I was really lucky with that particular project and was rung up out of the blue and asked to do it. Doesn’t happen like hat very often!

  4. suburp

    links to little pink book not working πŸ™
    also very intrigued by your ghostwriting experience.. i understand you won’t tell but how do you even score a writing deal like that I wonder ..?
    good luck with the new book then.
    well, not luck.. but well, whatever it needs for you to get down and DO IT!

  5. Melinda's Stories

    How fabulous looking forward to reading your book.

    Am sure that you have, it under control and will of course be done by the dead line.

  6. Being Me

    You are so funny! Now seriously, I hope you’ve knocked over another chapter since procrastinating by writing this post *evil stare*

  7. Kymmie

    Life is so interesting at the Pink Place! And the whip is cracking, because unlike me, you probably thrive under pressure. I like to avoid it like the plague and feel organised. Less grey hairs that way…

    All the best. xx

  8. Seana Smith

    Gotta just focus on how marvelous it’ll feel when the !@?!* book is done! And think about just how long a lunch you’ll deserve.

    Great idea to write this post as now you’ll be pestered severely until it’s DONE!

  9. Katrina

    Chocolate and plenty of cups of tea, that’s what you need.

  10. Glen

    get back to work

  11. Maxabella

    Just write the damn book, Al. x

  12. Jacki

    Wow, it sounds like a very interesting book. This is probably a lame idea but could you treat each chapter as it’s own ‘article’ like you’d normally write and set up some deadlines for each chapter?

  13. katepickle

    oh that title has totally got me hooked… get back to work woman!

  14. Lady Estrogen

    My whip sounds a little different:

  15. Kerri Sackville


    GET BACK TO WORK!!!!!!

  16. Sydney Shop Girl

    How exciting!

    Best of luck with the book.

    How about promising to post a few pages here every 2 weeks?

    SSG xxx

    I’m getting so excited about the wedding. Even more so than for Zara to open here. I fear we may get ripped off when the big Z debuts in Westfield Sydney…

    Best of luck with the declutter. I’m going to do a massive cull by Easter and rethink the way I buy clothes. Am keen to refocus on key basics and good accessories rather than falling victim to trends.

    SSG xxx

    Sydney Shop Girl blog

  17. Megan Blandford

    Wow! Book sounds great – get writing! πŸ˜‰

  18. therhythmmethod

    How wonderful!
    You don’t strike me as a last minute girl, everything here always looks so polished and complete. You will do it, because you can and you must. And I can’t wait to read it. πŸ™‚

  19. Annieb25

    I look surprisingly good in leather & high heels wielding a whip. I shall get the whip a cracking πŸ˜‰

    You.are.amazing. xx

  20. allison tait

    If I’d known you’d all take to this whip-cracking thing with SUCH enthusiasm, I may have reconsidered that invitation… but, sigh, I hear you, I hear you.

  21. Cate Bolt

    Allison. This is your mother speaking. Don’t be a disappointment.


  22. Kim H

    Pshhhhoooo….pshooooo…that my best attempt at a whip cracking! So exciting and stressful all rolled into one.

    Good luck, Allison. What a great venture.

  23. Donna @ NappyDaze

    Congratulations, what a dream! One day I hope to be in the same situation πŸ™‚

    I think the starting is the worst part but once you get on a roll, you tend to run with the momentum. best of luck, cant wait to see the final outcome!

  24. Gina

    How exciting! And a little stressful :). Based on what I have read here, I have total confidence that you will be able to produce a fantastic book. I can’t wait to hear more about it after it has been published!

  25. Deer Baby

    How exciting! I’m so happy for you. You have a lot of strings to your bow Ms Tait (just read your piece on how to make money from blogging). The subject matter to this one is something I will be very eager to read.

    Honestly I am not the one to be whip cracking.

    I’ve written a book once with another person. The royalties were split 70:30 in my favour but that meant that I, rather than she, was ultimately responsible for delivering the manuscript so I was having to chivvy her along. Which made a nice change!

    Would love to know who you ghost wrote for. Give us some hints in future posts and it will be like an Agatha Christie. I sort of did it once – not sure ghost writer is quite the right term for what I did. He paced up and down whilst I took notes verbatim and then went home and tried to shape it into some sort of order, give it some coherency, work out chapter headings etc, until we had a book. It was a weird task because I couldn’t really say to anyone I’d done it, felt out of place at the launch party and got a tiny dedication. I’d still do it again though!

    By the way, that photo is almost identical to one that I chose for something. It might even be the same one. Spooky.

    Sorry for the essay!

  26. EmmaK

    “You vill get your nose to the grindstone!” shrieked in a high pitched german accent while wearing thigh high boots.

    Can’t wait to read the book!

  27. Kath

    Ker-thwack! Get to it, missus… πŸ˜‰

  28. Mama of 2 boys

    I am SO looking forward to reading your book Allison. I get so much out of reading your blog… a fully fledged book will be such a treat.

  29. Jodie at Mummy Mayhem

    What the hell are you doing writing on this blog when you have a WHOLE BOOK to write?! Huh? Come, on. Snap to it. Enough dillying and dallying (is that how you spell that?) just DO IT.

    How was that? Good?

    Now come ooooon, tell us who the autobiography was written for. Just give us a hint. First letter of the first name. Pleeeeease?

  30. Posie Patchwork

    Procrastination is a killer, or just letting even important things slide down the to do list. Sounds great, “thriving” is such a great word as if the balance with working & family is right, everything can thrive. I prefer balance than juggle though, as balance is nice & flexible, as things change (like the business i’ve been running from home around 4 children is successful but i’m in the middle of 3 years with my husband living interstate, just started high school & the children HAVE to come first & i’m their only parent on the ground) so i’m cruising along playing on blogs right now when i have a huge market in 10 days & i should be sewing!! Anyway, the balance is tilted towards the children, homework, their world for now, if i was juggling, well my on line business ball would be dropped & rolling away, but the career Shop & Market balls are flying high, as are my 4 happy children & loving marriage-by-correspondence. Distraction, works a treat. Funnily enough with everything i do, i still refer to myself as a housewife, regardless of my education or career, it’s a nice title to say all your children are in school & you’re at home during the day & loving it!! Love Posie

  31. Phil & Bern

    Consider me your new chief whipcracker. You know how much I am on twitter. If I spy you there, I will gently remind you to Hurry TFU. πŸ™‚

    You’re welcome

    Bern x

  32. allison tait

    What a fabulous team you are. Carol, you’re a natural!

  33. Naturally Carol

    I think it would be a good thing to start some serious auth~ing as you want to be known as an author! Was that enough whip cracking for a first go?

  34. Sarah

    Would it help if I pre ordered multiple copies? And told you that you had to guest post on my blog. Because clearly you have to if you are an AUTHOR…..

  35. Cate

    Sounds like a great book, so I’ll pencil that in for one months time (March 9 2011: must nag Allison) πŸ™‚

  36. Lucy

    A ghost writer! I never knew that! I heard an interview with Michael Robotham the other day – fascinating!

    I subscribe to Career Mums and to your self – it’ll be a winner.

    Just start, then carry on.


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