I know I said I’d never do another book. But I’m good at admitting when I change my mind.

Here’s how that happened.

Melissa was worrying that her life was going to end because she was quitting finance to be a nanny. She was worried that she was ruining her career, and that she was not cut out to navigate adult life, and that she was not living up to her potential.

I was trying to be a good listener, but my talents lie more in being bossy. So I said, when she got to the living up to her potential part, “That is ridiculous. The idea of living up to one’s potential is such BS. Read my post about that.”

“You always tell me ‘read my post about that’.”

“It’s because I’m sick of people telling me they hate to feel lost. Being lost is an amazing opportunity to define yourself. Being lost is so interesting.”

“Do you think it’s interesting that I spend every day in my pink Juicy suit?”

“Yeah. If it doesn’t smell.”

It sort of does smell, but we are easy going about that on the farm. Then I said, “Wait—I have to tell you something—”


“Read my post about how being lost is good.”

“Shut up.”

But she reads all my posts anyway. When I have fights with the Farmer I tell him I wish he’d spend all day talking to me like Melissa does. He tells me that he does not have a hero worship complex like she does and that I cannot get along with anyone who doesn’t worship me.

Is that true? I think, if I ever change the poll on my sidebar, it will say, “Does Penelope have trouble getting along with people who do not worship her? Yes or No”

The farmer and Melissa and I spend a week together eating lunches. The farmer eats like a 17-year-old boy who has not seen food in three days. Melissa and I eat like Asperger girls who were never told that we have to look normal at the table. So, picture this:

The farmer is eating two steaks, two baked potatoes, and five chocolate chip cookies. This varies slightly, but not by calorie count or carbohydrate/fat ratio.

Melissa is eating peas and pasta. This is all she eats. I do not have a post to encourage her to eat a more diverse diet because all I eat is PowerBars.

So there we are, and every day we are talking about how Melissa does not need to do a soul search because she is doing fine, but she does not feel fine.

So I decide to put together a book of posts for Melissa about how to keep her career on track.

I divide the book into sections:

  • How to be lost and still feel good about yourself
  • How to find a great job over and over again
  • The secret to feeling confident making career decisions
  • The key to making yourself happy
  • The best method for creating a safety net for yourself

These are all topics Melissa and I talk about, but I wanted her to have something to hold.

I do that instead of doing things I should be doing like remembering to take the farmer’s cookies out of the oven.

I show Melissa the book while the farmer eats burnt cookies.

But while she is looking through it, I take it back. I decide the book is ugly. I want the book to be something she takes out every time she needs a self-confidence boost and she reads one or two pages. I want the book to be beautiful and sit by her bedside, or in her living room.

So I look online for how to self-publish a book with a great binding and pages that are nice to hold. I find a publisher of hipster, linen-bound books, with gold leaf, and I decide the self-publishing industry is amazing.

But then I see that to publish my one single, book will be about $2000. And I have to save my money for when I start a new company and run out of money and have to not be completely unstable financially because the farmer does not like crazy instability. I have done that before. He read about it—in a post.

No thousand-dollar books.

But now I have a new idea. If this is a good book for Melissa it must be a good book for a lot of you. After all, I write all the stuff I learn as I learn it, and the book is full of the knowledge that helped me craft a career that I love — over and over again.

I can’t do the project alone, but I can do it with you. If we all buy copies of the book then we can have a beautiful and inspiring book to keep or to give to friends. It’ll be called “For the Soul Searcher” and it’ll look like the book at the top of the post.

The book is be $25 — no tax, free shipping, and I’ll sign and number all the books. But you can only buy the book for the next week. Because I have to know how many we are ordering.

Note to my brothers: you guys put up with so much on this blog, so you don’t have to buy a copy—I will buy them for you.

To everyone else: Click below to buy the book via PayPal. And thank you.





97 replies
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  1. Mairzy
    Mairzy says:

    Hi Penelope,

    Bought it. Looking forward to receiving it. Would you please inscribe it “To the second best blogger I’ve known”? Truth is not an issue here, is it? :-)


  2. HK
    HK says:

    Argh! I didn’t leave you a nice message on PayPal so I’m leaving it here.
    I love your blog. I love your opinions – even when I don’t agree. I love your no BS way of speaking (writing). A physical book is great – much harder to ignore than my Kindle.
    I’m a 31 yo female, Aussie expat in HK. About to get married and planning to start a family asap. My career has taken off and surpassed even what I was brave enough to admit I wanted to achieve. But now I’m ‘there’ it’s not what I wanted after all. And I’ve been in Soul Searching limbo for a few months. That’s why I love your blog. This is a completely self-absorbed statement, but sometimes it feels like you’re writing specifically to me.
    Can’t wait to get my copy!

  3. Rebecca Gonzalez
    Rebecca Gonzalez says:

    What the heck. I enjoy your blog, happy to review old posts and keep them by my bed. And I found you through your first book. I would love an e-book too, but I will read your book and maybe give to my most in-need friend. Supposed to be finding a washer online as ours broke, but this was more promising plus doesn’t have to fit in a 35″ high space (most are 36-38″ high, how did this happen?!#@$%&*!),

    • Salty
      Salty says:

      Rebecca, I had the same problem finding a smaller washer for my condo. I did not want one of those 2-towel-sized tubs when I have 3 kids who are always changing clothes and dirtying dozens of towels. I ended up with a front-load stackable washer made by Whirlpool that is fairly decent and is only 33.5 inches high. The model number is WFC7500VW. You can probably do a search & find it online, but I bought mine at Lowe’s.

  4. Abi
    Abi says:

    I get paid on Friday so don’t cut it off before then. Mind you I’m in London – so I’m ahead of you timewise anyway, should be ok, but please wait.


  5. Ana
    Ana says:

    What a wonderful idea! Cannot wait to hold it in my hot little hands and promptly devour. I am old-fashioned, traditional and romantic, I like the sensual pleasure of books.

    You are such an inspiration!

  6. The Admired
    The Admired says:

    The Best! Thank you for the book! Please keep writing them and give us another one soon. You blog is good too, but I think you sgould commit to books full time :-).

  7. Kathy
    Kathy says:

    Hi Penelope…..I’d buy a book. Can I either pick it up or else will you drop it off at my shop & I’ll pay you for it? Maybe we could sell a few more for you….Kathy

  8. Kristi
    Kristi says:

    Just order, what a great idea and I am really looking forward to reading this book. Honestly it makes me feel special, which I imagine Melissa feels by your idea to put this together.
    (The gall with Dug the goat in KS, how random is that!)

  9. Betsy
    Betsy says:

    The timing is just right on this; I’m wandering onto your blog to read the same posts on those same topics again, and I have the cash from doing some odd-job excel work for a friend.

  10. Michal
    Michal says:

    Hi Penelope, I just bought the book! I didn’t see the space for the comments (signing suggestions), so I sent you email on this. Great idea with this book, I love it.

  11. Jo
    Jo says:

    Your blog has been there with me through 18 months of losing my job, losing a baby, getting my close-to-dream job, getting married, and re-discovering a sense of self. You have, at times, made me feel a little bit better about being a little bit crazy.

    I bought your book because in years to come it will remind me of how it felt to be lost in my twenties.

    It will also look great sitting on my coffee table beside my copy of ‘Dancing with Cats’. ;)

  12. Dick Carlson
    Dick Carlson says:

    I wanted to buy your book, but I need to know what pictures might be in it. Will there be pictures of kittens? I like pictures of kittens. I hope there will be pictures of kittens. And I need you to bring the book to my house between the hours of 10 and 11 AM. On a Tuesday. So I can look at it to see if I like it. If I like it, I might pay you for it. If it has pictures of kittens. Did I tell you I like pictures of kittens? Are there stories of kittens? I like stories of kittens as well. Maybe you should just bring me a kitten. Would that be possible? Even if I didn’t pay you?

  13. Tamara
    Tamara says:

    @ Dick – don’t be a dick ;)
    Although the previous poster pretty much summarizes the target audience of this book.

    • Stephanie
      Stephanie says:

      Did you get the book yet? I ordered at around the same time and just wondering what the schedule looks like…

  14. Little Miss Random
    Little Miss Random says:

    Hi Penelope,

    I bought your book last week and thanked you for such a brilliant idea in the comments section in the PayPal box. I don’t know what you intend to write when you sign the book – I expect it’ll hit the nail right on the hand as all of your other posts have so far – and I’m very much looking forward to receiving it. I also expect that the book will be completed after I have sorted out my present job offer predicament (i.e. when I really really really need advice). Nevertheless, it’ll come in handy, not just for me, but for all of my other friends at this time in our lives when we’re not in our twenties anymore, but still as lost as ever!

    Thanks again.

  15. janelle
    janelle says:

    is this like a coffee table book? are your photos in it? is it in color?? is it covered in linen? that sounded pretty sweet. i’ll probably still buy it anyway, i’m just wondering.

  16. Sandra Pawula
    Sandra Pawula says:


    This is so kindheaerted of you. I was touched by your wish to help Melissa by creating a special book for her.

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