RBBiz Day 6: Sara Avant Stover

Creative Business

I’ve noticed that sometimes what I take away from the daily Summit interviews is less about the notes I take and sometimes way more of a tangential rabbit trail that leads to the barest related thread of an ‘aha!’ moment. Like today, as Sara Avant Stover talked about cycles and seasons, I wandered my way down to the realization that I’m good for a max of 5 years on any one big project before I really, desperately need something else to focus on. The most recent example being What to Feed Your Raiding Party.

I started work on the book in 2010, released it June, 2012, and have spent the last 3 years focusing most of my side-hustle time slots promoting the cookbook. Every time I try to work on something new, something for the cookbook comes up: another convention, an online order, or just the nagging reminder that I haven’t finished the blasted substitutions supplement that I’ve been fiddling with for the last couple of years.

Not that I mind the work that the book requires to promote–not at all! When I’m at conventions I’m having the time of my life, and not because I’m out partying or anything, because I have the chance to talk to people about the book. I enjoy being a salesperson when it’s something I’m so deeply committed to (something I never thought I’d say!).

But I made a kinda big choice at the end of last year not to schedule any conventions until the next book was done. Now that The Crafty Branch is in the mix, it’s likely I won’t be back on the convention circuit for a while, and I’ve started thinking up other ways to promote the book. But today, as Sara spoke about cycles and recognizing when it’s time to walk away, I realized I need to free myself up to be able to walk away from the Raiding Party world as my main focus and do so without feeling guilty.

That last part being the hard one, of course.

While one of last week’s sessions included the gem “completion is overrated,” I’ve made promises to people about the supplement and what’s next. So to make sure I’m not letting them or myself down, I’ll finish the supplement (need to set a date on this, haven’t yet, but soon!), reformat the original book to include the supplemental info to make a good eBook version of it, put that out there, and feel free to focus elsewhere.

I still want to write more cookbooks–there’s a deep well to draw from, there–but it doesn’t have to be now. I need a change of pace or I’ll start to resent it. And that would be worse for all considered.

Does that mean that The Crafty Branch will only hold my attention for 5 years? Not necessarily. When I stopped writing for eHow, I started writing my book. I also started blogging more. I didn’t stop writing, I just changed focus. And I kept doing other things, too, they just weren’t the Main Thing. The Crafty Branch will be a focus-shift, but in five years I would certainly hope that it’d be well enough established and with a competent staff on board that I could trust to handle the day to day so I can pursue whatever’s next.


Each interview usually starts with the speaker offering either a Left Brain Chill Pill or a Right Brain Booster. Sara offered the former, with her practice of checking in with her inner child each day, nurturing that part of herself on a regular basis, and thereby feeding her muse. She also urged us to really personify our inner child, so I (of course) drew mine in my notes:


I can also report progress on the business plan for The Crafty Branch. Over the weekend I finished my big vision collage as well as puzzled through the potential market size numbers (after spendign quite some time flipping between census.gov records). Still a ways to go, but the potential market numbers were a big hurdle to clear!

Extra, Extra, Read All About It!

Everyday Adventures

Have I got news for you?!

Actually, it’s more like a confession…

Did you know…

I’m Gauche!

But not just any old gauche, oh no, the lovely ladies at Gauche Alchemy have decided I’m just the right kind of gauche to join the GA Team as a blog writer! I’d be speechless, but that wouldn’t fit this group!

Actually, I’ve known about this for a week, now, but couldn’t breathe word one. Do you know how tough it is for me to keep the good kind of secrets? Really tough. Like maybe as tough as it is for me to resist the basket of Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs in the living room that I am *not* getting up to go pilfer between paragraphs.

Starting later this month I get the pleasure of writing up projects from the Alchemists (that’s what they call the Design Team members) and even toss in a few projects of my own from time to time.

Needless to say, I’m beyond excited about this!!!

I mean, how could I *not* with badges like these:

Which do you think I should put in the sidebar on permanent display?

Now, for those of you who know exactly what-all I’ve got going on, you’re probably wondering just how I have time to take on something else?

Well, that leads me to Page 2, as Paul Harvey would say.


What to Feed Your Raiding Party is getting closer and closer to being absolutely, true-blue, in-print done! I still have to lay out the actual pages–and that’s no small task, I admit–but that’s pretty much ALL that’s left. Compared to everything else I’ve done for this book in the past 2+ years, the layout is just details.

I’m not quite ready to announce a street-date or even open up pre-orders just yet, but if you’ve been curious about the cookbook or are planning to order a copy, make sure to either subscribe to the progress blog over at whattofeedyourraidingparty.com or Like the Facebook Fan Page so you don’t miss any of the big announcements that are coming up soon!

But wait, there’s more!


Because I firmly believe the best things come in threes, I have one more piece of news to share. This one is pretty time-sensitive, too. On April 28, 2012, I’ll be hosting the Helper Monkey version of the 

Great American Bake Sale

to benefit Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign.

If you’ll be in the Tallahassee area that day, make sure to stop by our table at the Market Square Farmer’s Market and pick up a sweet treat and do good at the same time. If you’re not in the Tallahassee area, check out the Bake Sale map and find one in your area (or sign up to host one, yourself!). Or, none of those options work for you, would you consider making a donation on our team page? After all…

$1 can help provide a hungry child with 10 healthy meals.
$4 can help provide a child facing hunger with a backpack full of healthy food over a weekend when school meals are not available.
$9 can help connect a child with healthy lunches during summer when school is out.
$35 can help a child care center provide free afterschool snacks and suppers to at-risk children all year long.
$65 can provide a grab-n-go breakfast cart to an elementary school so that every student starts every school day with a healthy meal.

Thanks a million!