Why write a book when I have a blog?

Posted by on Nov 3, 2011 in Artist Friends, Map Making, My Work, Personal Geographies | 5 comments

This is the question I am asking myself today. My book, Personal Geographies: Explorations in Mixed-Media Mapmaking, released last week. It is a whirlwind, the chaos that ensues a book launch, especially one five weeks before I was ready. I am learning about Pinterest and Twitter and every other social networking thing out there. I even started a new blog for the book. It feels like I am passing my baby around the world asking “Well, what do you think?”. The book took about two years from start to finish, a whole lot of time and heart. Now I am asking myself, WHY?

The short answer is that I felt very strongly that I had something to say that could benefit a certain group of people. The book is about self-discovery, storytelling, and using lots of fun tools and toys. It is based on a class I have been teaching for 7 years, and the class that I find produces interesting and profound results from participants, more so than any other class I have ever taught. One person told me she got more out of it than six years of therapy. I am not so full of myself that I consider that my calling, to replace therapists, don’t worry about that, keep your shrink!

Art is healing, art is joyful, and maps are fascinating. The book is a soup pot of all that is good that I know, all the things that make me perk up and smile and want to run to the studio.

The map above did not make it into the book (we had WAY too much art), but it is one of the projects. This map was a collaboration with Lisa Bebi, an artist and fellow teacher that I admire a lot. She teaches in Paris (and elsewhere) and makes these fabulous paintings. I took her paintings and overlaid them on a vintage map of Paris. It ended up being a story about lost love, and a flippant heartbreaker (upper right, with the umbrella) going on to her next conquest. Can you have more fun than this?

So I just had to write the book, and if it is overwhelming I deserve it. And I am grateful for the opportunity.


  1. Yes, you do deserve it! 🙂

  2. I can hardly wait to get my copy from Amazon. Yes, you had to write the book, you had to get your message out and connect, it IS a wonderful opportunity, and I am proud to know another REAL author!

    And you get to be overwhelmed and all those other author emotions. Proud, excited, thrilled beyond words! (But not beyond maps — have you made a map of your book launch? Ha, I see you shrieking in the corner “It’s 5 weeks early!!!”

    I think a book event in Madison would be just dreamy. Yes?

    • Oh that would be nice Bo! I am growing very fond of Wisconsin….. We missed you, and I hope to see you next time I am there.

  3. I am SO ready for my copy to arrive 🙂 I am thrilled for you, and having been unable to take a class with you in a while, I look forward to playing along with this book!

    Why write a book when you have a blog? Because it encapsulates your wondermousness, and clears the way for new discoveries and opportunities!


  4. jill, thank you so much for including me – preliminarily as a contributing artist for your book. can’t wait to see it.
    and congrats on a hard job done well.

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