In January 2010, I wrote a post for my Living Single blog called Not going nuclear: So many ways to live and love. In it, I wondered about a fundamental question of our lives – how do we choose to live, now that we don’t all live in the sentimentalized nuclear family household comprised of mom, dad, and the kids – and no one else – all under one roof? How do different arrangements work out, with regard to fulfilling our needs and desires? How can each of us achieve just the right mix of time alone and time with others?
I now have a new agent, and she has been encouraging me to pursue those questions for my next book. When the New York Times invited me to contribute to the opinion page this past February, I wrote a piece called “The new American experiment” on creative ways of 21st century living. Comments began to pile up immediately, with more than 100 posted in short order.
There seems to be some real interest in these matters, so I am moving ahead with the next steps. I need to gather enough information, and interview enough different people in different living arrangements, to write a compelling proposal. Once I have that, then my agent will see if she can find a publisher.
I just got back from my first project-related trip this past weekend. The people who agreed to be interviewed were wonderfully open and gracious. So was my awesome friend Susan Hurt, who shared her interviewing expertise, ferried me around to the various interviews, and gently pulled me into the 21st century of technology. I kicked and screamed but now I finally have an iPhone and an Olympus digital voice recorder. (I’m still working on the part where I actually type on the iPhone. And I did not sign up for text messaging. New tricks come slowly to this old dog.)
The new ways of living project is not my single at heart project (I hope that will be the book after this one) but I do think that many single-at-heart themes will liven the pages of this book. I have already tuned into some of them in the first few interviews.
I’ll be doing a few more trips in the coming months. Then, if my agent does find a publisher for me, I’ll do more trips – and with some funding, I’ll have more freedom about where to go. If you know anyone who is in an interesting living situation (or if you are and have not already told me), feel free to let them know about this survey, https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/HPFJZDG. Or, they can just email me at BellaDePaulo [at] gmail.com.
Meanwhile, I’m still trying to stay on top of everything else. I’ve been happy with my “Single at Heart” blog at Psych Central, so I’ll be continuing that. Fortunately, I can write posts for that blog in advance, and schedule them to appear on certain dates. That means I won’t fall behind while I’m traveling. I’ll continue posting here and at my Living Single blog at Psychology Today, too, though I can’t schedule those posts in advance so there may be some gaps when I’m traveling. There is always new and interesting stuff from other singles bloggers at Single with Attitude.
I do tend to get behind on other things when I’m traveling. For example, having been gone since last Thursday night, I am now behind on answering emails. I also have several guest contributions to this blog that I have not yet posted, and a stack of books waiting to be read and reviewed. (They all look great, so I’m not complaining.) The real point is: Please be patient if I am not as timely and responsive as I like to be while I’m trying to get this new project off the ground. I love getting your comments and updates and heads-up about various stories and links, so keep them coming and know that I appreciate them, even if I am negligent in telling you so.