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Lets Talk - My Book


uk fashion blogger

Right. So where do I start with all this. By the Old Gods and the New, this is one of the weirdest, awkward and serious posts I’m going to write this year but hey ho. So, Guess who’s walked away from their book deal? Oh that would be me - Lily Melrose. So yeah, my Book (Just Blog It) isn’t going to be a thing. Well not for now anyway.

You may or may not have noticed that I've sort of kept quiet on the subject for a few weeks while we worked out the terms of ending the contract. And while I can’t go into the full details as to why I made the decision I have done fully, I can explain a bit of it. Some of it for professional reasons and I just don’t want to be a dick, you know? But I’ll try and talk about it as well as I can before y’all call me crazy, silly and petty for blowing off a sweet book advance and the “glory” of being an “author”.

A bit of background about my book. I was pitched by a publisher an idea in around April/May about doing a book of some kind. Agreeing to it sometime in the early summer. I made a sly reference to my book in a video (and even mentioned in the comments at the time) to the fact I was writing a book which was taken as shade towards Zoella. It wasn’t intended as shade I was just being cryptic but it’s a perfect example of how things can be misconstrued on the Internet. Once I’d announced my book people were quick to pull me up on my apparent shade even though it was nothing at all. The idea of doing a book was bought to me way before it became a running joke that “all" Youtubers/Bloggers release books. At the time I thought it was a cool, original idea and I’d seen a few bloggers do something similar and I was feeling super inspired. People like the girls at ABM, Emily from Cupcakes and Cashmere and Adorn by Shini and Kit.

We went back and forth a few times before I firmly stated I didn’t want to do an “About Me” book. I knew I wanted to use the opportunity to share my thoughts on something I feel fairly knowledgable about - Blogging. I've been blogging for over 6 years now and as my full time job for almost 4, and I felt like it was something I had a valid and solid opinion on.

I never set out with the intention of wanting to be a published author, and while that might make it sound like I’m poo-pooing on talented people out there who DO want to be published writers - I really hope it doesn’t come across like that. A lot of people throw shade saying that "we" are hindering others from breaking into the market. Which in some ways is true, it has become a bit of a thing and oversaturated market to boot. It often feels contrived and some are going ahead with books dubious intentions. But on the whole most people are doing it from a pure, exciting and career moving forward place. I don’t believe blog books are bad for the industry at all. Clearly publishers see a ready formed market for it and in most cases they know books by bloggers/vloggers will sell. It's less risky for them. Plus I think it gives the world of blogging and vlogging a well needed boost of legitimacy in a medium that thinks we’re all idiots that sit on our computers all day. Bloggers/Vloggers are incredibly discredited and disrespected by "old" media and it's still an area that people just dont get.

I kept saying to everyone who gave me crap about being “Another Youtuber who wants to be writer” that I’m STILL a blogger, I will always be a blogger - I write stuff and put it on the internet. It’s like how a few years ago most people assumed all bloggers wanted to be journalists. Blogging is about sharing your thoughts on whatever subject your knowledgeable about on the world wide web. If that be beauty, fishing, pro wrestling, fire eating or sword fighting whatever, you can write about whatever you want. I looked at writing a book as commenting on a subject about something I felt like I had some insider information on. Surely thats how any book about a specialist subject is created?

Anyway back to me. One reason I felt hugely unhappy was the creative part of the book. I didn’t feel like the book was coming together in the way I’d imagined when I’d got pitched the idea. I come from a graphic design and art background - it’s kinda my thing. I went to Art School and have a Degree in Graphic Design. For me the visuals in a book/magazine/blog are probably just as important to me as the actual text. I’d envisioned this awesome pretty coffee table book with a mixture of sweet typography and cool photos… and to be frank it just wasn’t anywhere near that. As it wasn’t my responsibility to design the book and I was putting it in someone else’s hands and it was quite nerve wracking. Now my book obviously wasn’t being rushed to print (as I’ve been working on it for a year), but it was drawing closer and closer to this cut off date and I was still nowhere near being happy. I would never EVER put something out into the world without being 110% pleased with it. And I felt like if that project went any further without me liking it then I’d be incredibly disappointed with myself.

When I went on my Trek America trip I spoke with Emma Blackery, who is honestly one of my favourite people I’ve ever met. Girl doesn’t mince her words and will 100% tell you what she thinks. We spoke about my book and her feelings on Youtuber books and I think that was the moment I felt like I had to either walk away or change things dramatically.

Other things that added to this decision was how I felt like because I was putting all my effort into this book my blog and channel completely slipped. As I said I want to blog, that is my thing. I was spending so much time thinking about blogging and writing about blogging I wasn’t doing the thing I actually enjoyed the most - the actual blogging. I don’t have a 5 year plan about where I want to be in life. And honestly my previous 5 year plan of doing this full time blogging thing has come to it’s fruition and I part of me craves something new. I’d have to commit to this book for goodness knows how long when Im at a point where I don’t know if I want to travel the world or settle down.

There was a lot of aspects of the project I was unhappy about also but I can’t go into detail regarding those. The reality is I should have walked away when I started feeling those gut feelings of doubt. I think part of it was the fear of failing, part of it was the fact I’d spent so long on it and part of it was just stepping into the unknown. Like everything in life trust your gut instinct. My ex boyfriend broke up with me right after I called him out about a girl who his now his current girlfriend. I think my gut was right there and I (hope) Im right here.

So what am I doing now? Im really not sure. I have this 32,483 word manuscript on my computer that I’ve put my soul and thoughts into for the majority of a year and a bit and at a loss what to do with it all. I may re-purpose some of it as blog posts, I might just sit on it till I feel like the time is right. But for now it’s firmly being put on the back burner while I focus on the things that are important to me - Myself and my Blog/Channel. Part of me feels like I wasted a bunch of time on this thing and walking away is one of the silliest things I’ve ever done. But my gut feeling is to walk away and try again at a point where I feel more comfortable and Im going to release something that will blow everyone away and I'll be proud of.

Some might call me dumb for walking away from a solid publishing deal, guaranteed money and ton of mainstream exposure. Some might call me a coward for fearing the unknown, some might just think that it’s all really ridiculous. Some might think I’ve done the right thing. Im generally a very noncommittal person, I do what I want to to do when I want to do it. Im stubborn as an ox and will always do things in my own time and maybe this book has made me understand that part personality better than I had before.

For those that preordered my book, you will get a full refund from the Publishing House within the next few days and I really sincerely apologise for any disappointment I might have caused. I hope my reasoning and thought process behind my decision makes sense. I honestly have 10000 thoughts running through my head from feelings of shame to relief, fresh starts and motivation. I no longer have this huge thing looming over me which I struggled to keep engaged with which Im now turning into something positive and I can work on in my own time if I see fit.

I hope you all continue to stick around while I work on refocusing and sorting things out. I will share some of my most helpful chapters and pages with you guys as I do want to get some of it out there into the blogosphere! Feels weird to have done so much yet not shown anyone when I share things almost everyday! I love you all and thank you so much for all your support and understanding. You're all awesome and I dont deserve it.

79 comments

  1. So sorry to hear that it didn't work but but I have so much respect for you for being honest and trusting your instinct. Making career and life decisions is hard enough without all of the internet chipping in an opinion... x

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  2. I think that this must have been an incredibly difficult decision to make, but valuing your integrity and taking the time to make sure that you're happy with content you put out in the world are both admirable traits. Don't give up on all the hard work you've put into the project - there will be a purpose for it, you just might not be able to see it yet. I think you must have a wealth of knowledge about blogging and the industry behind it and I for one will be excited when you choose to share this knowledge - whether it's on your blog, in your videos or in a different format that you commit to in the future. Good luck and well done on sticking up for yourself and what you believe in - it's so important to do xxx

    One Little Vice - UK Beauty Blog

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  3. Hey hun, I think you are incredible brave to walk away, however why not approaching another publushing house, or better still publish the book yourself. I think you can do far batter on your own, as your blog proves you can do it alone, and make a career out of it.

    http://www.wandesworld.com

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  4. That had to have been a tough decision for you, so you should be proud of having the guts to make it - there's no sense in putting something into the world that you aren't happy to stand behind whatever the reason! I hope you get to use the hard work you've been putting in on your manuscript in the future and wish you every success and happiness!

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  5. Fair play to you Lily - a lot of other people would have pushed through just to get that advance and keep everyone happy; it takes a huge amount of courage to stand up for what you feel is right and walk away. Bravo. Honestly, so much respect for you right now. And I'm sure we'll see that manuscript in another form in the near future....

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  6. I was thinking about your book and how it would probably be the only 'blogger/youtuber' one I would purchase! But making a career choice like that is so strong and brave I really look up to you for doing it! It just shows its not all about the money, but being happy and being yourself! This is why you are one of my fave bloggers!

    poppyrkay.blogspot.co.uk

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  7. Sometimes doing what's best for you is the hardest thing in the world! Whilst it would've been awesome to see your book in print, if it wasn't working out the way you wanted it's probably for the best - isn't there that quote about things falling apart so that better things can fall together? Who knows, maybe another opportunity will come your way so you can get it done the way you envisioned. Well done for standing up for your beliefs and not choosing the easy way! xx

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  8. Book or no book, you're still one of my favorite bloggers/YouTubers! Thank you for thinking of us and telling us yourself. There'll be bigger and better opportunities for you in the future, I'm sure of it! xx

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  9. A really ballsy decision to make & total respect to you for following your gut. A tricky one I'm sure, but you should be proud of yourself for making the call and doing what feels right for you. I was really looking forward to having read of your book but in all fairness, I was looking forward to a gorgeous coffee table book with the signature llymlrs design touches too! Well done you for sticking to what you believe in x

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  10. So much respect for you. I love that you didn't want to put something out there that you weren't 110% happy with. Don't worry we're not disappointed in you.
    Ana
    xxx
    ravishingroses

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  11. Congratulations on doing what you want. If only more people realised that sometimes things seem a good thing but in reality aren't. You are so passionate about what you do & im glad that you are finally happy with what could be described as a really tough decision. One day you'll get the book exactly where you want it to be! Keep going!
    Bee xxx
    QueenBeady.com

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  12. I think everyone who makes such a decision can be so proud of themselves! I can imagine how hard it must have been, to try to relate to this thing and make it work and I am pretty sure you might find another publisher that lets you do things the way you want them to be.

    Marie x
    pocketfulofmakeup.blogspot.com

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  13. Hey Lily, sorry it isnt working out for you just yet, maybe you decide to never off. publish it. But I think it takes big balls, excuse the impression, to step away from this when you know what it could have brought you; so well done from my side. I hope you continue having your amazing blog; your videos on youtube are honestly amazing, esp the new ones, like you said, you like the tech stuff, and we can see that in the new ones :): love them

    xx brigitte http://followlittlesecret.blogspot.ie/

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  14. You should be so proud of yourself for stepping back and admitting something isnt working. I have SO much respect for you, for not going ahead when your gut feeling is bad. Some would've done it anyway, for the money and fame but I really do think you are inspiring to many people! Some 'authors' should take some tips.

    x x | daisydaisyxxo

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  15. Definitely take all the time that you need for yourself! Your work on the book has also certainly not been a waste of time and you can still be proud of what you've created - even if now might not be the right time to put it out into the world ♥

    http://la-fille-lumineuse.blogspot.de/

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  16. Wow, this must have been such a tough decision to make but it sounds like you've made the right decision for yourself. Don't feel like you have to explain yourself to us, we were here before the book and we'll be here in the future, book or no book :)

    Tessa at Bramble & Thorn

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  17. Awww Lily! Although out of all the YouTubers/Bloggers that have been bringing books out yours was the one I was most excited about, I believe you have totally done the right thing. Your gut is a strong instinct and not one to be ignored. If anything I respect you so much more for saying no to something that you're not 100% happy with than just publishing something for the sake of it. Maybe releasing it in the future as an eBook could be an option? That way you will have full control of content and design. Whatever you decide to do I look forward to seeing your future content. I've been a fan of your blog for years now and love to watch your YouTube videos too. Keep up the great work xx

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  18. Sounds like it was a difficult decision to make, but I respect the choice that you made. It takes guts to step away from something that is deemed to be good and successful in the world. I hope that you will be able to create a book one day because I love the coffee table book idea!

    The Runaway Journal

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  19. Don't feel upset about it at all. You should definitely go with your gut, and if you feel that you wouldn't be entirely happy with the final product, why carry on going down that path?

    Good on you for realising this though, before it was way too late. And like someone else said, maybe try and release it as an eBook, to give yourself a little more flexibility :)

    A Little Twist Of…

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  20. Don't worry, we all still support you in whatever your decisions x

    chapter-fifty-nine.blogspot.co.uk

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  21. This is an incredibly brave decision and post - I have so much respect for you and this post. It takes real balls to say no to putting out content that you don't think reflects your standards, especially when there's a financial offer on the table. In a world where bloggers/vloggers are being (whether justly or unjustly) called out as sell-outs for money, you're showing your dedication to being 100% true to yourself - and that's something I really admire.

    Milly // Mini Adventures

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  22. Don't feel ashamed Lily, you followed your heart and made the best decision for you! Wish you all the best xxx

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  23. Well done for making a difficult decision for the right reasons. I massively respect the fact that you only wanted to do this if it was 100% you, and something you would be proud of. I can imagine it was a seriously hard decision, but i think you should feel proud of the integrity you've stuck by :D

    mel x
    http://mediamarmalade.com/

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  24. It takes bravery and courage to step away from something and go with gut instinct, so I think that this is actually a very inspiring blogpost to read. It's always tough when you're working with someone who doesn't connect with your creative vision. Photography and graphics is important to me too, so I would've been so stressed to hand that control to someone else. Totally understand where you're coming from on the whole situation x

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  25. Lily, I know this must be tough for you - I've been wanting to write a book since I was a young girl. A book where I write fiction, but seeing recent books being released and too, like you said, some other "another Youtuber/Blogger writing a book" just made me stop the thought, as I'm now a blogger and people would think the same way everyone does and it just angers me! I would love to read your book though - even though if it's in separate posts. Hope you feel well. x

    www.angerawrs.co.uk | A DATE WITH THAT GRACE GIRL

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  26. I think it is a brave thing to wall away and say no. If it doesn't feel right deep down then it isn't worth going ahead with it. x
    Emma | Emmys Beauty Cave

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  27. Whichever way your writing comes out I'm looking forward to reading it, good on you for holding back when things didn't feel right x

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  28. Really brave to take that step and talk about it, hopefully a chance for the right book for you will come around!

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  29. You are really brave for walking out of this. I have always wanted to write a book but it would have to be something I love and I had created not someone else. I totally understand. You are amazing, never forget that!

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  30. I've been following your blog since 2010 and I've respected every decision you've ever made, this one included! Stick to your guns and know what's right for you! Chin up Lily!

    Sara - She Who Is Short

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  31. I think I would be the same, with a design degree I'd want the book to be perfectly creative in my own way not how someone else wanted it to be! hopefully with the book no longer we will hear from you on the blog a bit more :) :)

    Rose and Weston x

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  32. It's a shame it didn't work out but it was very brave and smart of you to turn it down because you weren't satisfied with it. Good on you! x

    http://increddyble.blogspot.co.uk

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  33. I can't imagine how hard that must have been, but take pride in the fact that a lot of other bloggers and lesser people would have had money and notoriety as their priorities rather than a good book/product. Just confirms what I've known all along from following your blog/youtube Lily, that you are unique and unlike the rest- and if any one gives you grief they clearly don't get what you're about. Lily Melrose would never be a sell out!
    Lucie x

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  34. It takes a great deal of courage to walk away from something like that when you feel it's not right - I certainly don't think I could have done it. You're so right, what's the point in doing something if you're not 100% happy with the result? All the best! I hope we get to read it one day - maybe as an e-book?

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  35. Although I was really looking forward to your book, I respect your decision! It kind of shows that you genuinely don't do things for the money which is great, not everyone would do that!xx

    Floralchaos

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  36. You 100% did the right thing! And walking away from it all and staying true to yourself shows how much you love and appreciate blogging and respect your work x

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  37. Always trust your gut! A tough decision but it'll be the right one in the end.
    average adventures

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  38. I can't imagine how difficult this decision felt but it's ultimately your happiness, what you want to produce and be proud of and making that choice is admirable. Staying true to you means you can refocus and maybe in the future another opportunity will arise, and you'll have more control over what you control too :) Hope you're feeling fab Lily!

    Lauren x
    Britton Loves | Lifestyle Food Beauty

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  39. Don't regret your decision, because in the end all you have to go on is your gut, and sometimes things just don't feel right. Try not to feel as though you've wasted time; think of it more as a learning curve. And about all the time you'll save because you've already got a bunch of posts ready to go! Have a lovely week Lily!x

    willowtea.blogspot.co.uk

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  40. Lilly I always have so much respect for you. That's such a hard decision to make but if you weren't happy with how it was going it sounds like you made the right choice. It's good you always trust your gut x

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  41. It's a shame that it didn't work out but I massively respect you for saying no and sticking with your guns. I love your blog, have a great week x

    http://abihanney.blogspot.co.uk

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  42. This must have been such a hard decision for you Lily, but one that I really admire. Even though I was looking forward to the release I think you did the right thing. This book has to be something that you are 100% happy with and proud of. I love your blog posts and YouTube channel and am glad that there will be more to come! xo

    www.girlfromnorthlondon.co.uk

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  43. I'm kind of glad you aren't going to be releasing a book anytime soon. If you had, it may have just got swept up with the other hundred 'youtubers books' coming out. You'll always have this corner of the internet to express yourself into, and you have complete control of it! I think it may have been obvious if you hadn't of decided every last detail of YOUR book.

    www.kayleighbicklephotography.com

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  44. I'm disappointed as I really thought that, as you were writing about something you knew, your book would have been so much better than any other YouTuber book but I really admire your decision to pull out of the contract. You've clearly got in mind the right reasons and it's very brave of you to walk away from the book deal; I reckon you should sit on what you've done and go at your own pace with improving it then maybe release it in the future if you ever feel the time is right! :)
    Megan x
    London Callings

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  45. Well done on making this decision (which was clearly impossible!) and like you said it doesn't mean it'll never happen and i'd keep hold of that project ;) you never know whats around the corner!
    We're all still behind you :) xx

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  46. Have you thought about releasing the chapters in chargeable podcast form? Or as part of an online blogging course or something. Would definitely be something I would buy!

    Anyway, no need to feel awkward or embarrassed, seems like you've made the right decision for you and yr followers :) x

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  47. Lily I love your honesty! I know it must be hard to not go ahead with the book, but like you said, if it's not 110% right then don't put it out there. Just shows great you are and doesn't easily give in with the norm and commercialising your work. Love you xxx

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  48. sorry to hear it didntt work out lily :( but honestly it sounds for the best, your a creator and you know what you want to do and how you want something to be, i respect you more for not just throwing your name on the front of a book for money. your blogs a joy to read and if you ever publish a book that will be aswell because i know that when i read your blog im reading something thats 100% you :)
    x
    www.coralpaiges.blogspot.co.uk

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  49. Lily if it doesn't feel right than that means you shouldn't do it!
    Proud of your decision! :)

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  50. It's such a shame that it isn't working out at the minute Lily, I was looking forward to reading it! Don't write it off, it can still happen one day! x

    www.totalmodisch.blogspot.co.uk

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  51. I'm sure this was a hard decision to make and I completely respect you for making the decision to hold off until the time feels right. I have faith that at some point in the future a book deal will be offered to you again and at that point you'll have the opportunity to make it something you're super proud of rather than settling for slapping your name on something just to get it out there. Your commitment to always staying true to yourself is one of the reasons I've loved your blog for all these years!! xxx Marielle

    Love and Marmalade

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  52. While it is sad that you had to walk away from such a huge project, I have major, major respect for you after reading this. I love that you did with what felt right and didn't put it out just as is, I think it says so much of your character and how genuine you are. x

    nueyork.blogspot.com

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  53. If your gut feeling was to walk away, then I completely support that. I think we all know deep down what's right and we kind of have to go with it. It sounds like you invested a lot of time into this so I hope one day you decide to self-publish, or find a publisher who can make the book the way you want it to be made. You're amazing at your job, and we'd love to read what you have to say... when you're ready :) Love you x

    Alice Red - Beauty/Lifestyle/Photography Blog

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  54. I think you are absolutely right to go with your gut instinct and should be proud of yourself for doing what feels right to you. There are many who would have caved to the pressure of not feeling able to back out of the deal or putting something out there that is not entirely them just for money or to keep others happy. You are an amazing and inspirational blogger and this just proves how dedicated you are and putting the whole of yourself into everything you do. I have so much admiration for you :) xx

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  55. Sorry about that! I hope everything works out ^_^

    Laila | Townhouse Palette

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  56. I'm proud of you for following your heart especially with decisions like this! This goes to show that every thing you put out here on the blog is genuine, and you're writing to please no body else but yourself. and thats the beautiful thing! and that's why I will continue to read your blog/watch your channel and give my support!

    GO GIRL!!

    Rachel x
    thehappybits.blogspot.com

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  57. You're doing what's right by you, sometimes we have to put ourselves first and that's okay, don't feel guilty or ashamed for your decisions, your readers and subscribers will stick around regardless, you have my support anyway x

    Georgia | http://thelastmoonsong.blogspot.com

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  58. So proud of you for sharing this with us all, it must have been extremely hard but you have to stay true to yourself. I love that you are so honest about everything as well (a rarity among bloggers now). You could maybe consider doing a smaller eBook type thing, which we could all buy and download, I'd absolutely love something like that and would happily pay money for it too! x

    Cass | CassandraMyee

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  59. To me it seems like you 100% made the right choice, why go through with something when you have a vision as to what it should be and it currently isn't. What would be a great idea is to keep your manuscript and if anything so it yourself, get creating what your dream book would be, you should scrapbook/photoshop ideas and layouts and then can feel better about YOUR book and see what happens from there. I'd go as far to say who says you can't publish it yourself but not quite sure how easy/expensive that could get! Totally did the right thing and you deserve to have a beautiful book that you are proud of not just churned out for the sake of it. People love your blog because of you and we all would be happy to wait for something that comes from your heart and are super proud of. Keep blogging and keep being your wonderful self ok! Xxxxx

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  60. I'm sorry to hear that it didn't work out for you, I'm sure that was a really difficult thing to share but the main thing is that you've followed your gut instinct and the gut is always right. At least you can look back on this experience and say that you gave it a go without the regret of not having given it a shot in the first place. I'm sure there will be other new and exciting opportunities coming your way. Much love xx

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  61. Sounds like this was a very tough, scary decision, but good on you for saying no when it didn't feel right. The market is awash with blogger and YouTuber books; some with great intent, some thrown out to cash in. Your integrity in turning down a deal because the quality wasn't there speaks volumes about your professionalism. I hope another deal that suits you better comes along.

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  62. Its horrible how bloggers and youtubers get such a bad rep for publishing books, its like well a blog is writing, a book is just a much bigger scale. I'm keen so read your book =) good luck with it all xx

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  63. Sad to hear that you're not going ahead with book. I was really interested to see what you'd come out with as I love your posts but when your hearts not in it, you've got to go with your instincts and us readers admire you for that. Glad to see that there is some honesty in the blogosphere :)

    lcm
    xo

    www.lucychloemansell.blogspot.co.uk

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  64. You do deserve it - Glad you made the decision for yourself
    x

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  65. Well done, it must have been a hard decision but I am glad you made it. I totally understand where you're coming from, why do something that has your name to it that isn't the best it can be?! So I applaude you for doing what you felt was right, it will work out in the long run and it will be better than you ever could have imagined.
    Perfectionism (if that's a word) can be frustrating, but it can also be a beautiful thing when you know you have it spot on! Xx

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  66. Congratulations on being honest to yourself. You can only do what you feel is right for you and nobody should judge you or put you down for it. I think it must of been such a hard thing to do, but in the right time something else will come up for you and then you can grab it with both hands and make it truly yours.

    Again well done.

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  67. Good for you. I cant tell you how refreshing it is to follow an honest blogger who is true to herself and nots all about the dollas and free shiz. Unfortunetly in Ireland its just that for the most case. I find it so hard to relate to bloggers for this reason. I feel some are using the subject thats truest to my heart for gains. All well and good but for me you should do something for passion or not at all. Massive props to you. ✌

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  68. You are really brave! I think it's good that you followed your feelings. If it didn't feel like the best thing you're going to publish then don't.
    As long as you feel alright with your decision then everything will be okay.
    Jade x

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  69. While I am totally bummed to read that the book isn't happening (for) now because I was really looking forward to reading it, I don't blame you for backing out. If you're not happy with how something is going ESPECIALLY if it will have your name on it then you need to take a step back.
    For the record though, a book like that coming from you would be awesome at some point in the future. I'm really interested in your take on this industry and how to get by in it and make a business within it.
    But anyway, well done on recognising that it wasn't going right for you and actually putting a stop to it. That takes guts!

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