The End of The Beginning


This is the finished manuscript for my next book, How To Be Happy (Or At Least Less Sad). The pink tabs are the final changes I made, and the yellow tabs are the last questions I had for my editor. All of those are now resolved, and the book is with Penguin’s production team.

This book was really tough to write at times, and I spent a long time lost in the research stage. But lost in a “this is really interesting so I have to keep going” kind of way. I read a lot of science, religion, and philosophy — and I read and listened to a lot of people’s experiences with sadness and happiness. Unfortunately my research included feeling really sad myself sometimes, but it also included trying out many little things to make myself feel a bit less sad.

It’s weird that all of that research has ended up in a book like this — a kind of activity book for “grown-ups”. But I wanted to write a self-help book that genuinely helped people to help themselves, and you’d be surprised by how few self-help books actually do that. Maybe it’s just me, but it feels like that should be the whole point of self-help books. 

At the top of this pile is a page of “advance praise” I got for the book. I approached a few people who work in this field to see what they thought, which was a little scary. I assumed either no-one would get back to me, or that they’d think the book sucked. But I was blown away by the responses, and those words injected me with a fresh belief that I’d made something helpful, above all else. If you have good eyesight you can maybe read those quotes. 

I received one quote which is missing from that page, and that’s because it’s going to be on the back cover. I recently wrote about the front cover, so it feels like that quote from the back cover is a good way to end this post…


The book is available to pre-order now, and I’ll have more news about some kind of pre-order reward soon. I still have a bunch of things to do before the book is released in May. I'm even planning to swallow every little anxiety I have to do some kind of book tour, so if you have links to any great venues I should check out please let me know.