We made it! With 12 hours to go, we hit the $10,000 goal. I am beyond grateful.
And we're sending a last-minute bonus reward for all contributor levels: a PDF copy of one of my short stories, "Understanding Fiction," originally published in the journal IMAGE. I just can't resist sharing more of my joy with you at meeting our target.
To keep up with Pilgrimage of Desire as we move toward publication, please sign up for the book's mailing list! We'll be doing more events and promotions in the future.
And visit me at my coaching website, Design Your Art-Committed Life, for more about moving beyond depression and cultivating creative flow!
Many, many thanks from the Pilgrimage team: Alison, Michelle, and Brenda
Pilgrimage of Desire tells the story of my family's first year of full-time world travel, set against the backdrop of my recovery from depression. It's the story of how I learned to stop walking sanctioned concrete, and instead followed my own desire lines.
I am self-publishing this beautifully designed memoir in digital and limited-edition print versions in November 2012. The money raised in this campaign will pay for the design, editing, and printing costs. I am very excited to crowdfund this project, because I believe in the power of many.
Thank you so much for joining me to get the word out and make this book real.
I’m Alison Gresik. I’m a writer who loves to travel, and I’m also a mom to two young kids. Last year, my husband and I sold our house so we could see the world as a family. We wanted a life that was simpler and more adventurous. And of course, we wanted to escape the Canadian winter! We call this journey Operation Hejira, after the Joni Mitchell road trip album.
We lived in Penang, Malaysia from September to April, and we've just arrived in Europe to spend a few months in France and Holland. So life is pretty good right now.
But it wasn’t always like this.
About ten years ago, I was diagnosed with depression. Not the kind where I stayed in bed all day and never showered. The kind where I kept showing up for my two jobs, and trying to write a novel, and talking my family through their problems. The kind I call walking depression. To the world it looked like I was handling everything just fine. But inside, I was so unhappy, I was a wreck. Nothing was fun, I was tired all the time, and I felt like I was wasting my life.
The one thing I had going for me was that I couldn’t believe I was meant to live this way. I was determined to get better so I could write the books I wanted to write, and have kids. And what I learned on the road to recovery has completely changed my life.
What creative people need to be joyful and whole
The memoir I’m writing, Pilgrimage of Desire, is my way of sharing that story with the people who need to hear it. It’s for those who feel trapped in a life that doesn’t let them practice their creativity in a way that feeds their soul. It’s for those who have so much to express, but who’ve boxed themselves in with rules and responsibilities.
In my work as a creativity coach with writers and artists, I’ve been spreading the message that we’re happier when we claim the right to follow our desires and create on our own terms. And now it’s time to get that message out in the form of a memoir, to show how I went from the messy depths of despair to what feels like a charmed life. I hope that, by writing about the path I took and how it changed me, others may be able to embark on their own pilgrimage.
Meet my creative team
This project was born in collaboration with an award-winning book designer, Michelle Farinella. Without her vision for this book, I wouldn’t be writing it. We’ve chosen to self-publish Pilgrimage of Desire, which allows us to create exactly the book we want, with impeccable design that presents the story in its most moving form.
I'm also working with Brenda Leifso, a talented poet and editor, to make sure the text is compelling and professional.
So far I’ve written about a third of the book, and Michelle has designed the cover and part of the interior.
Sign up on my mailing list at PilgrimageOfDesire.com to read the prologue and Chapter One.
This isn’t just generic black-and-white, it’s gorgeous, full-colour imagery and text, all packaged in Michelle’s evocative style.
We will be producing both digital and high-quality limited edition print versions of Pilgrimage of Desire.
One thing that’s been brought home to me through Operation Hejira is the importance of community. It’s been hard to leave my friends and family behind in Canada, and I’m always looking for new ways to connect with people.
To have you invested in this project, to have you share it with your friends and get excited about its publication, that will make a huge difference to its success and to my energy as I finish the book.
I’m raising funds for Pilgrimage of Desire to pay for the production costs ~ design, editing, and printing.
And in return, I’ve put together a lovely array of rewards for contributors. Pilgrimage itself is the featured reward, so you can get a digital copy of the book, a limited edition print copy, or several to give as gifts.
For those of you who are ready to get started on designing your art-committed life, I’ve also included my coaching product, the Field Guide to Truth and Beauty, which is a self-guided retreat that helps you discover your beliefs and values in what you create.
And at the higher levels, you can get some personal consulting or coaching with me, where we can talk about the challenges you’re facing in creating what you need to create.
International backers outside of Canada and the US, please add $10 to your contribution to cover shipping costs. Thanks!
Important Note: I’ve set up this fundraiser as a Fixed campaign, which means that I only receive the money raised if we reach the goal of $10,000. If we fall short, I don’t collect anything, since we really need this full amount to finance the project.
Thank you so much for supporting Pilgrimage of Desire, whether it’s through a financial contribution or just getting the word out on Twitter, Facebook, or your personal blog.
Your generosity means the world to me.
I can't wait to get this book into your hands.