Friday, February 15, 2013

Writing My First Book...I Need Your Help!

For the past year, I've dreamed of writing a book.  This desire actually used to be very pressing as a young child, but got left in the dust somewhere around middle school/high school.  A couple months ago I finally had the inspiration I needed to write my first book, which will be a self published eBook sold on Amazon for kindle.  Needless to say, I am ridiculously excited about it, and it is almost completed, minus some final bits and pieces and some serious editing.  Okay, so maybe that means it's not almost done.  But still, it's getting close!

I am writing on the topic of "hosting".  I write in the book that hosting is something that I absolutely LOVE doing, but it is not without it's challenges.  Hospitality is a gifting that I have, and it comes naturally to me, but over the years, I've realized that this is not the case for everyone.  For many people, hosting people in their homes can feel overwhelming or just not even worth the cleaning, prep, time, etc.  Or, many people just simply "don't know how".  I'm aiming to help women break down some of the barriers that may keep them from hosting people in their homes.  One of the main questions that my book addresses is "how do we keep hosting simple and enjoyable so that we can avoid feeling overwhelmed and make hosting guests a regular aspect of our lives?"  

So, I'm looking for some help.  Everyone of you has something valuable to add to this conversation.  Although I've talked about this topic with many women over the past couple years, I'm looking for as much input on this subject as possible so that I can make this book as beneficial as it can be!  In the comments below, will you please answer one or any of the applicable questions below?  I would be immensely grateful!  If you don't want to leave your name for whatever reason, please feel free to comment anonymously. 

Thank you so much! 

1) If you love hosting:  What are your favorite by-products of having people in your home?

2) If you hate hosting:  What makes hosting difficult for you?  What is the most challenging aspect of having people in your home?  

3) When you are in someone else's home: What are the top 2 or 3 things that a host does that make you feel welcome, comfortable, or safe?  

4) What are the top 2 or 3 things that a host has done to make you feel uncomfortable, unwelcome, or as though you were as hassle to them?

5) When you have people in your home, what to you typically do/eat/etc. (i.e. guests for dinner, just dessert, game night, watch a movie, drink coffee, craft together, parties, etc.)?

6)  If married: Do you and your spouse host in a similar way?  Do you have similar ideas as to what your time together should look like?

7) If you have kids:  What are the most challenging aspects of hosting guests in your home when you have small children?  Older children? 

8)  How do finances affect your ability/desire to host?


  1. Questions #1 and #2: Sometimes I love it, and sometimes I don't. I feel comfortable having my college friends over frequently since they won't expect much. We can just sit around, watch movies, play video games, listen to music, and talk with a cup of tea. It's inexpensive but allows us to connect. That's what I love!

    I have a tough time inviting fellow couples and older friends as I feel that laid-back approach would look lazy and unwelcoming. But I'm not a good cook, and the process of prepping the house to perfection to make guests feel welcome is often more stress than I'm ready to sign up for.

    That said, the desire to build deep relationships can overrule that stress and fear. In those situations, I ask my husband to cook, and we make sure the previous day doesn't have any additional commitments. Haha!

    Question 3:
    Top #1: Makes the effort to create an atmosphere that straddles the line between too-casual-to-care and too-proper-to-enjoy.
    Top #2: Sits across from me to talk.
    Top #3: Offers me food and joins me in eating.

    Question 4:
    Top #1: Not allowing me to serve my own portions of food.
    Top #2: Being in a rush to make the perfect meal, experience, etc. (a.k.a. biblical Martha syndrome) I'd rather he/she just sit down and chat than provide a big production for an occasion as simple as hanging-out.
    Top #3: Stating that we should see each other more often (I'm here, right? Can't we just enjoy it?)

    Question 5:
    Top #1: I love movie nights! If I can have people over to eat dinner at the table followed by a good flick that's bound to lead to good discussion, I have achieved the perfect night! I enjoy it. My guests enjoy it. It's awesome!
    Top #2: I also love to chill on the couch beside a friend with a warm cup of tea. No fuss, no mess. Just us and our conversation.

    Question #6: Yes. We are pretty selective about who comes through the front door into our home. So when we do invite guests, it's always something big that we've both dedicated to do and are excited to enjoy!

    Question #8: It depends on the situation. ;)

  2. Wow! Thanks, Ally! These are all really insightful! I like how you articulated how different guests affect your approach. I have felt that way before, too. And, I don't even necessarily think it's a bad thing (unless it means you neglect to host certain people). We host youth in our home very differently than we host adults. Also, your comment about "prepping the house to perfection" being more than you're ready to sign up for is totally something I've already written on in my book, so that's super encouraging for me that I'm on the right track :) Yay!

    Your answers to question #4 are so interesting. I guess I never thought about how a guest would feel if you just went ahead and served their food. Although, I typically do ask "would you like to grab your own or do you want me to serve you?", so maybe I have at some point subconsciously thought about it. But, that's a great tip, and I think I'll be using it for sure! And your # 2 in that question is a huge discussion point for what I'm writing on :)

    Love your answers, Ally! Thanks for helping me out with your wisdom and insights :)



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