Structuring Life to Support Creativity

Structuring Life to Support Creativity

A resource book to help writers, artists, and other creatives make more art with less burnout.
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$39,330 🎉
of $9,600 (USD) goal
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We're Funded!

Thank you so much for your support. Having reached our funding goal, we've paid for the production costs of making this book a reality. We have some exciting stretch goals ahead which you can read about in the Stretch Goals section below.  
Thank you for being part of this project!
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The Book: Structuring Life to Support Creativity


Structuring Life to Support Creativity is a resource book to help creative people make more space and time in their lives for the creative work they want to do. This self-help book is arranged as chapters of information with activities to help people think about their life and spaces in new ways. All of it is written to be accessible no matter what stage of creative progress you’re at, from early learner to career-path expert.

In writing this book Sandra Tayler has distilled thirty years of experience in doing creative work while also running a small business, participating in communities, raising a family, and maintaining friendships. She has been teaching these principles at conventions and events for years, but has finally collected those thoughts into a format that you can read in the comfort of your home and at your own pace. The book also includes guided activities that can help you untangle your creative challenges and find ways to move forward. 

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What's in the Book?


The table of contents for this book includes:

  • On Creativity
  • Know Your Goals and Priorities
  • Pillars of Your Life
  • Your Support Network
  • Curating Your Commitments
  • Ebbs and Flows of Energy Levels
  • Managing Mental Load
  • Your Physical Space
  • Fragmentation of Creative Time
  • Stopping and Starting
  • Replenishment and Depletion
  • The Motivation Problem
  • Your Access Needs
  • Implementation is Everything
  • Disaster Clean Up
  • Emotional Processing and Grief
  • Closing Thoughts

The following chapters have yet to be drafted, but will be included in the final book:

  • Time Scheduling and Project Management
  • Believing in your Work (Battling Imposter Syndrome and Self Doubt)
  • Creative Life Stages and how to navigate transitions between them
  • Caregiving and Creativity
  • Health Challenges and Creativity
  • When things go sour: creative trauma, avoidance response, and shame spirals
  • The Weight of the World (Finding creativity in the face of existential dread)

(Note: exact chapter titles may change prior to publication)

The book is currently 50,000 words and about 200 pages. It will probably be closer to 70,000 words and 250 pages when finished. A partial sample chapter is posted as an update to this project. 

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Pledge Levels

You can click on the pledge levels to see specific descriptions of each level. There are an assortment of options from ebook only, to paperback book, to a special book gift box, and several levels that include mentoring or consulting options. 

For the budget or space conscious we have a digital only pledge level. $10 will get you an ebook or the $20 paperback book level gets you an unsigned paperback  book and an ebook. (There will be an option to add a signature and personalization for additional cost as part of the survey.)

Several of the levels include a “Creativity Bundle.” At the launch of this project that bundle will contain a notebook, two stickers, a bookmark, and 2 notecards.
 

For any of you who are retailers, we’re offering a special retailer bundle where you can get 10 copies of the book at wholesale prices.
Several levels offer one-on-one consultations where Sandra will meet with you via Zoom. If you’re hoping for something with longer term support and help, the mentoring levels offer a year-long process of checking in and following up. There are quantity limitations on all of the consultation and mentor options, so if you think you want one of these, grab it early.
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Add-ons

As part of your pledge you’ll have the option to add on items to your order. Most of the add-ons allow you to grab additional copies of the book or creativity bundle, but there are a couple of add-ons that I want to highlight:

Giveaway Book: There are lots of people who would benefit from reading this book, but who can’t afford to buy a copy for themselves. If you want to help this project reach funding goals, but you don’t need more stuff, donating money for a giveaway book is a fantastic way to both help this project exist and help out another creative person. Sandra will set up a process where people can sign up on a waiting list to get one of the free books in either digital or paperback format.

Lecture Bundle: This book originated in classes that Sandra taught at writer conferences. Sandra continues to pull concepts and teach them. With this add on bundle you will get access to three pre-recorded lectures. 
  • Claiming space: learning to believe in the value of your own work. (Brand new lecture!)
  • Caregivers Guide to Regaining your Creative Spark
  • Introverts Unite: Finding and maintaining the creative community you need
If we reach our first stretch goal, Sandra will add a fourth lecture to the bundle.
 

All of the lectures will become available by the end of September.
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Stretch Goals

We currently have three achievements we're reaching for:

1. ***UNLOCKED*** 20k Sandra gets paid: the original funding goal was the bare minimum to cover the production and print costs to make the book. So the first stretch goal is to pay me for my time and effort writing the book. This income will allow me to focus further time on additional materials and breathing room to write more books in the future. If this goal is reached, I'll add a fourth lecture to the lecture bundle as thanks.

2. ***UNLOCKED*** 25k Audiobook: If we reach this goal, I'll hire a professional narrator and produce an audiobook version of Structuring Life to Support Creativity. The audiobook will be available as a pledge level or as an add-on to this project.

3. ***UNLOCKED*** Offset Printing: If the project sells more than 600 paperback books I'll do an offset print run instead of print on demand. This will mean that the book you receive is higher quality and I'll have more control over multiple aspects of how the book is designed. 

4.  ***UNLOCKED*** 30k Custom Designed Activities Book: Throughout SLSC I offer optional activities to help you think through your creative process and how to re-structure your life around it. I'd love to create a notebook that has pages specifically designed for each of these activities. If we reach this goal the notebook will become available as an add-on to any pledge level with physical shipping.

5. ***UNLOCKED*** 35k Book Upgrades: I will research and select some upgrades to add to both the book and the custom designed notebook. It might be spot gloss, decorative design work, or illustrations. I'll also create sticker sheets for the creativity bundle instead of single stickers and will add a thank you postcard to every package.  

That will be the last stretch goal. Any funds beyond that point will simply be used to allow me more time to write for my next project.  Thank you so much!
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Help make this book happen!

Creating a book produced to a professional level requires hiring skilled people. In order to create this book, funds are needed to pay for
Cover design
Developmental editing
Copy editing
Layout
Printing
That is where you can help. Your pledge to this project at any level will help make it possible to produce this book!
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The Timeline

Updated with more detail!

Production timelines on a project like this are always estimates and it is very possible that the project will hit snags or delays. Fortunately I have years of experience in stepping up and conquering exactly those sorts of challenges. No matter what comes up, I will always be clear in communicating with you about the status of the project. I believe in responsive customer service and will answer any questions you have quickly.

June 18-July 18:  Project Funding. This is when I learn how much funding I have for making things and which things I get to make. 

July 19 - August 9: Waiting for the funds to deposit, attending Gen Con, getting edit notes back, and starting to draft the additional chapters that I discovered we need. 

July 22-26: I’ll be reaching out to those at the mentoring levels to start setting up appointments and groups. In order to give myself recovery time from convention and crowdfunding, I’ll be setting up appointments to take place after August 19. 

August 10- September 15: Drafting chapters, getting them beta read, firming up the core text of the book so it is ready for line editing and proofreading. Design work on the sticker sheets, bookmarks, and other items in the creativity bundle.   The survey to collect your address and order information will also go out during this stage. 

September 16- October 15: Line editing and proofreading. It is possible that both of these can happen in one pass, but it is more likely that they’ll have to happen sequentially. This is also when I hope to begin recording and delivering the video lectures with the plan to have all of them available by the end of September.

October 16-31:  Layout and design for the print book and ebook. Send the book off to the printer. Timeline on getting books back depends on whether we hit the offset printing goal. 

November 1-5: I hope to have the ebook ready and distribute it to everyone who has an ebook in their pledge. 

March 2025: Shipping books to you! (Hopefully sooner than this, but I’ll keep you posted.)


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A note about shipping

The Backerkit platform does not collect the shipping cost for your package at the time of funding. Instead your shipping will be calculated at the time you fill out your survey and provide your address so that the cost of shipping can be accurately calculated based on your location. If you have concerns about the shipping cost at that time, I’ll be happy to work with you and find a solution. 

Our guess is that US packages of a single book will cost less than $10 to ship.  International packages will cost $25-30 USD. (I wish I could make those international prices cheaper, but sadly we can’t.)
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About Sandra Tayler






If you’re unfamiliar with Sandra Tayler, she is a writer, editor, and publisher with credits in over thirty different titles. She is a consistently successful crowdfunder, and has spent the last three decades creating books, managing a household, raising four kids, and running several small businesses. Leveraging all of that experience, Sandra has written this book designed to help writers, artists, and other creatives make more art with less burnout. 

But you don’t have to take Sandra’s word for it. Here are the words of people who have taken classes from Sandra in the past, the exact classes that this book was created from. 

When I was at a period of major transition in my life, just a short conversation with her helped crystallize for me my identity as a writer and how I was going to get through that change with hope and self-knowledge. That was truly incredible and meant the world to me
.  –Erica Birrell

When Sandra Tayler is the instructor, I leave with actionable steps that feel achievable and wrapped in a hug. Sandra is a compassionate, astute instructor who has invaluable insights while never losing sight of the human being behind the stories.  –Marie Parks 

Sandra has a knack for cutting to the core of a problem. Her insights into the creative process are unparalleled.  –Cedan Bourne

Sandra is able to break down the business of writing, crowdfunding, networking, and several other areas of interest to writers and artists, both experienced and just beginning.  By way of her experience, she provides lessons that are both practical and encouraging.  –Brian Buhl

Sandra’s advice applies to anyone looking for a creative outlet. I have shared her work with everyone from physicians at my workplace to parents on my children’s sports teams. –Jennifer Chu



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Pledge now

Thank you so much for your support of this project! You're helping create a resource that will exist for years to come. 
If you believe that this project is not in compliance with BackerKit’s Community Guidelines or Terms of Service, you can file a report by sending a message via this link: Report this project