New book in 2015: Mosaic

6172361630_35d3058da7_zI’m happy to announce that Portfolio will be publishing my next book, called The Mosaic (or possibly just “Mosaic”), in 2015. This book will feature the results of a time diary study of women with big careers and kids. The title comes from my observation that while in the popular narrative, combining a big career and a family means one is constantly juggling, crazed, and harried (“I don’t know how she does it”) when you look at the whole of 168 hours, the picture is very different. A full life creates a complex but compelling mosaic.

I’m not sure on the subtitle yet. It may be something like “the art of having it all” or “how successful women win at work and life” or “strategies for crafting a delightfully full life.” I welcome suggestions. It’s going to be very much a how-to book, but grounded in time diary research showing how real people live their real lives.

A few things. Some people wonder about the timeline for books. I started talking about the Dandelion project this spring. I collected a few dozen time logs from women earning $100k-plus, wrote a short proposal, and got the offer in late August. These things just take time.

Second, I’ll likely be hiring some research help. If you know someone who has experience recruiting for and conducting studies along these lines, and who can help me with data collecting and management, I appreciate any leads. This will be mostly virtual, so location (within the US) isn’t an issue.

Third, thank you to everyone who has already shared their time logs with me. That was incredibly helpful for the proposal! If you’d like to do so (you can be a completely anonymous data point in the book or you can be interviewed — whatever you like), or if you have friends who would, I’d appreciate more logs! The inclusion criteria include having at least one kid (still at home, i.e. under 18), and earning over $100k. Please let me know. I’m happy to offer feedback on the logs if that would make time tracking more attractive for people. I’d also be open to doing workshops at organizations that could generate a high number of such logs in exchange for getting the data (e.g. law firms, consulting firms, entrepreneurs‘ associations, etc.) People can reach me at lvanderkam at yahoo dot com.

Thanks and I’m looking forward to sharing this research as I go along.

Photo courtesy flickr user costanavarino

12 Responses to New book in 2015: Mosaic

  1. ARC says:

    Can you clarify that you mean the woman is earning over $100K alone, or is that combined household income?

    I can ask former coworkers if they’d be interested in doing some logs for you. And I know they would probably LOVE LOVE LOVE any feedback.

    • ARC says:

      Also, congratulations :)

    • @ARC – the woman alone. It will be fascinating to see the different ranges of things their husbands/partners do, but for this project I am focusing on women. Thanks!

  2. LAB says:

    Sounds interesting. How can I learn more about getting involved?

  3. sukeina says:

    Really excited for this project… congratulations and I look forward to reading the book.

  4. Leanne says:

    Congratulations, Laura! Great title too!

  5. Anne Bogel says:

    How exciting!! I love the concept and can’t wait to hear more about the book as it comes together.

  6. Ana says:

    So exciting! I love the name, too. Fanciful. I’d be willing to send you a time log.

  7. arden says:


    Any news about your novel??? :)

    • Laura says:

      @Arden – nope, not yet. Wish there was news to report!

  8. Mary Beth Patnaude says:

    Thanks to your inspiration, and your books, I have become a woman with a big career and kids. I am looking forward to reading your book! I have 5 kids, and have worked hard to accomplish my dream of becoming a college professor. I am now working full time as an assistant clinical professor at the University of New England. Thanks for the inspiration!