The Joy of Doing Things Badly: A Girl's Guide to Love, Life and Foolish Bravery

Veronica Chambers

Broadway, 2006

Agent: Sandra Dijkstra

In a society that puts so much emphasis on perfection, Veronica Chambers mischievously casts aside the guilt-inducing litany of "shoulda, coulda, woulda" that seems to define modern-day life and replaces it with a resounding call to live with "foolish bravery." Refreshingly open about the personal failures and limitations that once weighed her down with shame, Chambers describes how she turned her less-than-perfect qualities into sources of delight and satisfaction. From belting out off-key renditions of torch songs while washing the dishes to seeing even the most unlikely career opportunity as a chance to spread one's wings, Chambers shows that a willingness to fall flat on one's face heightens the joys of everyday life and opens a new, wonderfully liberating perspective on work, motherhood, aging, friendship, failure, and success. 

With a winning combination of lighthearted anecdotes and heartfelt musings, Chambers encourages readers to follow her example and do the things that tickle their fancies and fire their imaginations, no matter what other people (and that little voice inside) may say. Like Chambers herself, they'll discover that "what we consider our failures have a surprising ability to charm . . . we are loved for our imperfections: for our funny faces and walks and dances and songs."

"A well-bylined magazine writer, Chambers writes in a breezy, punchy style, although she does address serious matters.Through humor, Chambers learns to develop 'self-care tools' that prompt her to try new things no matter how foreign or difficult they may seem. Women of all ages will find inspiration in her approach to life and her call for 'foolish bravery' in the face of challenges both big and small. Bursting with strong-willed, fiery spirit, Chambers is at the top of her game."

“Wickedly wise and literally delicious, Veronica Chambers’s The Joy of Doing Things Badly is the perfect desert island gift to self, or friend, stranded and starving on the island of perfectionism.” 
Alice Randall, author of The Wind Done Gone

“This delightfully honest book is a must-read for every woman who has ever failed and triumphed—and for every woman who has ever been afraid to try. Chambers reminds us that it is not only okay to fail, it is imperative in a life lived with gusto.” 
Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez, author of The Dirty Girls Social Club

“Women in all cultures are encouraged to go to ridiculous extremes to live up to others’ expectations. Finally, a self-help book that says STOP—happiness comes from taking risks and making mistakes, not from seeking perfection. Here’s a book that hands out advice for discovering the joy of failure—good advice for women everywhere.” 
Leslie Morgan Steiner, editor of Mommy Wars: Stay-at-Home and Career Moms Face Off on Their Choices, Their Lives, Their Families