The Family-First Creative: A little thank-you gift from me, to you

Guys! You are NEVER going to believe what I did.

Actually, you’re totally going to believe it. Easily. Okay, it might be the least surprising thing you have heard in weeks. But I’m still delighted to tell you:

I wrote an ebook for you! It’s going to be my gift to anyone who pre-orders my memoir. It’s called The Family-First Creative: 42 Tips for Following Your Dreams While Putting Your Family First, and I am ridiculously excited for you to check it out.

family first creative final cover The Family First Creative: A little thank you gift from me, to you


I knew I wanted to offer a free ebook as a gift to folks who pre-ordered Something Other than God, both as a token of my thanks for their support, and to give them something they could have immediately since the memoir won’t be released until the end of April.

I went back through my email archives, and realized that one of the most common questions I get is, “How do you find time to write?”

So I decided to answer that question in a short ebook. I was picturing ten, maybe 15, pages.

But once I began writing, the words started flowing. And it ended up being a 100-page book.

I dug back through every single thing I’ve learned while writing a book and helping Joe study for the CPA exam while homeschooling and having six babies in eight years. I thought through the conversations with wise spiritual directors, the advice whispered to me by mothers with decades of experience, the lessons that came from exhausted, teary moments when I pushed myself too far…and I could not stop writing.

I included the kinds of details that are rarely discussed but are really helpful when you’re trying to get a picture for how to make this kind of advice work in your own life, like:

  • A detailed breakdown of our expenses, including how I fit help into the budget
  • A detailed breakdown of how we arrange the bedrooms in our three-bedroom house to fit everyone in
  • How much money I typically bring in from blogging
  • A template “help wanted” note for finding a mother’s helper
  • A sample hour-by-hour schedule of a typical day (not one of the insane ones)

I pushed the official pre-order announcement date way back because I didn’t want to cut anything helpful from the book, and I needed the time to get it all down. (Without letting my house fall to pieces in the process. Which is totally something I would do: Yell at the half-naked five-year-old to get her sister more Cheetos for lunch because mommy is stressed about writing her book about making family your first priority.)

So this is it: Every single thing I know about trying to do well at a craft you love, while making sure your family still takes the number-one spot in your life.

Beginning this Monday, March 31, The Family-First Creative ebook will be available as a free gift to anyone who pre-orders Something Other than God.

(And yes, if you have already pre-ordered, of course that counts too!)

If you will indulge my use of all caps for a moment, I just have to say: I AM SO, SO EXCITED TO SHARE THIS WITH YOU!

I think it’s going to open up a whole new range of discussions for us to have. And it starts Monday.


New here? Come say hi on Twitter at @jenfulwiler!

Enter the Conversation...

68 Responses to “The Family-First Creative: A little thank-you gift from me, to you”
  1. Meredith says:


  2. Jen G says:

    I preordered just a few days ago! Yay!

  3. Nichole says:

    And this is why your readers love you.
    Nichole recently posted..Old MacDonald’s Farm

  4. jeni says:

    Ooooh fabulous!! Thanks! :)
    jeni recently posted..It’s Ash Wednesday!! & You Know What That Means…

  5. Darn, I wanted to read more and more and more, but then the preview said “this is the end”. OK, you got me hooked and I’m preordering your books so that I can read more and more and more of your ebook! Can’t wait to hear you speak at Ignited By Truth Conference this weekend. There will be several of us NC Catholic Homeschool bloggers at IBT, myself included :) NC Catholic Bloggers Unite! :) God bless!
    Tracy Bua Smith recently posted..7 Quick Takes: March 14

  6. Woohoo! Can’t wait to read it! Thanks for dropping some knowledge for our sakes. :)
    Micaela@ California to Korea recently posted..Romans, the Snow Queen, and an Apocalypse

  7. What a bonus!! Of course I will buy it. Your book will be the best kind of success. Am praying for you – I imagine this is all pretty huge…
    Marilyn Rodrigues recently posted..Missing car keys and the joy of stress

  8. Man, I just read your post properly and see I have to WAIT until MONDAY, to get this thing, which is TUESDAY my time!!! ARGH! :)
    Marilyn Rodrigues recently posted..Missing car keys and the joy of stress

  9. Amy says:

    How exciting! I can’t wait to get it. I definitely could use some tips in this area.
    Amy recently posted..“Finding Religion” – My Conversion Story Part 2

  10. Olga Vogel says:


    I’ve pre-ordered your book yesterday, but since I’m in Russia and they will send it to me via some our resaler…dunno when it comes. =D Probably they’ll make it a gift for my birthday in June…hope so =D
    Olga Vogel recently posted..…a new life starts today!

  11. smoochagator says:


    You are pretty awesome in a bunch of ways.
    smoochagator recently posted..Happy First Birthday, Dear Little Princess

  12. Moira says:

    Jen, you are awesome! This is so exciting!

  13. Lucinda says:

    Just pre-ordered. Planned to read your book anyway — now an added incentive! Thanks.

  14. Sonya says:

    This is the best pre-order gift ever! I was already planning on it, but this has sealed the deal. Now I’m excited to see your book tour schedule when it comes out…still hoping that MN makes the list. I will have my book!

    • Sonya says:

      OK- So after reading the tweets from last night I am going to add that #1, I think we were separated at birth. #2 MN is a convenient hop up I35 from Austin!

  15. Jenny says:

    One-click ordered my way to Fulwiler happiness. Woo!

  16. Lisa-Jo says:

    Total genius – just read the whole preview- totally hooked. GENIUS.

  17. I am even more excited!!!!! I PRE ORDERED YOUR BOOK ALMOST AS SOON AS YOU ANNOUNCED IT!!! And now I’m waiting for this awesomeness to arrive…but meanwhile….excited for your e-book. I really want to know HOW you DO IT with all the kids etc. I think you have super powers. BTW, I do miss your show…those two episdodes I watched last year were so hilarious and interesting!! Any more coming out?
    Agnes @ Restless Until I Rest in Thee recently posted..5 Tips for Lent from “The Way” by Josemaria Escrivas

  18. Calee says:

    Jen- I seriously started crying when I read your post. At our messy breakfast table.
    For years, I’ve tried to articulate what I do (run a children’s publishing company where dozens of people depend on me) but my reasons for doing it in a way that doesn’t have us growing as fast as anyone would like or why I feel like I’m barely accomplishing (at work) what I’d like to see done–all in the time my 2 kids are in school (and one is only in preschool from 8-11). Family-first creative. Great title. Great idea. I’m so excited to read both books. THANK YOU!
    Calee recently posted..Children’s Publisher Makes Entire Catalog Available for Unlimited, Multi-User Lending in Massachusetts Library Pilot

  19. Kris says:

    If we’ve already pre-ordered, how do we get the e-book?! So awesome!

  20. Jane Hartman says:

    Hi Jennifer, I ordered it through our Marian Center bookstore. I told them I thought it was going to be a big hit, so they probably could consider ordering several. I really can’t wait to read “Something Other Than God!” And I know I will be giving a few away as there are a few atheists in my family. God bless…..

  21. Janet says:

    I got my Liturgical Press catalog yesterday…and your book was advertised on the front cover!

    I’ve also pre-ordered it awhile go, so like Kris says…how do we get the e-book? Thank you so much for this gift!

  22. Gina says:

    Well, then, if that doesn’t get me to preorder right now… nothing does!! Both these sound so fabulous. Thanks!!

    Cannot WAIT to get into the e-book, and then dive into your memoir when it arrives on my doorstep when it is released. Maybe I’ll share it with fallen-away family. :) -Gina
    Gina recently posted..Macarons for the Annunciation

  23. Sarah H says:

    Ooh, want!

    What if I pre-order through UK-Amazon? I’ve been waiting to see if the paperback version becomes available over here, I prefer paperbacks to Kindle, and at the moment only the Kindle version is available on UK-amazon.
    Sarah H recently posted..Thanks for making me a fighter

  24. Annie says:

    This is really exciting, Jen! I am very much in need of the advice in your e-book (I am currently taking a break from writing my dissertation to nurse my son). I can’t wait to start reading!

  25. Monica says:

    Girl, I cannot WAIT to read Something Other than God and The Family-First Creative! Thank you very much!!

  26. Colleen says:

    I’d like to preorder but I want the kindle version of your book instead of the hardcover. Can we get this same deal when the kindle version comes available? Thanks! I’m so excited to read this new ebook!

  27. Hevel says:

    I was just wondering if you plan to sell it independently from your other book?
    Hevel recently posted..My 2 Cents on the World Vision Fiasco

  28. So, I have the same question that everyone else has:

    Do we get your second awesome book if we preorder the ebook? Also, can we preorder the ebook?

    I’m not saying hardcover books aren’t in vogue or anything, but backlit kindles are so much easier to read at 3am when you’re nursing a baby. So ebook I go.

    I can’t wait for both of these!!!
    Jenna@CallHerHappy recently posted..5 Favorites: Best of Etsy

  29. Rosemary says:

    Thank you. Thank you thank you thank you! I am so excited for this! You are awesome. :)

  30. I was going to pre-order anyway, but I’m super excited for the bonus book also!
    Lindsey @ Running in Circles recently posted..“Second verse, same as the first!”

  31. Teresa Grodi says:

    I cannot wait to read BOTH of these!!!

  32. Eva says:

    As a sign of my great excitement about your book, I’m going to get an actual, really truly holding in my hands copy. Not kindle.
    THAT, my friend, is commitment.
    And the postage to Australia is roughly 39 times the cost of the book, so again, commitment.
    Seriously, I’m coming over all ‘Misery’ here 😉
    Eva recently posted..Pick a side.

  33. I read the preview of the e-book, and I loved the idea of creating a vision for your family. Any well run company would have a long term vision, why shouldn’t a family? I can’t wait to read the rest! So mean of you to make us wait until next week! 😉
    Jennifer @ Little Silly Goose recently posted..Does being a good mom make me a bad employee?

  34. Julie says:

    So exciting! I have two questions and I apologize if I’ve somehow missed their answers elsewhere on this post.

    1) If we’ve already pre-ordered the book (I pre-ordered the hard copy on Amazon), how do we access The Family First Creative?

    2) If we don’t have an e-book reader, is there another way we can access the book — perhaps via a smartphone app? I just… don’t have an e-book reader and I honestly don’t understand how it all works.

    Thanks! I hope to get the chance to read it!
    Julie recently posted..Twenty-Three

  35. Lynn says:

    Sounds like a really good e-book that I could definitely use. I am now working on writing a work of fiction. Have pre-ordered your memoir also and am so looking forward to reading it! :)
    God Bless you and yours

  36. Peggy says:

    I pre-ordered on Not sure how to let you know that I have. Is this the way to get the ebook? Just telling you that I ordered it? And giving you my email.address? The honor system?

    Thanks for an intriguing duo of books! Very anxious to read both of them.

  37. Angela M says:

    Just forwarded this along to my husband…my birthday is coming up in April!! Can’t wait for both of these books! Thank you :)

  38. LPS says:

    Hi! I’m… frugal. 😉 If we pre-order the e-book, will we also get the free gift? Trying to stretch my dollars. Thanks!

  39. Anne says:


  40. Catherine says:

    Yay! I’ve had it preordered forever! That’s so cool of you! Looks like a really useful ebook…

  41. Deanna says:

    My first time commenting although I’ve been a loyal fan for 2 years! Just want to thank you so much for your generosity. I pre-ordered your book ages ago and am really looking forward to reading them both! Pretty amazing you popped out a second little book so quick after the toil of your first. :-)

  42. Elizabeth says:

    You are amazing!!! :o)

  43. Kara says:

    YAY! Gonna order Monday, then! I’ve been meaning to preorder, anyway!
    Kara recently posted..7 Quick Takes

  44. Hi Jen, greetings from Scotland! You’re speaking at this weekend’s conference with my cousin’s wife, Brenda Cerkez. When I found out, and I follow your blog every week, I thought hey! The world really is small. Hopefully, in heaven one day, travelling needs will be severely reduced and we can all meet up. In the meantime, say ‘hello’ to her from me please.
    Adrian Gallacher recently posted..Finally, Camping

  45. Ingrid says:

    Now that you have published your first E-Book; I look forward to your publishing an E-Book regarding your weight loss journey! I recall you mentioning in one of your earlier posts that you would like to do that someday. I would be on the top of the list to purchase that one as well!

  46. I am so thrilled! I was planning on pre-ordering the book but now I get the bonus of having you answer my most pressing questions, as I’m starting to write right now. Hooray!
    Andrea Burkly @ The Me in Motherhood recently posted..7 Quick Takes – The Birthday Edition

  47. Nancy says:

    Like so many of the others that have already posted here, this is very timely. Thanks for writing and sharing this!

  48. Sarah says:

    Ok, this may put me over the edge on deciding to pre-order. I am really excited to read your book, but your eBook totally speaks to what I’m dealing with right now. I’m a creative who has a lot of dreams and not a lot of time which means I end up discouraged a lot of the time. I’ve been feeling like I need to go on a retreat to just talk to God about it. Maybe I’ll do that and take this book too.
    Sarah recently posted..Spring Breakin’ in Colorado

  49. Cindi says:


    I’m really excited about your memoir and have been talking about it with a group of friends in a bible study. We want to pre-order 7 books and we usually order from our local Catholic bookstore, On This Rock, in Oshkosh, WI. If we order from the book store, will we still be able to get access to the e-book?

    Thanks so much!

  50. Molly says:

    I almost never pre-order books, but I just pre-ordered yours! Ever since your story about climbing out of the van window, I’ve known you were my type of woman! Lol!