I’ve loved Erin Loechner for quite some time. She’s behind Design for Mankind, which one of the few blogs that I make time to visit again and again. Her writing is great and her perspective is genuine. I had her new book on my reading list ever since I found out she was publishing one, but I got lucky and got my hands on an advanced copy. This was in December. I know that we’re after slow here, but I’m sure Erin and her publicist would have preferred that this blog post go live months ago. I’m now on the side of failed blogger rather than frustrated book publicist. Sorry Erin.

Regardless, this book just wasn’t one that I could pour over and read hastily each night. It’s an easy enough read, I just needed time to let her words soak in. Her wisdom needed to marinate for me. I had to put it down and come back to it, ready for more. I’m a bit of a book purist, but I plan to read it again with a highlighter in hand so that I can mark up all the nuggets of knowledge that permeate each page.

“But the thing about apples is that we’re always biting off more than we can chew. It is hard to see which bites night nourish and which might cause us to choke.”

Chasing Slow is the perfect look behind the blog. It’s a charming and real story about a real person, which is easy to forget when we only see the best of the best squares of someone’s life. This book is counter-culture. It asks you to stop glorifying busy and it asks you to look around your life for areas where you can create margin. I feel like authenticity is a term we keep hearing and is something we’re after in a curated world of perfection, but I love the way that Erin walks this fine line between choosing a career that demands you to offer beautiful aesthetics while also maintaining the reality that things aren’t always as they seem.  She gives us glimpses into her story, how she got started, how she failed, and how she’s still trying. She doesn’t try to offer you a picture of someone who has figured it all out, but rather someone who has learned a few things and wants to share. She owns her contradictions.

“I used to think that the opposite of control is chaos, but it’s not. The opposite of control is surrender.”

This book reads more like a stylized journal from a friend or mentor with pieces of advice that either help  you organize your closet or force you to self-reflect, but you’re grateful for them none the less. She isn’t shy about including her faith, which was a plus for me, but I could understand how others might be surprised or off-put as it wasn’t originally marketed as a Christian memoir.

“Without grace, minimalism is another metric for perfection.”

This book is a great read for anyone who is trying to manage the chase of slowing down, taking a deep breath, and living in the truth that less is most often more.