Guys, I killed at LEAST a dozen trees for you.
Writing a book was one of the easiest and most enjoyable things I've ever done.
Oh. Wait. I forgot it's against the rules to lie on my blog. Okay. How about this: writing a book was one of the most excruciating, exhausting, demoralizing, and seemingly endless things I've ever done.
Yeah. That's more like it.
There are so many people who work for ages on their books. Jenny Lawson spends several years on hers, and I have ridiculous respect for that. I wrote mine in 3 weeks. I wrote the entire first draft in 3 fucking weeks. I do NOT recommend this.
I was so bogged down by previous obligations and obsessing over potential (and I was convinced- inevitable) failure that most of the time beforehand was spent mentally sorting out the content and wondering if this was going to be the worst thing ever published. It still might be. No promises. Now I'm officially 9 weeks in, I had other activists look at it... and they liked it. And maybe, most notably, it made my Mom both laugh and cry. So I guess it will probably be okay.
I mean, worst comes to worst: at least people can use it to prop up a table leg. Right?
Before I started, I excitedly (and naively) prepared two super special work desks. I decorated them with plants, post it notes and highlighters... only to find that the only place I could work was on my bed. On my bed, hunched over my computer on a plank of wood balanced between a stool and my mattress. It was REAL classy. I also originally planned to break up a 9-5 work day into structured segments but I quickly realized that this was an idiotic idea. I ended up working until 2 or 3am and sleeping until 1pm after remembering that I've never been productive in the mornings. This unsophisticated process progressed and soon I was a living breathing hot mess, hidden away in my room for weeks at a time. I would work for 11 hours and sleep for 11, only to wake up exhausted, feeling like I had been hit by a truck. Or a bus. Or 20 baseball bats. Sure. That.
Eventually my boyfriend started cooking me well rounded dinners every night so I wasn't purely subsisting off of Trader Joes prepackaged Asian Peanut Salads. I still love them for the record, though I was infinitely grateful that out of the two of us, he was the one with the cooking skills and time. I was also grateful that the nice people of Trader Joes stopped asking me if I was having a party and started smiling at me knowingly every time I'd check out with a cart full of salad, coffee and wine. I started taking quick drives late at night blaring Blank Space to get my energy flowing again so I could come home, switch on Lost Room and type away for another 5 hours. I still haven't figured out how 60 thousand words can take up so much time.
Half way into the process I started celebrating when I shaved my legs every three weeks (it's amazing to me that rubbing a razor up and down two legs can become an insurmountable task) and I became best friends with the girl who worked the graveyard shift at FedEx; I'd crawl in there at 2 am repeatedly to pick up a printed copy for scribble editing. I also gave FedEx all my money. I typed the words fuck and fat more times in two and a half months than I have my entire life (a combined 341 times in case you're wondering) and I thanked god every day that I didn't have children because I don't know how others manage to do this when they have to take care of miniature humans.
I finished every season of Covert Affairs, Agent Carter, Scandal, Arrow, Agents of Shield, Empire, Perception, Person of Interest and The Suits by listening to and half watching them as I wrote. It was the perfect way to convince myself that never leaving my house wasn't all that bad; this tactic does come recommended. I fretted over typing something that would offend someone and so I scoured my document countless times, only to remember towards the end that offending someone somewhere was inevitable. I kept my phone by my bed for my fallingasleepthoughts (those are the important ones) so I could record them and then make my boyfriend transcribe them; I only trusted him with my jumbled ramblings full of long awkward pauses. I took more melatonin than I care to publicly quantify.
I read and re-read, judged and re-judged the manuscript so many times that I started to forget what the book was even about. I worried that I would say something unforgivable and be excommunicated from the body activism church. I all of a sudden wanted to write a million blog posts, clearly as a distraction technique while I tried to find the ovaries to tackle the chapter that terrified me. I wrote it and it still terrifies me. I forgot to take down my Christmas tree until March. I took the printed out versions on countless plane rides, elbowing my seatmates while trying to fix the choppy sentences. I read Brittany's post on writing and let out the biggest sigh of relief when I realized that that all of this was normal. At times I wanted to laugh at how ridiculous all of this was, and other times I just wanted to cry.
I'm not saying any of this to give the false perception of humility. I felt incapable of the task so often, but there were also moments of documenting very personal stories and loving them muchly... but the doubt? Often overwhelming. I am told by other people who have done this, that it is also completely normal.
I find this to be relevant:
But, all of that being said, I'm forced to admit that it was also mentally rewarding, inspirational and clarifying. Writing this forced me to put things I've previously avoided into words. It helped me consolidate my thoughts and decide what was important. It reminded me that this message is critical- especially for me to remember. My passion was sparked when I read other brilliant people's thoughts on body love. It gave me the boost I needed to overhaul my presentations and learn to love them again. It revitalized my purpose.
I also find this to be relevant:
My editor titled the book: Things No One Will Tell Fat Girls (though it's certainly relevant for all bodies) and it's going to be out this September. I'll be sure to show you the cover and tell you whats in it when we get closer (add yourself to the email list if you don't wanna miss it). I turned in my final draft for line editing on tonight, and my part is now (mostly) done. I'm so glad it's almost over, though I know I'll want to do it all over again the second I hold it in my hands. Someone told me that in that way it's like having a baby, but it's not like I would fucking know. I'll probably cry tears of both relief and extraordinary happiness after September. I'll probably show every stranger that walks by me for weeks. I'll probably make a lot of enemies from people I don't know while doing so.
I'm beyond grateful for a life where I have a purpose. Where I'm somehow successful at and love what I do. That some publisher took on my proposal and walked me through the complicated process. I know I'm fortunate. And I'm grateful.