Hi, friends. I was nominated by my blogging friend Middle-age Butch of The Flannel Files to participate in the #mywritingprocess tour, in which writers share insight into their writing process. Butch is really funny and is also working on a memoir. She lives in Philadelphia with her partner and kids, where she proudly perpetuates the stereotypes of wearing Doc Marten’s/flannel shirts/cargo pants, and playing softball and listening to Melissa Etheridge. She also recently invented the Sit & Stew, just in time for tax season.
Ok, back to me.
What am I working on?
An essay for Modern Love. A sequel to My Week in Pie Charts. A growing list of “Things I Like” that I keep on my iPhone for absolutely no reason.
I haven’t really done much substantial writing since the fall, when I finished the third?/fifth?/nine thousandth revision to the manuscript of what I hope will become my first book—a humorous memoir about my high school relationships and friendships aka the myriad ways I humiliated myself and had my heart squished repeatedly like a centipede up until the age of eighteen. Lately I’ve been putting most of my writerly focus toward trying to get it published, which consists of writing and re-writing query letters to send to literary agents, a process that alternately makes me feel like the most brilliant person on earth and completely and utterly ashamed of everything I’ve ever said and done. (If you don’t know what a query letter is, consider yourself lucky.)
How does my memoir differ from the content of J-Bo.net?
I usually don’t get too personal on my blog (especially after a client announced one day that he found “a lot of super embarrassing things” about me on the internet), whereas my book delves much deeper into my feelings and neuroses. For some reason I’m terrified to get too personal on the internet, whereas I have no problem sharing all my most embarrassing secrets and insecurities in a book that I fantasize about getting published for all the world to see. Also, the humor in my book is zanier.
Why do I write what I do?
I started a blog my senior year of high school (I’d link it here, but Xanga took that shit down), where I shared humorous anecdotes from my life, and I got a lot of positive feedback from friends at school. I’ve had a lot of momentum to write that kind of stuff ever since. I think real life is hilarious, and I like entertaining people—especially my friends.
How does my writing process work?
I spent two years writing my book, several months querying it/watching the rejections roll all over my naivete, one year trying to forget I ever wrote the freaking thing, a year revising it with the help of my awesome critique partner (during which time I completely deleted half of it and completely rewrote the other half), a few months doing more revisions per his advice, and then an entire summer focused purely on making it funnier. I don’t remember exactly, but I think I’ve been working on this thing since sometime around 1914.
Next up on the #mywritingprocess tour are Ross and Jennifer:
**Ross Murray lives on the north side of the Quebec-Vermont border and has been writing a newspaper column up there for several years. He also contributes regularly to CBC Radio out of Quebec City and www.lifeinquebec.com. His blog, Drinking Tips for Teens, brings all these humor pieces together in one place along with whatever’s on his mind. What kind of humor? Real life mixed with lies, which may be redundant. Ross has also contributed to numerous humor websites, including McSweeney’s Internet Tendencies. In fact, he has a piece in McSweeney’s recently published “best of” collection. Ross has published two collections of his own work, You’re Not Going to Eat That, Are You? and Don’t Everyone Jump at Once, and is currently working on his first novel, but then who isn’t?
**Jennifer and her husband left the rat race and the city behind three years ago, and returned to rural life in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. Her hope is to continue living simply and authentically in her beautiful province, doing all the things she has put off for too long. In addition to updating Jennifer’s Journal with everything she loves through poetry and photography, she recently finished writing a coming-of-age novel, Calmer Girls, and has started a sequel.
CONGRATS! MAY THIS BRING YOU LOTS MORE GOOD PRESS!!! 🙂
Just starting the querying process myself. From what you’ve written here, it sounds like a blast!
Oooommmmmggggg, good luck! I’m here if you need someone to scream or throw things with.
This is a terrific introduction to you. You make me laugh every time I open your blog and now I know how genuine you are – tho I suspected that all along. Someone’s gonna grab you soon because you are a true find. But I agree with you about querying – it’s like being talked about as if you’re an idiot but you’re still in the room.
Shari *: )
Thank you so much for your kind words! Yes to the idiot line. I always feel defensive when I see interviews where agents make fun of queries they’ve gotten. It’s such a hard process- give us a break!
Lovely – thanks for sharing this insight to your life and writing process. Life is funny, and we need more people to revel in the laughter and insanity of it all. 27 is messy, and when it starts getting tidier, be concerned. Enjoy your day – Bill
Oh, the days of Xanga. I wish those were archived somewhere! Best of luck with all the great stuff you have coming up ahead!
Well, when I went to Xanga a few days ago there was an option to upload all of my old Xanga posts into a WordPress page. I haven’t done that yet, but might. Luckily, I actually printed out ALL of my Xanga posts and have then in a drawer somewhere in my closet…