My phone rang today at work.
“This is Wendy,” I answered.
“This is your mother,” my mom said.
I wondered what she wanted.
“Well, you haven’t updated your site since Thursday the 26th,” she said. What is with you, young lady? her tone said.
I am fine. There just hasn’t been anything going on in my life that I felt like sharing with several hundred people. I know that’s usually never stopped me before, but then again, while working on the book this summer I went through a couple of bad spells when I was trying to write for several thousand imaginary people I’d conjured up out of Amazon.com customer reviews of other people’s books, so that every time I finished writing a paragraph I could hear comments (okay, see them, I guess, or mentally experience them in a synaesthetic fashion in which the voices of my hypothetical Amazon bad reviewers all wind up sounding like Juliette Lewis on I Love The 80s, the way she rambles on) like, “It wasn’t THAT bad… but I didn’t get the part with the road trip, like how she never really DESCRIBED what kind of car she was driving and stuff… like, she did not paint a vivid picture with her words like you’re supposed to,” and in my mind I’m nodding along thinking, oh crap, she’s right; I suck. I didn’t have that in my head all the time, but just enough at times to make me a little crazy, so after I turned in the first draft I became a bit too fond of the mental quiet that comes with not having to cough up written accounts of your own life.
So if it’s one thing I’ve learned: don’t read Amazon reviews when you’re trying to write a book. Don’t read other reviews either. They’re other people’s problems.
I’ve also learned: just because you are writing a book about body image will not prevent you from losing your shit when you gain at least ten pounds in the process. You can call it the Method Approach to writing, but still, YOU WILL BE PISSED.