Sometimes people ask me why I’m on twitter:
Also, notifications like this:
I want this on a t-shirt.
Unrelated, but something I probably need to address anyway…this morning I wrote about my last book being translated into several different language and a ton of you are like, “Where is your next book? Why are you making me wait? Look at your life. Look at your choices.” And honestly the next book is coming but it’s really, really fucking hard. Writing always is for me. It’s something I’ve always done and will always do but I rewrite and rewrite and look at a blank page for days and feel like my head is constipated with thoughts I can’t write properly until suddenly it all comes together and I end up with one perfect page that took 2 weeks. I want it to be perfect because a ton of it is about mental illness and that’s a subject I can’t half-ass because it’s that damn important. Additionally I want it to be insanely funny, and surprisingly mental illness doesn’t easily lend itself to quick and dirty hilarity. It’s coming along and some parts I’m incredibly proud of and some parts I’m struggling with because I want it to be brilliant for you. I want people who suffer from mental illness to say “YES. THAT’S IT. I’M NOT ALONE.” I want people who love people with mental illness to read it and say “Oh. I think I understand a little better now. I never knew how important I was to those who struggle.” I want people who are undiagnosed to read it and think “Holy shit. This is girl is insane but she makes sense so maybe it’s not such a big deal to get tested and treated just in case.” I want people to say “WTF. That couldn’t have possible be true because OHMYGODTHEREAREPICTURES” and then get kicked off planes for laughing hysterically. And I want people who are never touched by mental illness to read it and laugh at the insane stories I’ve collected over the past couple of years and recognize all the little flaws that make us human and special and brilliant. I could have turned something in last year that would have probably sold well and I would have liked it, but I just want this to be perfect so please know that the time spent waiting is time spent making it better and shinier and funnier and more real because once it’s out there I can’t get it back. So many people were touched by my first book and in turn they touched me right back (not that way) and I don’t want to let you down. I have a giant manuscript filled with post-it notes in the shape of Daleks and self-made notes in margins reading “EXTERMINATE THIS. MAKE IT BETTER. MAKE IT STRONGER. MAKE ME A COCKTAIL. WHO ATE ALL THE BANANAS? FIND BETTER PICTURES OF ANGRY POSSUMS.” It’s getting thicker every day and that’s a good thing.
What I can tell you is that the very few wonderful (and painfully honest) people I’ve let read my drafts think it’s some of the best work I’ve done and they keep me from throwing it all in the fire when I feel like a failure, and I hope that you’ll still be here to read it whenever I finish it. It won’t be long in the scheme of things.
It’s coming. I promise. I hope I can make you proud.
And for those of you struggling with your own writing, a few bits of advice that help me to remember that good writing doesn’t always come easy:
I hate writing. I love having written. ~ Dorothy Parker
There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed. ~ Hemingway
Writing is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way. E. L. Doctorow
What people are ashamed of usually makes a good story. ~ F. Scott Fitzgerald
Hunter S. Thompson attacking writer’s block:
I don’t blame him.
215 thoughts on “And that’s why I’ll never leave twitter”
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Jenny, you’re perfect. I can’t wait to read it, but I will happily wait as long as I need to 🙂 I know it’s going to be brilliant!
I don’t mind waiting. I’ll just reread your first book. It’s still awesomely funny, so it’s not like I really NEED another one. On the other hand, I’m now very much looking forward to being thrown off a plane. Or was that just the sane ones?
We are waiting patiently and expectantly. You will remind us all how we are whole and pieces together.
Your fans/friends (“frands?”) understand how important this is to you and we all know it is going to be well worth the wait! I do have about four people I’d like to give a copy to for Christmas — no pressure….just saying 🙂
Yup, it’s hard. I have days when I’m like ‘yes, I can do this! This stuff is awesome.’ And days where I stare and it and think it is the worst crap ever written and I’ve got nothing left to say. So thanks for this post. It helps.
I’ve always liked this quote about writing: “If you can’t annoy somebody, there is little point in writing.” ― Kingsley Amis,
I hope your book comes out better than you could ever dream.
I wish you all the best in the writing of the perfect book. I am sure it will be stunning, moving, hilarious, and also very important for all the categories of people you mentioned in this post.
Speaking of “struggling with your own writing” I have just finished a poem about it. I also wrote a piece on it a few weeks ago as well. It seems I find the best way to kick over a writer’s block is to use IT as the subject. I will include the links to them in case you would like to read them.
I hope you enjoy. Keep Inspiring.
Jenny. I am a person who has suffered with depression my whole life. I am also a psych nurse. You take all the time you need, because people just don’t know, and they should. Because it’s FUNNY. It’s REAL. And it’s darn near everyone on the planet. Also, I love you. 🙂
Thank you for so eloquently expressing how damn difficult it is To Write. I actually write To Write, not To Have Written, and there are more than a few days when I want to shoot my laptop.
Thank you also for reminding us how important it is to treat mental illness ( or less-than-obvious physical illness) with both honesty and compassion. Sometimes to see a person’s true health you have to look with your heart not your eyes.
I will wait as long as you need. You are a true inspiration to all of us who write and those who are just generally fucked up one way or another (not that those two states are necessarily unrelated)
Hunter S. Thomacat needs a fabric block has catnip in it and has “writer’s block” on the outside so he can attack it for you.
And of course, as Hunter used to say: We are, after all, professionals. Which I guess is a way of saying that only you can know when your book is finished.
The fact that I got to use that quote twice today makes me happier than it probably should.
I will wait as long as it takes; carry on.
Amen. I know your next book will be superbly worth the wait. Also: great writing advice. Thanks!
YOU. ARE. AWESOME. It will be well worth the wait, that much is true!
Your work is absolutely worth waiting for.
I hate writing. I love having written. ~ Dorothy Parker
So true! I can’t write worth a bean but love to make jewelry and paint. The process s insanely frustrating but love having done it (especially when battling or just giving into ME/CFS coz too fracking wasted to finish a project). Adore your sensibility which keeps me rooting for our side of the street!
“FOR CHRIST’S SAKE, JENNY! THIS IS WRITING. GET TOUGH OR DIE!”, quoth the camper.
PS love love love Hunter S Thompson! Read Fear and Loathing back in the day when I could, ahem, appreciate his drug induced bats 😉
Take the time you need. Don’t get me wrong, I’m dying to read your book, but it doesn’t take priority over you.
I can wait because it is important what you are doing for those of us who suffer from depression. I will content myself with re-reading your first book. It is still laugh out loud funny on the third read!
I’m currently struggling. So thanks for writing this point in time. And making me laugh at your lovely twitter follower entries. You’re a fun one, cookie. Can’t wait for the next book!
Great goals! Good process description! You go, girl!
How delightfully ironic. I just finished writing a short story due tomorrow (it is now 1:25am) and decided to check the web before bed and found this! Did I mention I didn’t start said story until 11:00pm? Stupid, stupid writer’s block. Yet – if I do something as drastic as shoot my laptop I’ll have nothing left to write on. Choices, choices. Keep plugging away at your book please! Your first one was a blast and I can’t wait for this one!
I have suffered depression before and frequently anxiety so I hear you.
On a different note – Dalek shaped post it notes – brilliant! Where can I get some….?
Dorothy Parker is my homegirl.
I don’t mind waiting because I know I’ll be laughing most of the read. You are a great writer and one anxious person to another, I thank you for getting the word out and hopefully more people will be understanding.
Do not EVER worry about making us proud – we ARE proud. It’s my goal that one day you can say you’re proud of ME.
Take your time, do the book right – we’ll be here. And it will be worth the wait.
I can wait! Do what you need to do, sister. It’s YOUR book..we’re the readers…we have to wait. And it would be polite if we waited patiently.
Please wait until I have read all the books that I buy (and subsequently horde) and then wait even longer for me to read all the books that I have been “meaning” to read. This should only take between 5 years to the end of my life 😉 I’m sure your book will be tasty! It just needs time to ferment like a fine wine. Say a 2013 Franzia. Delicious.
Those are some great quotes. And I’m sure your book will be amazing- I hope you are able to get it to a place where you’re happy with it. Like most, you sound like you are your own worst critic- I’m sure the rest of us will love it!
Building anticipation is part of the marketing, right? Because you’re killing us!
And I’m totally following @MDrewG.
Mental illness and humor is a tough merge to get right obviously. “Two priests with multiple personality disorder walk into a bar. No wait, is that 4 priests then?” doesn’t quite cut it. But when done right, like all sensitive topics, is can be both hilarious and poignant. No doubt you’ll get there!
A work of art is never completed, merely abandoned.
Someone famous (possibly e.e.cummings )said that a long time ago but I’m not going to take the time to find out. Just publish the damn thing.
Or maybe Oscar Wilde who would have said it if he had thought about it. He said so many interesting things. So did Mark Twain.
I think you are in excellent company. On all fronts. Keep up the good fight.
(why does it sometimes retrieve my last post, and sometimes doesn’t? Why does the internet taunt me so? I checked the damn box)
I will never understand people who think writers owe them something. Your books are gifts to us; they are things to be graciously appreciated when they are given, not demanded when we want them.
While I’m looking forward to your new book – WHY DID I NOT KNOW THERE WERE DALEK POST-ITS? I ordered some before I even finished your post!
I’m thinking about recreating the Hunter S. Thompson picture. I only have nerf gun though, and I don’t quite think it has the same effect. So I guess I’ll go back to dinking around on Twitter.
Write what you will be proud for us to read and we’ll be proud to read it. You’re sharing yourself and your talents with the world. It’s not right of us to rush you or even ask more of you, no matter how much we love it. It will come when it comes and we’ll be anxiously waiting to see what you can teach us this time.
Take your time, we’ll be here when it’s finished.
The imperfect nature of writing is the language equivalent of mental disorders. The struggles that you describe – trying to get it to perfection – is the exact fight all of us face.
We will wait – forever if necessary – and be happy with what you share… As it is the truth.
Jenny, I’ll wait cuz it will be worth it. But, remember, we don’t have to be perfect. We are all okay just the way we are.
I have been working on my book for what seems like forever. I go days with that BLANK feeling… what to say…how to say it. I have literally laid it all down for weeks at a time until I feel my mojo coming back. Don’t sweat it.
F. Scott Fitzgerald got it right. But it’s hard to do with grace and aplomb. Here’s to all of us hitting the right notes.
Will this do? http://imgur.com/RQyEIwM
You have already made us proud. I’m proud you have shown people that WE can be nuts and highly functional, and great partners and amazing parents. I’m proud that you have chosen to share some of your tougher moments with the world. You are proof that I am not alone. You are making it easier for me to share myself, my whole self, with those around me. You have made me laugh ’till I cried. And sometimes your honesty has made my cry until I sobbed. I am thankful for all of it. And thankful for you, and everyone else in this community you have helped create for us. You fucking rock.
You know, lately a lot of authors are expressing frustration at readers who basically are bugging them with “Hurry up, bitch!” One of my fav authors has decided not to write any more of my favorite short stories because readers are demanding it of her.
On a side note, have you read Neil Gaiman’s response to this? Very worth reading. http://journal.neilgaiman.com/2009/05/entitlement-issues.html
Remember, you are not our bitch. As much as I love reading what you write, I would rather you not lose your sanity over it. Whenever it is done, I will purchase a copy, come to the signings, and laugh and commiserate over it. Don’t let anyone make you feel guilty for making quality work.
(No one has ever made me feel guilty. People here are way too lovely for that. I just feel guilty because so many people are so supportive and excited and I want to be able to say “IT’S HERE! LET’S READ IT TOGETHER!” rather than “I’m not quite done. Please stay. I’ll serve drinks until I’m finished.” But it’ll happen. Slowly, but it’s happening. ~ Jenny)
My dearest Jenny…this will all work out in the end and we all love you and we CAN wait. We are a tribe and we understand and because wine.
So glad you are writing, using whatever process works for you. Also, glad the blog posts come more often than books. But, I think you were being willfully obscure when you said you want your book to be enjoyed by “people who are never touched by mental illness.” Where do they live, with the rainbow unicorns?
Do it harder-make it better-makes us stronger-ever after
Steam Powered giraffe does Daft Punk, FTW
I love Twitter, as well. I keep getting my tweets favorited by a user named BoxWineSocial. It’s like being welcomed home to the mother ship.
Some things are worth waiting for. This is one of them.
I am very excited about your next book. I might have to give everyone I meet a copy just so it can help explain me a little more.
Someone needs to make brain ex-lax for writers. They’d make a KILLING.
I love you Jenny. I hope you can feel how heartfelt that is through the magic of the intertubz. The book will be amazing and so worth the wait.
I don’t care how long it takes you to write your next book, because when you deem it done, it will be perfect. It will be hilarious and honest and – if purchased in hardcover – able to balance old tables with uneven legs quite easily.
I do want to know where to get Dalek post-its.
We will wait patiently for the book you want to give us! In the meantime, we have twitter and your blog to entertain us to tears.
It is conforting to know that “I’m not alone at being alone” (to quote The Police) in this agony of love called writing. You make me smile, Yay for YOU!
How about making it a pop-up book? And/or one with Colorforms? Also: I want the angry possums to make me a cocktail. Is that possible?
We’re all sitting here acting like we won’t go all ADD in two seconds and forget about your book again because LOOK SHINY. So as long as you keep posting cat shenanigans we will be placated forever.
You’re doing alright kid, just keep at it. If anyone gives you shit about it not being done, please refer them to this awesome blog post by Neil Gaiman on how public figures are “not your bitch” http://journal.neilgaiman.com/2009/05/entitlement-issues.html
Thank you! I keep wondering where you are at but don’t want to pressure you into finishing something I know is a labor of love and will be absolutely freaking amazing! I’ll be waiting as patiently as I need to be in order to read my next favorite book. Your first book had me laughing so hard in the airport people actually stopped to ask me what I was reading! I can’t wait to have something like that happen again. I can honestly say it’s never happened to me before! And did I tell you that I was told by my husband I was not allowed to read your book in bed anymore? I woke him up too many times snorting! Trying to hold in the laughter until I just snorted! 🙂 Can’t wait! But I will wait because you are worth the wait!
Take your time. You are right. Trust your instincts. The truth is out there. Okay, that last was X-Files but it still applies.
You made me cry. I hate you so much right now.
No worries here, I just started Dune and that was originally published in 1965, so if your book came out today I wouldn’t get to it until I was 97 anyway. I’m not sure any of this makes any sense.
If George R.R. Martin is not our bitch, neither are you. Happy to hear you’re working on the book and I’m happy to have it whenever it comes out! Thank you, because yes. All of what you wrote.
Just LOOOOOOOk at your choices! that sounds better no?
Life (XWriting) is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way. (XE. L. Doctorow) Me
Writing mental illness properly is a giant tall order that I am so far unable to properly meet, so kudos to you for putting the work.
Omg, I want Punted Cunt Torpedo on a shirt, too!
Maybe being punted by Buddy Jesus.
I’m super excited for the book and even more exciting that you are going to write more about mental illness. I will just keep rereading the first one until the second comes out. I use it as an ab workout
I know it’s going to be fantastic. As a mental health therapist, I’d love to have a book to recommend to my clients who may feel alone but then also won’t depress them even more. I LOVED your first book so I will be getting my little hot hands on the new one when it comes out and will likely be giving several more to clients.
I once read your book on the way home from Hawaii and I was doing that laughing where you just silently shake because it’s just too much and the flight attendant ran over to me because I had tears running down my cheeks from that horrible wheezy silent laughter. I think I scared the daylights out of her.
I feel your “drain.” It’s exhausting to have to keep telling people, “I’m still working on it.” I look forward to reading yours!
I agree with all of them. But mostly Hemingway and Fitzgerald. And Twitter is a hugely depressing place. I dip in because I feel like I have to. I tweet to make myself laugh. But man, it’s like the cool kids table exploded into millions of twitter accounts. All anyone wants to do is be popular.
I was already excited about the second book and now am even more excited knowing the subject matter. My husband has rapid-cycling bipolar and I appreciate anything that helps me better understand what he’s experiencing. Your writing has already given me such perspective on mental illness that I can’t thank you hard enough. There’s a great documentary on Netflix called Of Two Minds that gives an intimate perspective on living with bipolar. Just throwing that info out there.
Jenny – your writing is the only writing I flat out laugh out loud reading – I love your work – and my kids and I read your books together out loud just so we can laugh together. And yes – I have gotten strange looks on an airplane when laughing at something you have written. We will wait as long as we need to for your next book – and will silently send thought vibes of encouragement to you any time you need it.
Your experiences writing a book sounds like mine whenever I develop a web site or web application. When I come up with the concept, I’m excited and can’t wait to start. Then, I start coding and quickly realize just how HUGE this is going to be. I see myself at the foot of a giant mountain that I must tediously climb.
Every step of the way, I see tons of bugs and areas that need improvement which makes me think my existing code and overall product must be total garbage. All of this aggravates my Imposter Syndrome.
The only way I get through this is to break up the huge project into many smaller projects and focusing on those one at a time. This way, my goal isn’t to complete a HUGE project. I just need to complete this one small thing. And then that other small thing. And one more tiny thing. Before I know it, I realize I’m almost at the top of the mountain and will soon bask in the satisfaction of having completed another huge project.
I am just thinking of the wait as foreplay. Long drawn out foreplay. But the big O will be so worth it. Wait, this sounds really weird, doesn’t it? Oh well, I stand by the weirdness of my brain.
I will wait “forever and a day” for your next book. You are awesome!
You are worth waiting for. Always.
Looks like you can get Dalek post-it notes from Think Geek along with TARDIS post-it notes: http://www.thinkgeek.com/product/ec9f/
It will be worth every minute of waiting. <3 And thank you. Again. mwah!
I think about the times I’ve had irrational panic attacks and think, “how can she make that funny?”
Then I remember the time that I was kayaking with my husband and we decided to seek out shade along an island shoreland. We were taking a breather when my husband suddenly said, “don’t look up!” Of course I looked up only to see millions of venomous, apocalyptic, zombie-spiders all trying to jump down and eat my face. I tried to paddle away, but my douchewad, I mean darling, husband was blocking me in. As any normal person would do when trapped in such a situation, I screamed, “YOU MOTHER FUCKERS WONT TAKE ME ALIVE” and dove out of my boat and started swimming as fast as I could out to the middle of the lake.
It is those crazy moments that make me cringe, but at the same time I have to laugh at myself. Laughing is like a little troll like guy with a club that scares the lies away when anxiety tries to take controll. I couldn’t even begin to try and unjumble what goes through my head at that moment of panic and admire the braveness you have for doing so. I will happily wait for your next book, because your next book will come out when YOU are ready and it will be awesome because YOU feel that it is so. I’m excited to see your brilliance shared, and even though you have never met me, when I read your writing I don’t feel alone with my disease and I mentally send epic high fives and wine slushies to you. Thank you for those moments!!
That was perfect timing on the quotes to help writers – as I really get down to working on my first novel it was comforting to hear that others suffer the same way I do when I write. I love it – I can’t imagine not doing it. But at the same time it’s a lot of hard work, time as well as pain and suffering! Can’t wait to read your second book!
Just got a message from a friend who just finished your book. I gave it to her at Christmas. She’s a slow reader. She says she feels like she understands me better now. This is brilliant. Now when I meet people that I know just don’t get me, it’s obvious that I need to give them a copy of your book! Just to help them, you know.
From where we sit, you’re always brilliant. But more importantly, you’re honest. And that means a lot to the many whose lives you’ve touched through your writing.
We’ll be here when you and your next book are ready.
Thanks for the inspirational writing quotes. I needed that. Trying to get my ass back in gear, because I NEED to write … but I haven’t written in ages … a combination that has me all kinds of fucked up inside right now.
Meanwhile: Take as long as you need with the book. We’re not going anywhere. 🙂
Jenny, you are human, nobody is “perfect” that’s why we love you. Write when you want and it will get done. Sooner or later. Then you will go on tour and bring xanax. All over again. But hopefully, you will make a ton of money to keep you in taxidermied gorillas or pigs. Laurie F.
I was a bit late to the game in buying your first book, but when it finally showed up at my door I sat down and started reading it immediately. Pretty soon my husband wandered over and asked what the hell was so funny, and I asked him if he’d mind if I read a bit aloud to him because I wouldn’t do it justice by trying to summarize.
“A bit” turned out to be half of the book, and we had to stop there because it is actually possible to die from laughter and we were nearing the threshold where that seemed like a very real possibility. Also it’s really hard on the throat to read and cackle at the same time.
In short, whatever your process, it works. So just keep on doing what you’re doing. By the way, my husband stole the book from me as soon as I had finished reading the rest on my own time, and I’m not sure if he’s ever going to give it back.
To poke at your neurosis, you have an error in your post: “What I can tell… I hope that you’ll still be her to read it…”. I believe “her” should have been “here”.
I’ve been dealing with anxiety and depression for about 5 years now and recently decided to try medication (something I’ve avoided in the past). I didn’t react well to the first one and in talking to people I know at least 8 out of 10 people said they’ve tried medication for anxiety/depression at some point in their adult lives. This is why your book is needed – to help break down stigmas, show people that we’re all struggling sometimes in different ways and we can talk openly about it – and of course for the laughs. 🙂
I needed those quotes, thanks. Ugh.
I have lots to say, but it’s stuck in my brain. 🙁
Yet, I can tell a total stranger at a gas station about my childhood home? What the actual you-know-what!
Thank you for your candour. It bloody well rocks!
Perhaps next time I’ll try the last one and if it doesn’t help, at least I’ll get a damn fine post about getting arrested for assaulting office equipment with a very loud weapon.
Take your time. Here’s the thing, I bought your first book, it’s on my Kindle just waiting to be read. But the Kindle is way over there and I only have the energy to maybe pick up the remote. Maybe. or maybe I’ll just watch Maury all day because you are NOT the mother or something. Mental illness sucks. But I’m sure your book is awesome and the next one will be fantastic! Thank you for giving us so much of you, we don’t deserve it.
As a fellow creator I understand that pain and I will wait patiently until you decide (you’ve had enough and that’s it) it’s perfect now and you can send it out into the world~!
I bought a copy of your book for a friend in the hospital who had just had her ruptured appendix removed. She swears I almost killed her with that gift.
Also…here’s a blog post of mine with an angry possum if you need it.
In my experience, possums are always angry. I have never met a happy or cheerful possum. They are always snarling at me.
As long as it is on the way, I will be quiet and good and wait patiently…. or at least try to.
In one of my darkest days I found you online and ever since that day you are often the person I reach out to, well, your words anyway, and I want you to know that you have saved my life. I know that might sound trite or cliche to some, but I know you understand. Thank you for being “here” for me and others. Also, I teach. I use your insights to help my students who struggle with anxiety and depression. I can’t wait to read your book.
I’m in the midst of a dark time right now, and just thinking about your book helps. I can’t wait to read it.
Love and peace to you.
I know why writing is difficult for you. It is difficult for two reasons. First, because you don’t know what you want to say. Figure out what you want to say (do an outline – yes, it is grade school, but it works), then the writing is simply fleshing out that outline. What a joy. Second, you are editing as you writing. That’s a fine way to suck the fun out of writing for anyone. Write now; enjoy the process. Edit at the end. Trust me. I’ve been teaching writing for well over a decade.
We’ll still be here.
We know it’ll be worth the wait.
You already make us proud.
Take all the time you need! We’ll always be here waiting when you’re ready!
I read your book a couple of years ago & then got your audio book just to hear your voice. Now I let you read to me as I fall asleep. It’s magical!
The best things in life are worth waiting for 🙂
did…did you want us to touch you that way? well, okay, i mean, if that’s what floats your goat.
seriously though, you do you. that’s why we love you, so obviously, there’s nothing wrong with you! and – let’s face it – it took 11 years for the first one. this one is coming along at warp speed! nothing wrong with any of that!
There’s no such thing as perfect. Close enough to perfect will be fine, and probably more hilarious and poignant because it’s a bit rough around the edges in places, kinda like all of us. Can’t wait to read it, regardless of how long it takes.
Writing is both the bane and the joy of my existence: I loved my world but hated my manuscript… so I stopped and rewrote from scratch after already having written 120k words (in what I considered to be the wrong direction)… then halfway through the second draft I thought I’d do what the well-spoken authors are always saying: get a side project going to decompress. Worked wonders; stopped writing the first manuscript completely to work on the side project full-time, and five months later am almost done with the whole first draft. Almost. Like, 2/3rds. (That’s almost, right?)
I guess what I’m saying is, I’m with you in spirit. I’d reward myself with my own cocktail (or five), but I’m worried it’ll take me forever to finish that, too.
Hang in there, kid, and just realize that every extra minute you’re chained to your manuscript is an extra minute you don’t have to be outside melting into the sidewalk. (yay, Texas!)
I’d like to write something here that would fully and eloquently describe how much I appreciate your writing, whether it’s your blog or your book or your next book that I haven’t (obviously) read yet but will read the moment it’s out (whenever that is), but even though I write for a living I just can’t make the words flow the way I want them to. So I’ll just write that your blog posts and your last book have been shining bright spots in my life, when all other bright spots seem to be getting snuffed out by depression and anxiety and marital strife and a job from hell. I will gladly wait for the next book, however long that wait might be, because I know it will be amazing. Oh, and you make me want to join Twitter.
Great things are worth the wait, take your time. I understand wanting things right, not just finished.
Your taxidermy-laden “wilfully obscure” musings reach so many people on so many levels. Thank you for blogging, writing, and tweeting! Shelf space is already reserved for your new oeuvre!
I cannot wait for your book! Thank you so much for taking time on a book that I already know will mean so much to me.
Girl, you take your time. Because doing that is just as important FOR YOU as your book will be for the rest of us! Savvy???
Jenny, just so you know, my daughter and I were sitting here reading your post together (she’s 17) and she said with such joy, “I LOVE HER!” Ergo, you’re pretty much perfect. We’ll wait.
Some days I will wake up and be so excited to write that I can’t wait to turn on my computer but most days it’s just like a pressure in my chest that keeps reminding me how I’m failing because the ideas in my brain never want to type out the way they are supposed to. I am either failure most days or brilliant twice a week.
As always, I love you Jenny and if you didn’t exist we would have to invent you. Take your time; it’s your book and you are the one to decide when it’s ready for publication.
Also, on another note, somebody please Photoshop Hunter S. Thomcat into that last picture of Hunter S. Thompson shooting a typewriter. Thank you.
Can’t wait for the new book! But, I’m not a writer and I have no idea what it takes to write a book. Your first book was awesome and I’m sure the next one will be just as good, if not better.
Also, I would like to see Hunter S. Tomcat attack writer’s block…
Sing it, sister-writer. Every book is a little death until it’s finished.
I can’t wait until you’re ready. The people at the pool have been waiting for a reason to throw me out again for laughing. 😉
I’d never bug you because 90% of stuff I write out in twitter gets deleted.
And there was a 5 minute pause between “deleted.” and me hitting the post button on this simply because I figured it sounded utterly stupid.
And another pause because the explanation of why I paused was unnecessary, as is this one.
And….oh to heck with it….
“It’s something I’ve always done and will always do but I rewrite and rewrite and look at a blank page for days and feel like my head is constipated with thoughts I can’t write properly until suddenly it all comes together and I end up with one perfect page that took 2 weeks.” EXACTLY. So nice to know I’m not alone on that one. Looking forward to your book! May your muse be with you…
“mental illness doesn’t easily lend itself to quick and dirty hilarity”
Not in the moment, it doesn’t. but afterwards, when live to tell the story of your psychiatrist having to fly to Paris to bail your manic self out or buying an impulse goat on the Internet? That’s the good stuff.
My mother is reading “Let’s pretend…” now and can’t stop laughing. I’m next; sorry it took me so long. You’re hysterical and gifted… I’m sure the next one will be equally potent! 😉
No rush, I can wait on a good book. Just know that in everyone saying they are waiting on it, they believe in you and your ability to make another amazing book.
You don’t owe anyone an explanation. Your writing is your writing.
Keep at it, it’ll be done when it’s done, and we’re gonna love it when the time comes.
A friend posted yesterday that she was in a bad place with her depression/anxiety of late. I empathized, shared something that helped me get through mine (for when it’s too much work to eat, diet shakes get down quickly and keep your blood sugar stable) and then asked “Do you read The Bloggess? Because you totally should. She’s funny as hell, and she’s been there.”
So even if you never finish another book, you’ve still made a difference.
You take all the time you need. I have a huge pile of books to read but yours will go to the top when it is available. Your writing is worth waiting for.
You’ll know when it’s ready. We’ll wait.
Considering I think we suffer from a similar crazy… especially the narcolepsy stuff… I can’t wait to read it, but do take your time. it’s not like you are going to write this book a second time, even though you wrote it a thousand times the first time… I hope you know what I mean. 🙂
I can’t write, so I’m in awe of anyone who can.
You don’t owe us anything. Keep going until you’re happy with it. When it’s ready, we’ll buy it.
Remember also, Douglas Adams said “Writing is easy, you just stare at a blank piece of paper until your forehead bleeds.” 🙂
I go back and forth on saying, yes take your time, make it perfect; and saying hurry the heck up we need it now.
My family is just full of mental illness. I have depression episodes, my husband has autism and chronic depression, and my 9 yo is bipolar, probably, that’s the latest diagnosis. Who know what will crop up in my younger kids.
And it is so hard. And no one can see it, and no one understands it. And if one more person tries to tell me how to parent my child (after seeing me for 5 seconds) I will have to start stabbing people.
And they don’t get how hard it is to get treatment. They think I can just take my daughter somewhere and get her “fixed” and I’ve started comparing to ‘say your child has a heart condition, and it effects their daily life, and you need it fixed. But the hospitals close to you all say they don’t treat children, and the hospital 3 cities away that does treat children is full up, and they say sorry we can’t help until your child is dying, just too many.’ Because that is what it is like for a parent of children with MH issues, they have a problem, there are people to help, but it’s not enough of them, and you are left floundering.
I’m actually a ton more ok with my husband and I because we both get the treatments that we need to be able to find joy in our lives.
So yes, take your time, make it perfect. But if the capriciousness of the fates and muses and editors allow, let it be soon too.
Anyone reading Amanda Palmer’s twitter feed lately could easily see how hard writing is. And when you couple writing = hard with a subject that needs to be handles seriously while also being entertaining… take ALL THE TIME YOU NEED! We’ll be here when you’re ready.
I applaud you for slogging onward despite the massive shittiness that is most of writing. You did a fantastic job the last time around, and for what it’s worth, we are all cheering for you and totally on Team Jenny. We will wait as long as it takes. You and your stories are worth it.
I loved your last book, take your time with this one, I’m patient.
Except – post it notes shaped likes Daleks?! Where do I get these? I need them in my life!
Nothing in life is perfect. I
m not perfect, youre not perfect, so why does your book have to be perfect?
I just saw this Somerset Maughan quote on Neil Gaiman’s Tumblr (paraphrased, because I am too lazy to go look it up again): “There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.”
Don’t worry, I will be here to buy your book when it is ready. Remember Ernest and Julio Gallo? “We will sell no wine/book before its time.”
Is it wrong that what I got from this whole post was “Dalek shaped post it notes?!?!?? Where do I get those???”
Can’t wait for the next book. I did laugh hysterically on the plane, but didn’t get kicked off. Thanks for the encouraging quotes at the end of your post. I found them inspiring.
Do what you can when you can,and do your best. You and your editors will know when it is done.
Don’t rush,and enjoy the process as much as you can.
We love you.
Please know first that I absolutely love your writing. It always makes me laugh and often makes me think and I appreciate both of these from your work. Thank you for the honesty as well. I wait with eager anticipation your next book. I trust it will not disappoint.
Now, the fans who express the wish that you write faster seem to be much like the George R.R. Martin fans who Neil Gaiman very famously dressed down. Reading your post today reminded me of this epic one/two punch at a small “nerd” convention I attend each year: Nerdtacular near Salt Lake City, Utah. In 2012, there were two musical acts: John Anealio and Paul and Storm.
John performed this song, based on the Neil Gaiman response:
Paul and Storm performed this song as a counterpoint:
I get ya on the writing. L<3ve ya Jenny!
The only way I would be disappointed is if there is not a band named Punted Cunt Tornado playing the book premiere, dressed as Stormtroopers.
“It’s none of their business that you have to learn to write. Let them think you were born that way.”
That’s exactly it.
How did you know this was exactly what I needed to read today?
Undiagnosed bipolar me would have been like, “It’s totally fine! Just publish every word you have right now, k?!?!?!!! OMG do you need help?? I don’t need sleep!! Pick me!!”
However, it was people like you who helped me turn my poor-life-choice/crippling-depression sandwich of an existence into a happy, healthy, MEDICATED life.
So, yes Jenny – make it as perfect as you want it to be, even if it’s already perfect to all your wayward interweb children.
Also, thanks for reminding me to take my meds.
Still hoping you get that picture of the twine holder.
I totally don’t mind the wait. I will be prepared to laugh and cry and possibly get kicked out of wherever I’m reading.
I don’t plan my writing, and I usually only proof-read after I hit “publish”, so I have a lot less stress in terms of, um…the planning phase. 😉
No rush needed for me. I want that damned thing to sparkle with brilliance, so keep plugging along. I’ll be here when you’re ready!
If I owned a gun I would shoot both of my typewriters especially the one with the broken ‘e’ because ungrateful piece of metal caused all sorts of heartache.
OMG, yes and yes and a big ole yes! I work at an in-patient psychiatric hospital, and additionally, have struggled with my own depression. There are pearls of wisdom that only someone with mental illness can pass on. Take all the time you need, Jenny. It’ll be worth the wait. And, we have the blog to hold us over for now (though I personally really need more taxidermy stuff).
Jenny, I hope you address how anxiety and depression coupled with chronic illness (RA) can be survived….even laughed at.
I wish mental illness was more accepted. All I have thought about for the last week is ending it, and when I mention thse feelings to my husband, I’m told to suvck it up. My feelings aren’t valid apparently. Maybe when it happens, they will be.
Take all the time you need, we will always be here for you! We love you!
I’m sure I’m not alone in this when I say that I would love to read your raw work sitting in your draft folder.
Lady, you don’t know me from Jack but you make me proud every day! Think about it: you’re raising a daughter in the most wonderful way, blogging and tweeting your heart out, writing books, all kinds of awesome. Face it: you’re busy! Yeah, the book will get done when it’s good and ready. And it will be SUPAH!!! And lest we forget, Leonard Nimoy has cake: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=796827820348613.
Considering how long it takes me to compose a post—I can only imagine what it takes to write a book!!
You take your time, Jenny! Just send up the Smoke Signal to us Tribe Members!!!!
I needed this so hard right now. I’ve been forcing myself to wake up early every morning just to write. It’s going… okay. At least I’m putting words onto the page, right? You’ve been such a huge inspiration for me, but I won’t gab about that here. It should really be written in some sort of fan mail or something. Anyway…thank you.
Writing can be the loneliest and most painful thing sometimes, but there’s more pain in not writing. Perfectionism is the death of art. Anne Lamott’s words always help me when i get stuck in the painful pursuit of perfection:
“Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people. It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life, and it is the main obstacle between you and a shitty first draft. I think perfectionism is based on the obsessive belief that if you run carefully enough, hitting each stepping-stone just right, you won’t have to die. The truth is that you will die anyway and that a lot of people who aren’t even looking at their feet are going to do a whole lot better than you, and have a lot more fun while they’re doing it.”
Sending you lots of good writing vibes. I know whatever you do will be just the way it’s supposed to be. xoxo
No pressure, honey. We’ll be here. Whenever.
My kingdom for a picture of an angry possum that I actually photographed myself. Of course, I would probably be dead seconds later. I’ve always loved that Hemingway quote on writing, but suspect that he lived his life by bleeding on most things.
Angry possums, are they angry cuz their parents kicked them out of the house so now they have to make their own way in possum society much like the Angry Beavers (used to be one of my favorite cartoons) whose parents kicked them out so that’s why they were angry? Perfection is over-rated by the way. Imperfection is what makes one more interesting and life worth living. You don’t have to perfect on my account. Quit putting so much pressure on yourself.
Note to self: Have patience, and a cocktail. It will be worth the wait.
Coming off a six-week writing workshop, I can say: Writing is hard. Keep going. We need your voice. And love you for it.
You take your time. Those stories are yours to share on nobody’s timeline but your own.
You’re willfully obscure, AND grew up amidst a house of sensational eccentrics?
The good life. You have it. 🙂
Waiting eagerly yet patiently for your new book.
Writing for others to appreciate, understand, think and learn about mental illness??? You are the epitome of that and so much more. You describe what the professionals never tell us. Your next book when it gets here will be PERFECT!! Thank You Jenny
I believe it was Piers Anthony who said there was “no such thing as writer’s block.” For all of us who actually suffer from it (I haven’t managed to write a decent or coherent word in some six months or more), I would like to kick him in the head. Or more tender areas. You are an awesome writer. Take your time and give us something YOU love.
Thank you. I’ve been struggling with my writing (does active avoidance and procrastination count?). It’s in my head, but getting out has been excruciating. Tiring. And I’m already tired, so
yeah. thank you.
I’m glad you are not turning it in to be published until you are finished with it. I hate when authors bow to pressure and publish before they are done writing the book – the books are never as good as when the author is truly finished writing the story. I’m sure this only makes sense to me, but I wish Collins had spent 6 more months on Mockingjay. It needed it.
Take as long as necessary. Deadlines suck anyway. You can’t rush greatness.
You definitely got me kicked of a plane. Take your time writing! I don’t have another flight scheduled for a while. 😉
For you, Jenny!
Jenny Lawson is not your bitch!
You take your time. Get it as right as you can.
We’ll wait. We love you.
The quotes on writing are so very much appreciated.
A writer you might appreciate and has done good stuff about mental illness is Hyperbole and a Half https://www.facebook.com/pages/Hyperbole-and-a-Half/103009646411654?fref=ts
I don’t mind waiting, but I suspect that you are your own worst critic. I bet it’s already awesome.
As usual, fantastic post! Looking forward to your next book, can’t wait! And you made my day by quoting Hemingway. That’s the quote I have in the header of my blog, and the inspiration for the name. 🙂
Twitter is so strange at times. Anyway, very amusing post!
I will wait patiently. The book will be awesome, just like you. On a side note, I need a t-shirt that says, ” FIND BETTER PICTURES OF ANGRY POSSUMS.”
As someone who loved you last book so much I REQUIRED myself to attend your book signing in my area (still waiting on that Copernicus doll line) and as someone who’s struggled a lot with depression, I’ll certainly be buying your next book. You take as much time as you need to create something that you’re happy with.
I can wait and I would pre-order it now even without a release date because everything that you have written previously (that I have read – without stalking you and snagging grocery lists out of your recycle bin – which I have not even contemplated until now) has made a difference to me and my daughter and those jerks around me that don’t care – but they actually do they just don’t know how to show it… so while you take all the time you need on that book I’ll go refresh my punctuation skills because this is the longest sentence I have ever written
Take your time. Nobody is going to stop breathing or continue breathing based on the date that your book comes out. And, just so you know, your first book was not only tremendously funny and therapeutic for me just because of that, but very informative. I have a close family member with an anxiety disorder and you really made the internal struggle real through your writing. Thank you.
Good things are worth waiting for. You are worth waiting for. I am not going any where. And apparently, no one else is either. Love ya much!
See, on top of loving to read your books and listen to your books, I like to give your books at yule/Christmas. a lot. And, there’s a winter holiday every year, so take all the time you like, pretty lady. : )
Keep up the good work. We’ll be here. I mean, we might be tapping our feet and looking at our wrist watches but hey, we can all pretend we’re wearing hats and standing in a train station while smoking cigarettes. When the train finally pulls into the station and Myrna Loy climbs out, it’s all the more awesome for the anticipation.
I want that Hunter S. Thompson picture on a T shirt. Please make it happen. Because that is my mental state every time I have musician or writer’s block.
Twitter is amazing. I find most people who don’t “get” Twitter usually don’t really get me either.
As for the book writing, do what you need to do. I write short plays and blog posts. I can’t even fathom one book let alone two. I look forward to reading it whenever I can.
When you write about mental illness, I feel like you are writing just to me. It’s as though you are taking all the feelings I can’t express and saying, “this is what’s going on, right?” Your first book made me laugh, made me cry, and made me understand so much more about my mental illness than anything else. Thank you for all that you have done for those of us suffering through these debilitating (at times) diseases. You are a gem! Keep on keeping on 🙂
Take your time, baby. You are worth the wait.
Take your time I will wait as I sit in my bipolar head with my bipolar, schizophrenic, and third autistic children! NOT A JOKE ! WE REALLY ALL HAVE MENTAL ILLNESS, and that’s why I love you!
And how funny, tonight’s message on my site was:
(who will gladly wait, you are worth it)
” … and then get kicked off planes for laughing hysterically.” I read your first book on travel to a professional meeting. I was laughing hysterically the entire time. Some guy kept giving me strange looks, but I figured, “who cares? when will I see this guy again?” He was at the same meeting. Doesn’t matter – still hilarious. Thanks!
Take as long as you need, dude. We’ll all be waiting.
I wish there was some good news for someone who has been depressed for so long (years) without a break. I hear that it gets better and it seems like some folks deal with it somehow. For me it just does not get better. It’s wearing me out. The struggle is too much when there is no end in sight. However, Jenny’s book did make me laugh like crazy.
(Keep going and don’t settle. I have to work at it to get the good days but it’s worth the effort. Find the the right therapist/drugs/music/combination and things WILL get better. Keep trying. You’re worth it. ~ Jenny)
So glad I’m not alone here. I love that Dorothy Parker quote – but I had always thought it was Gloria Steinem. Whatever. It’s still good.
I had always thought you were the type who wrote so effortlessly. But I’m beginning to understand that no one writes effortlessly. Not anyone who writes well, anyway. Thanks 🙂
Jenny – take your time. Your last book and your blog have made me realize what I only used to hope was true: there’s no such thing as “normal.” Underneath the veneer, we’re all a little damaged and a little “skewed,” if I may use a geometry term. I admire your work to let everyone know we all feel like we’re crazy some times (and sometimes we actually are), and we all struggle….including those who are seemly sucessful to everyone else. Because of you, I now know I’m as “normal” as everyone else….and that’s a great feeling.
Love you and can’t wait to read your next book.
I’m so excited for your next book. I am going to read the shit out of that thing!
I can wait but I’m so stoked for it.
Dude. You used Perfect way too much in the early parts of this blog. I suspect you edited it out in later parts realizing you used perfect way too damned much. Just be you! Which may include too much perfectness-ness but again. It’s you. oxox Write to one person and let it flow….. here for you.
I haven’t read the comments yet and that’s probably not a good idea, but I’m going to comment anyway.
You probably know that there are millions of geeks all over the world who are pining for the 6th book in George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire Series. And now, with the Game of Thrones show on HBO, they’re all freaking out in unison that the show will outpace the books. Oh, and that he’ll DIE before he finishes them.
In a recent interview in Europe when GRRM was asked about his feelings about the people that are literally screeching and emotionally vomiting all over the internet about him DYING before finishing the books you know what he had to say? To all those people he said, “Fuck you” and flipped them all off on camera. Considering that these people are more concerned about books than his life, I’m glad he did so.
While you are the Queen of Artful Invective, I fully wouldn’t expect you to tell off your fans in that fashion. However, anyone other than Victor or your agent who’s asking about deadlines and when the book is coming can be safely ignored/told to go pound sand/sent to the page of Wil Wheaton collating. It’s not our business. We may not be the most patient or sane bunch, but we WILL wait, I promise.
Your book was just so wonderful! I’m a Flight Attendant and I read your book at work (side note: it is never appropriate to almost pee yourself in your jumpseat in front of 50 people, but the chapter on drugs was so damn funny) and if I had to take a tally of the most popular book being read on my flights, your book was the one. Your humour and wit appealed to such a vast array of people…what a gift!
Keep writing! Your writing makes people so happy, they forget they just stripped (for FREE) for the security personnel. And when people are happy, it makes my job a hell of a lot easier.
Can’t wait for the next book!
I’ll never leave Twitter either. It’s too cynical & sarcastic & perfect. I also love everything you said about writing (and all the quotes). It’s exactly how I feel when I’m writing yet most of the people (writers I know IRL) act like they just shit it out perfectly they are just so brilliant. I’m writing about mental illness, too, & while parts of it are funny & meant to be some of it isn’t, & it falls flat b/c as you said mental illness doesn’t easily lend itself to hilarity. I’ve had the hardest time trying to convey what it’s really like (I have OCD) b/c I don’t want to short change a serious subject. Anyway, thanks for your honesty.
Looking forward to your new book! Will it be in Klingon? Cuz that’d be kinda cool.
Also, I just started twitter up again….and it’s so lonely I think my little birdie might commit twittercide. Poor lil guy.
Well I can help with one of those things.
I have just diagnosed myself with constipated writing disorder. That is exactly how I feel whenever I put pen to paper/fingers to keyboard.
So basically, we’re the same. Except you’re famous. Hmm. I must be doing something wrong. Maybe my writing is shittier than I thought.
Or maybe it’s the puns.
I love it. And writing is hard. It always comes to me in fits and starts. Don’t worry. We’ll all wait. And it will be perfect in our eyes when it gets here.
Last Thursday I had a surgical procedure done at The University of Chicago Hospital. As I was walking in with my husband there was a slower moving, older couple shuffling along in front of us. I started to lap them, not because they were walking so slowly, but because she was carrying a book and I MUST see what others are reading. This 70+/- woman was carrying YOUR book! For some reason this helped my nervousness dissipate 🙂 So thanks for the far away well-wishes that you had no idea you were giving a stranger.
You make me want to join Twitter. 🙂 I will happily wait for your next book as I don’t have the time to read it at the moment. Your last one was a treat for the late nights when I was pregnant with my second and couldn’t get to sleep. Although it got me in trouble for laughing out loud when my husband was trying to sleep in the next room. I’m not planning on being pregnant again any time soon, so write away.
Keep up the good work. It is hard and it takes time.
As a writer who often goes to your blog to clear my head (really) after staring blankly at the screen for 45 minutes (or hours) all I can say is — take your time. We’ll be here when you’re done.
I can’t wait!! I am new to this blog and so far I LOVE it!! And I am on my way to search for Punted Cunt Tornado and make them my friend!
skimmed comments to see if I was the only one who read “…couldn’t be true because OH MY GOD THE REAR PICTURES..” instead of “…OH MY GOD THERE ARE PICTURES…” and then I decided that either way is probably good…
You are always totally worth the wait. We are your family, we aren’t going anywhere!!! (At least I like to think of us as family. The minions of fellow readers & followers who you help every day just by having this blog. I know you have really helped me on some very black days decide to hang in there for another day hoping it wouldn’t be so bad. Still here!)
I have only recently started following your blog and yet I am already wondering what took me so long to find you. My stepdaughter has moved in with us and she has been battling anxiety and depression for a few years now, I can’t wait to read your book!
I suffer from mental illness (diagnoses: ADD, Social Anxiety Disorder, Bi-polar 1) and, in complete honesty, I’d rather laugh at other mentally ill people than feel like “i’m not alone”. For starters, it’s already obvious that I’m not alone: like 40% of Americans suffer from mental illness, or some ridiculously high percentage like that. And I love to laugh, whether that be at people, or with them, or beside them or standing on their heads. They can laugh right back at me for my illnesses. That’s perfectly fine. At least we’re all laughing. If you wrote a book making fun of mentally ill people, I’d buy the shit out of that thing. .