What was the hardest thing about writing a book?

By on Apr 8th

What was the hardest thing about writing the book and how long did it take to complete? -Alisha

The second comingThe book took me about a year to write, and there were two hard parts:

  • Dealing with the isolation of writing. Summer Pierre said it best when she said that while people love to romanticize the process of writing, actually it can be pretty boring. I'd written for magazines, where you get feedback in a few months. I'd written for the web, where you get feedback almost immediately. But writing a book means no feedback for a year or more. My editor was relatively hands-off, so it was mostly just me by myself with a screen, clacking away on a keyboard. Ronereee. So ronereeeee…

  • Respecting the privacy of friends & family. My rule of thumb is never to write something about someone that I wouldn't read out loud standing in front of them. While I was fine exposing my own stupidity, I wanted to make sure I had full consent to share other people's stories. This made it hard to share certain parts of the story, and of course what you read in the book isn't all there is. There were all sorts of things that I simply couldn't write about, out of respect to others. Sometimes, sitting alone working on the book, I felt like I had my family and in-laws and friends reading over my shoulder, saying "I never said that!" and "It certainly didn't happen like that!" It's part of why the book is so much about me me me — I didn't have to worry about offending myself.

If you're curious about my process of writing the book, I blogged about it on my personal website, and then imported the posts when I launched OBB.

Oh and speaking of the book, I'm doing a reading in San Francisco next Friday, April 16th! If you're in the Bay Area, you should come! There will be cupcakes, and Meg from A Practical Wedding will be there too, so she can read from her sidebar in the budget chapter. SPECIAL BONUS: Andreas and Tavi will be with me for DILF & cute baby oggling action!

Date: Friday, April 16, 2010
Time: 7:30pm – 8:30pm
Location: Booksmith
1644 Haight Street, San Francisco CA

If you think you can come, please oh please RSVP!