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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

It's true: I don't know how to write a book.

A professional writer is an amateur who didn't quit.  --Richard Bach
Here is a reenactment of that time nine months ago when I decided to write a book:

Me (interior monologue): Hey, I think I want to write a book.

Me (also interior monologue): Oh, cool. Do you know how to write a book?

Me (still interior monologue): Not really. But I know how to write...stuff.

Me (la la la): Great. So. Write a book then.

Me (out loud): Okay.

Person Standing Next to Me in the Elevator: What?

Me: Nothing.

Why do I share this highly fictionalized anecdote with you? Well, the crux of the truth is there, which is that: I hear voices in my head. Only kidding. Which is to say: when I first decided to pen my debut memoir, Unnaturally Green, I had absolutely no idea how to do it. But still. I knew I wanted to do it. So I just...went for it.

Indeed, putting the cart before the horse is my fave thing to do. Because, when it comes to writing, there really is no other way. You have to believe you can do something, even though you have no idea how to actually do it.

Like many other artistic endeavors, long-form writing is very mysterious. How does it work, you might wonder. What is the actual process supposed to be like? How do you know if you're doing it "right?"

The most disconcerting part of asking these questions, my young aspiring writer-readers, is that you won't know the answers until you get out there and just do it. I mean, Nike knew what was up. Because there really are no rules. No instruction manual. Just my thoughts and the blank page. Just do it.

For me, I've enjoyed giving you all an insider glimpse into the process. I've enjoyed using my blogs and mailing list to create a forum through which I can share what I'm working on, get feedback, and keep readers engaged. It's been said that every writer should have his or her audience in mind. Hearing from you, testing the waters, putting my writing (strengths and weaknesses) on display -- this has helped reinforce just how important my audience is. Not only will you be the ones reading the finished product, but you're the ones motivating me along the way!

So, thank you for your involvement and interest! I promise I'll do my best :)

In summary, here is a picture of me* right now.

*This is not actually me, as is evidenced by the long brown hair and questionable scrunchie. But still, the spirit is there.

Well. Time to go write.

It's really freaking hard.

But not impossible. No, definitely not.



  1. You can do it Felicia!!! The excerpts are amazing. Those Felicia and "Wicked" fans will be all over this book! Everyone loves the behind the scenes insights! You go girl!

  2. We fans will wait because we all know it will be well worth it. Hang in there and keep going.

  3. I hope our constant praise is not detrimental, or a disservice in any way. I haven't noticed anything wrong with your writing; I love it! but you say you're putting your weaknesses on display as well as your strengths. But I do not think we are really prepared, or in any any position to give you constructive criticism. Haha, I just hope you re not expecting that of us, we love you too much!

  4. I love the excerpts from the book already! Can't wait to read more!

  5. "Fake it till you make it!" told to me by a friend when I became the head carpenter for Wicked. Has become a motto for myself.

    BTW I can tell the pic isn't you since the desk is obviously way too neat!

  6. @stagebuilder "Fake it till you make it!" I love it :)

    P.S. Hi, friend!!!!!!!

  7. Hi to you too, Darlin'! Hope you and BF are doing well, and not melting too much!

  8. The clouds have begun to part and I have new insight!

    Check out my latest UNNATURALLY GREEN blog post, "How to Write a Book (Part 1)":

    Peace and love!