Tonight I went to a book signing and walked away in an air of disbelief. I had just spent the last two hours listening to a woman and her co-author (and boyfriend), about how important it is to be honest and tell the truth. Her book is about her journey into become a business woman, while juggling family and a cumbersome eating disorder. I’ll spare anyone the details from the title of it, because the more of it I’ve read, the less and less I’d recommend it to anyone, really, anyone.
When it was my turn to get my book signed, I politely asked her if she had any words of advice for someone who is similarly ambitious as she was when she started her company, who is also dealing with food struggles. Not that mine are the same as her eating disorder, but I’ve developed a terse relationship with food and I was searching for a semblance of a connection with someone that has supposedly overcome her demons.
Her answer astonished me. While her boyfriend sat there stoically and shoved more books down the table after he had signed them, she simply told me that my question question was “over her head” and that I should seek the advice of doctors. I promptly reassured her that I’d seen tons of doctors and was simply looking for a kindred spirit to connect with that recovery is possible, but she sat there silently (most awkward two minutes of my life) and simply wrote “fortitude” in my book. Gee, thanks.
When I got home I thumbed through the pages of her book, only to realize that while it is a terribly easy read, with that ease came an overwhelming sense of inauthenticity. Her pages are plagued with giant words that don’t seem fitting for a woman who ran a toddler’s play group, and later series of yoga studios. (Did I give away who she was yet? Probably not).
The words do seem fitting though to be from her boyfriend, the lawyer and co-author. In all, it was a very disconcerting night that left me thinking about writing. Why do I write? I read probably a good chunk of her book tonight and felt very uncomfortable with just how inauthentic it all felt-she put so much distance between herself and a reader.
On this blog, I try to connect on a personal level. I have no idea who is looking or reading my words, but I know they’re coming directly from me, no bullshit. I’m speaking from a place of honesty-whether it’s a happy honest or a fuck life, send me down the river honest. Life is all about peaks and valleys, and I think it’s really important to emphasize that things are not always how they are on social media, the happy-go-lucky life is great kinda vibe.
Well, maybe that’s the difference between a book and a blog. Or maybe that’s the difference between a good blog and a shitty book. Or maybe it’s the difference between her and me. Who knows. But what I do know is that if I ever get a book out there in the world done through a publishing house, I’m going to make sure it’s this voice that gets out there and nothing else. Otherwise what’s the point of even writing?
There’s no point in dispelling truth that isn’t mine, otherwise it’ll lead people to the same disappointment I felt tonight. I don’t care that I din’t agree with what she had to say, but at least be honest about it.