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On Writing.

This book I’m writing is not about parenting. It’s not about anything. But it’s about everything. And although it’s funny cause I’m a joke writer primarily, it’s not all funny. Some of it is downright depressing. When I write I will tell you straight out I feel like a fraud. Will people think these are no more than journal writings? I ask myself over and over again. I pick up books by some of my favorite authors; Augusten Burroughs, Cynthia Heimel, Merrill Markoe and I marvel over how effortless they make it seem – like putting words on a page is no different than pouring a cup of coffee – like choosing which sentence which metaphor is the same as choosing a brand of peanut butter.

I know that I’m too sensitive to the mean things that people have said and will inevitably say to my innermost thoughts that I have the nerve to put on display and call myself an author. They will pick it apart and call me shallow or worse, not read it at all. But I can’t help but write. And for some reason which will never be fully understood to me, I have a book deal and a publisher who likes the way I write. So I continue. But for me, writing is like a teeth gnashing, beer guzzling, anxiety producing endeavor.

When I wrote for TV it was easier – in part I think – because it was a discipline that I’d worked on for years. I went to work, drank some coffee, snorted a few lines of coke and got down to the business of creativity. Some comedian friends used to say to me “Hey, I’d like to be a TV writer too. Can you hook me up?” and I’d think about what a huge difference there is between doing the same five minute act onstage a few nights a week and sitting at a desk for eight hours being funny. It’s not the same thing. In a way I feel like one of those people who thinks “Hey, if I can do it for TV why not write a book?” It’s different. And to prove how much harder it is and how little time I have to myself, my brows are hairier than Frida Kahlo and my legs put my husband’s to shame -in girth and amount of hair. But I am getting the hair on my head cut today just to spite the muse. I’m starting to look like Joan Baez.

Think good thoughts for me. And, sure, the economy too.

Posted by Stefanie Wilder Taylor on October 7, 2008 12:47 amUncategorized38 comments  

38 Comments

  1. Giovanna Diaries said,

    I like your style of writing too! Don’t be too hard on yourself! It’s impossible to please everyone. As long as you are happy with it…..and your ever devoted blog followers…than that’s all that matters.
    Good luck!

    | October 7, 2008 @ 1:43 am

  2. April said,

    journal-esque/letter writing is some of the best. kudos to you for taking the time to put your thoughts on paper. if everyone had the same style of writing? blech. well, unless we all wrote like shel silverstein. then, maybe, it would be fun 😉

    | October 7, 2008 @ 2:16 am

  3. merlotmom said,

    not only do you have a book deal and a publisher who likes you but you have quite a following of bloggers and book readers who like you. just go with that, tell the rest of the voices to shut the hell up.

    | October 7, 2008 @ 2:32 am

  4. Marinka said,

    What? Pouring a cup of coffee is supposed to be easy?!

    | October 7, 2008 @ 2:42 am

  5. Backpacking Dad said,

    Author isn’t a state of mind. No one gets to dispute the fact that you are an author. There is no division, legitimate and illegitimate authors. You are now, and always will be an author. You get to carve the world at its joints, carve your own being at your edges; you are the only authority, there.

    | October 7, 2008 @ 2:55 am

  6. Surfer Jay said,

    Hey, you funny. So we will read.

    If you write it, they will come.

    | October 7, 2008 @ 3:19 am

  7. RhoRho said,

    Stop it. I feel that way too and dammit I’m gonna write anyway. Even if it’s hard right now, i could only hope to be in your shoes someday! keep on keepin’ on.

    | October 7, 2008 @ 3:22 am

  8. Purva Brown - Sacramento Real Estate Gal said,

    Hey, I picked up your “Sippy Cups…” only after my baby was a month old because I didn’t want anything to cloud my judgment before my baby was born. :) But I laughed so hard reading it! I’m sending it to my best friend and will not be as hard on myself the second time around (yes, there will be a second time!) – keep writing. We need it!!!

    | October 7, 2008 @ 3:41 am

  9. DadGoneMad said,

    You ain’t no fraud, lady. I love your books because they’re you in written form (and I happen to like you in ANY form). So zip it and get back to work — if not for your sake, for mine.

    | October 7, 2008 @ 3:43 am

  10. heather... said,

    Thinking good thoughts for you is way easier than thinking good thoughts for the economy. Way cheaper.

    | October 7, 2008 @ 4:22 am

  11. cynthia@badgeofintent said,

    If you weren’t supposed to be a writer, then you would
    never have been given the opportunity to become one.
    You’re not a fraud. You my dear, could never be one.
    Own it. You rock.

    | October 7, 2008 @ 4:31 am

  12. The Yummy Mummy Cooks Gourmet said,

    I think it’s important to remind you that the critics and naysayers aren’t writing books. You are. You are actually doing it.

    And yeah, it’s hard, teeth-grinding work. It is for Augusten Burroughs, too. But you are at it. And that’s what counts. That’s what gets words on the page.

    Just keep writing. We’ll keep reading…

    Kim

    | October 7, 2008 @ 10:40 am

  13. StephanieG said,

    Wow. I’m a new reader (couple months maybe?), and what strikes me every time I read your stuff is how effortless your writing seems.

    Some of your entries make me laugh out loud, while some about your daughter have me feeling the anguish of a sick child. These are not just words you’re splashing out there. It’s emotion, raw and unencumbered.

    I have this vision in my head of you, frazzled after a day of nonstop children, shuffling over to your computer in your comfy-ugly slippers and your old gray sweatpants. You’ve got a cup of something hot in your hand – coffee, tea, hot buttered rum, perhaps. As you sit down before the screen, you morph instantly from mom into entertainer.

    I guess I just assume that because your written word flows so easily across the screen that it also comes so easily from inside you.

    My point is, keep up the good work, sister. It may be hard as hell at times, but your words are good. Some of the best, in fact, that I have been privileged enough to stumble upon.

    I heart you!

    | October 7, 2008 @ 11:38 am

  14. Her Bad Mother said,

    Ha – you and Frida Kahlo and ME. Legs, eyebrows, hair – if I weren’t blond it would be confusing for all those women’s studies-slash-arts majors in my ‘hood.

    | October 7, 2008 @ 3:32 pm

  15. Aunt Becky said,

    I’m sending good, blessed thoughts. You’re an excellent writer. If you weren’t, no one would read you enough to say mean stuff about you. Does that make sense? It did in my head.

    | October 7, 2008 @ 4:07 pm

  16. Mommy Melee said,

    I respect your craft and admire your balls. So I’m thinking good thoughts for you.

    Also, you’re really funny. I have total faith that even when you’re being depressing the stories will be engaging.

    Hang in there! Later, we can go get waxed.

    | October 7, 2008 @ 8:19 pm

  17. How to Party with an Infant said,

    I so admire television writers. I have t.v writing envy.

    | October 7, 2008 @ 11:22 pm

  18. Kate said,

    You write the phone book and I’m buying it and reading it. Don’t let people who put you down rent space in your brain. There are too many of us out there that need you to make us laugh or cry or whatever.

    | October 8, 2008 @ 1:04 am

  19. goodfather said,

    You write beautifully. I’m going with Backpacking Dad (not going out with, just seconding his opinion): you ARE a writer. A good writer. ;).

    | October 8, 2008 @ 2:14 pm

  20. LiteralDan said,

    You just keep doing what you do– you’ve been successful for a reason, so don’t let anyone tell you any different (including any little voices in your own head).

    | October 8, 2008 @ 4:59 pm

  21. heidi said,

    Ha! Be authentic to your funny, furry self.

    | October 8, 2008 @ 10:05 pm

  22. Ms. Bar B: said,

    I agree with Aunt Becky. Although no one wants someone to be talking bad about them, if they are talking that means they are reading, which naturally makes others want to read and disagree with all of the bad talk, lol.

    Keep faith in yourself and your craft. Everyone has something to say and a few of us actually have the opportunity to be heard, so continue speaking.

    | October 9, 2008 @ 8:39 pm

  23. Lisa said,

    I’m sure your book will be a hit. I think we all feel like frauds at times when we have those moments of uncertainty. But the bottom line is that you are funny and you are a good writer.

    | October 10, 2008 @ 5:29 am

  24. Daddy Dan said,

    I, For one, can’t wait to read it. I know it’s going to be brilliant and funny as hell!

    | October 11, 2008 @ 12:16 am

  25. creative-type dad said,

    I’m no expert, but 98% of a writers go through this and somehow get through it.
    I’ve just begun reading your stuff, you definitely have a true talent.

    | October 11, 2008 @ 8:16 pm

  26. Chen,Shun-Chuan said,

    Are you aware that the news you are watching is interlaced with Communist China’s propaganda,as
    Communist China maps a realm of news with innocent lives?
    Communist China is scheming a millennial terrorist activity by manipulating people’s behaviors
    through electromagnetic waves to contain criticism and harm innocent human lives.

    1. The anomaly in community traffic of cars and motorcycles and drag racing,and reckless honking by
    cars and motorcycles is exceeding an unprecedented level.
    2. Communist China has the technology to scan the human brain waves through military satellite and
    to discern and decipher their thoughts,scheming to instill individual interference focusing on
    each individual in need using the satellite electromagnetic waves.
    3. Deploying electromagnetic waves is poised to project onto the human brain with certain
    sounds for the perception of grossly traumatizing or startling pain,or deploying the broadcast
    of noise via electromagnetic waves in sleeping humans with edited clips of films or through
    voice or image signals onto our brains or besiege our sensory functions with fabricated
    audible and sensory illusions.
    4. It manipulates one’s moods,such as smiling,nervousness,disgust,panic,anger,sorrow,
    desires,appetite,and so forth.
    5. It interferes the human brain’s thinking capability,memory or linguistic capability,to name a
    few,causing spasms of muscles and fingers in the left and right hands,stinging aches
    throughout the body,coughing,yawning,trembling,involuntary blinking of the eye,runny
    nose and so forth.
    6. Electromagnetic waves are deployed to hinder the motoring functions of the body and neck,
    disrupt the heartbeat or respiration,manipulate dizziness,deprive one’s sleep,spasm,saliva
    gland,dental neural pain,etc.
    7. Watch out that Communist China is infiltrating the news media by deploying electromagnetic
    waves to besiege the broadcast media,map out viral disillusion or erroneous perception,and
    investigate threats of brainwashing in viral spreading.
    8. It further moved to deploy various symptoms in what one sees of media icons,gesture terms,
    adding a skewed interpretation to one’s cognitive awareness,misleading an individual to
    hallucinate or suffer,such as the North Korean’s rigid smile,which is a tactic Communist
    China often deploys to counter the people.
    9. By observing the resolution accuracy of Communist China’s sound and image (scenario)
    interference projected onto the human’s brain,this can only be achieved with a certain level
    of frequencies at the source of interference,hence there is no doubt that it has to be the
    electromagnetic wave. Yet questions remain as to what range of frequencies the source of
    interference deploys,or what kind of electromagnetic waves insulation chamber would suffice
    to provide an insulation yield? Communist China might deploy specific metal alloys as small scale
    molecular antennas, which are attached to the human brain in large number,creating
    electromagnetic waves when the human brain is in function,where the current created by
    Communist China’s electromagnetic interference would poise to amplify in a staggering
    number of multiplication,which Communist China can detect at all times to discern and
    muscles would excel the generation of electrode,which in turn create a corresponding
    electromagnetic wave within.
    10. Some of Communist China’s intimidation experiences in 2002:6.9 “Hey,are you tired of living?”
    6.14 “We had concocted the bombing incident at the U.S. embassy in Pakistan”
    “Jiang Zhemin ordered us to kill you,but without creating scenes”6.16 “The Pakistani
    civilian troops confessed that they had schemed the bombing of the U.S. embassy in
    Pakistan,which we had manipulated them to confess,so what are you going to do about it?”
    6.19 “Hey,why don’t you just go ahead and commit suicide””We are going to scheme
    murder using the public bus”6.20 “Commit suicide by burning charcoal,get it?”6.25 “Jiang
    Zhemin just does not like you,go hit your head against the wall”.
    11. I reckon that there are victims abound out in the street,no less alarming than wars,and those
    not in the know or did not understand that Communist China’s simple electromagnetic design
    could easily turn people against each other,create moving incidents,little lese to say mislead
    the youth to broach down the wrong path,suicidal prompting,design and fabrication of a host
    of society news (which Communication China refers to as movie making),as Communist China has had a
    decade long of the technology,and has long abused its technological advantages to scheme up design
    of abusing human lives by arranging fabricated news to poison and infiltrate the free
    world,manipulate and misguide the contents of the media,and deploy brainwashing and malicious
    spread of viruses,done with insinuation and riddles.The fact that Communist China’s slaughtering
    the innocent had been the result of a high level of calculation,and a high level of rationalization,
    where the threats are in existence,and cannot be ignored of their detrimental severity.
    12. Communist China often coerce people to watch news compiled by the reporter Lu Yuling of the cable
    news in order for them to be saved,but few are aware that Communist China had merely deploy the
    reporter to entrap many people. I do envision that those that turn to committing crime as framed
    by Communist China,the extra sufferings by the ordinary people,and the deaths of many innocent
    lives will not go unnoticed as hindered by a condoning attitude.
    13. Nazi Hu Jintao, Jiang Zemin, Chinese Liberation Army, security police and armed police have committed suppression and massacre on their own civilians. Hu, Jiang and the other atrocious butchers owe these innocent civilians! More horrible and serious is that they are using mysterious killing technologies to cause harms to human brains around the world, making advantage of numerous international politicians and journalists to help them commit atrocities and beautify their actions, aiming to overturn and suppress those innocent people and cover up their terrorist acts and win fame by cheating the world. Securing in the knowledge that they have strong backing, these arrogant and shameless butchers have committed tortures and mass killing cruelly to those innocent ones around the world. Unfortunately, neither these politicians and nor journalists knowing what is what would dare to express their conscience.
    14. The inhumane acts and atrocities committed by Nazi China are far more vicious than that of Nanjing massacre in China during WWII committed by Japanese army, as Chinese government is using mysterious technologies to commit massacres to masses of bare-handed civilians around the world as well as launch violence and terrorist activities to suppress these completely unarmed people’s freedom of speech. These demons, like Hu, Jinag and Chinese Liberation Army, despise the chastity, dignity and precious life of those innocent ones and suppress the emotions of their beloved. Meanwhile, relying on the condition that most of people in the world will not be able to witness their vicious acts of violence and behaviors they have committed unscrupulously and shamelessly, these Chinese Liberation Army enjoys using cruel ways to torture, massacre and trample on these innocent people, physically and mentally, in one free world. The arrogant Hu, Jiang and those jackals nurtured under such ferocious power treat themselves as the symbol of benevolence and hero, as they fail to learn their gutless and vicious acts to trample on those innocent people. If these demons, butchers and dregs of human, such as Hu, Jiang and Chinese Liberation Army who have become frenzied and conscienceless appeared in the site of Nanjing massacre in WWII, they definitely would be the leading roles to act atrocities!
    15. We don’t want to see masses of innocent people to fall victim to the hell on earth built by red China where they will be susceptible to tortures and massacres for thousands of years.
    16. Despite being even unable to fend for themselves in face of the high-tech detriments and attacks from China, we can not tolerate the fact that these politicians and journalists will become the accomplices to help China commit its terrorist acts and suppression on these innocent people in the current era or an unknown future.
    17. In view of the notorious, vicious and sinister Hu, Jiang, Chinese Liberation Army with blood-stained hands, we just cast doubt over whether these greats of knowing what is what who have negotiated with these demons will show their conscience to save these innocent civilians or will act just for the sake of their profits, or are under the control of China. In this current drowned world, how will these innocent lives be treated in face of the atrocious acts committed by these diabolical figures, or when these innocent people will witness the practice of democracy in China? Will these phenomena turn out to be the joint efforts and endeavors achieved by China and those powerful figures in the world? Are we really dedicated to overturning such adversity? Our goal is to eliminate the vicious power one day with our strenuous efforts, and we absolutely will achieve it!

    Chen,Shun-Chuan 2002.10.13* Republic of China (Taiwan)

    | October 12, 2008 @ 4:37 pm

  27. MereCat said,

    How did the haircut turn out? I hope it perked you up some. Don’t be too hard on yourself. You have WAY more people who like you than don’t. You’ve got a lot going for you. It’s all good.

    | October 12, 2008 @ 5:30 pm

  28. Black Hockey Jesus said,

    I’m with chen,shun-chuan on this one.

    | October 13, 2008 @ 6:08 am

  29. Rebecca said,

    Lol. me too.

    | October 13, 2008 @ 8:45 am

  30. Rebecca said,

    no seriously. you’re a writer – you’re writing!

    | October 13, 2008 @ 8:46 am

  31. Surcie said,

    That chuan dude is a blog hog.

    Don’t listen to the haters. They’re just jealous.

    | October 14, 2008 @ 12:46 am

  32. RhoRho said,

    WTF with the communist manifesto up there?? anyway, just doing my weekly stop. Hope the book is goin well.

    | October 14, 2008 @ 1:49 am

  33. Deb said,

    If it’s any consolation, you make it look easy from here (you know, in the cheap seats!) and we dig you.

    | October 14, 2008 @ 10:22 pm

  34. DivaDunn said,

    Anyone who’s ever left a comment on a blog, understands that being able to put “yourself” into words is SO. NOT. EASY. And to get humor to translate as well – goes beyond a skill.

    I’ll never be a writer – it’s not my art – but I can certainly identify with the struggle of having to force creativity out of your brain. By 5pm on Friday! Ugh…

    I’ve read both “Sippy Cups” and “Naptime” and if anyone read the titles and expected Dr. Spock or whoever the leading “parental” authority is today, well…fuck those morons!

    BTW – sounds like Chen,Shun-Chuan could use a little humor – maybe you could send him an excerpt of your new book?

    | October 15, 2008 @ 5:19 pm

  35. Jenny said,

    “This too shall pass.” Everyone has hard times, but look at all of the people (probably that you don’t know) that support you. We aren’t editors, but we are the ones who read and buy the books!
    I can’t wait to read your book! BTW – what is up with the guy from China?? : )

    | October 20, 2008 @ 2:50 am

  36. shannon said,

    I’ve been reading your blog for a couple of years now and I (finally) got a copy of Naptime is the New Happy Hour. It has really cheered me up as my daughter just turned two last month. Admittedly, she is my second but every kid is different! This book couldn’t have fell into my hot little hands at a better time. Thank you for writing and I look forward to your new book.

    | October 25, 2008 @ 1:10 am

  37. Shannon said,

    P.S.

    Wow. Major non sequitur about China. Those must be the comments that keep you going!

    | October 25, 2008 @ 1:13 am

  38. GTR said,

    ??,????,??,sogo??,????,plus??,plus,????,?????,????,??,????,?????,??,AV,AV??,SEX,??,a?,a????,A?,h?,????,??A?,????,????,????,?????,??,????,?????,???,???,??,????,kk???,?????,????,85cc????,85cc????,????,?????,????,???,??,????,?????,A?,????,???,???????,???,????,????,????,????,??????,????,????,??,A???,????,????,????,??,????,????,????,????,??,aio?????,????,?????,???????,????,??????,????,????,????,???????,????,??,????,???

    | August 26, 2009 @ 8:15 am

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