I have a confession to make. I want to write a book. I’ve got a title, some chapter headings, an introduction and a vague idea of where I want to go with it. But I don’t really know anything about writing a book. Magazine articles, short pieces for the internet, blog posts, yes—books, no. So I’m educating myself, starting with a book called Chapter After Chapter. One of the recommendations the author makes is to read 100 books similar to the one you want to write. I’ve begun that project by exploring the world of blogger/authors. I thought I’d share with you five books by bloggers I’ve read recently:
My Formerly Hot Life, Stephanie Dolgoff. Blog: http://www.formerlyhot.com/. “You are not the young, relevant, in-the-mix woman you used to be. But neither are you old, or even what you think of as middle-aged. You are no longer what you were, but not quite sure what you are.” Dolgoff examines the major areas of a Formerly’s life, and how they have changed and are changing. Her conclusion: it’s not so bad to be a Formerly—but you won’t know that until you become one.
Living Oprah, Robyn Okrant. Blog: http://www.livingoprah.com/. Is it possible to discover one’s authentic self by following someone else’s ideal? Okrant attempts to answer this by doing everything Oprah says to do on her TV show, in O Magazine and on her Web site. This book entertained me, while making me glad I wasn’t taking on a project like this. (The control freak in me would have had a nervous breakdown.)
The Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin. Blog: http://www.happiness-project.com/happiness_project/. This is one of my favorite blogs, and I’ve mentioned the book here before.
It Sucked and Then I Cried, Heather B. Armstrong, otherwise known as Dooce. Blog: http://dooce.com/. Armstrong’s book chronicles her struggle with mental health issues while trying to care for her infant daughter. Dooce is incredibly successful as a blogger, and was featured this weekend in the New York Times Magazine.
Life is a Verb, Patti Digh. Digh is not primarily a blogger, though she does have one (http://37days.typepad.com/). I happened to finish her book right when I was preparing this post, and I loved it so much I wanted to share it with you. The 37-day time frame came from Digh’s experience of her stepfather’s death: he died 37 days after being diagnosed with lung cancer. She writes, “The time frame of thirty-seven days made an impression on me. We often live as if we have all the time in the world, but the definite-ness of thirty-seven days was striking. So short a time, as if all the regrets and joys of a life would barely have time to register before it was up…. What emerged was a commitment to ask myself this question every morning: What would I be doing today if I only had thirty-seven days to live?”
These books give me hope. If they can do it, why can’t I?
I’m going to keep exploring the world of blogger/authors. Any recommendations?