Jenn’s experience in writing her book, Why Is She Acting So Weird? A Guide to Cultivating Closeness When a Friend Is in Crisis, actually includes Dr. Angela Lauria playing a big part in the journey as the guiding light in the writing process. From the start, Jenn actually had certain expectations about being an author and a lot of them weren’t really sunny in nature. She didn’t realize how quickly it would be to write once she started process.
Strange as the title of her book is, it’s really something that a lot of people appreciated being available for reading
consumption because it was very helpful to them in a lot of ways. Jenn thought of writing a memoir at first as a result of a crisis in her life wherein she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Having compiled her stories, she realized that they had more to do with her friendships. So she wrote it for those who ever had a friend in crisis and wanted to help. She admitted to having reservations about telling stories that involved other people because of the fear that she might hurt them in the process. It’s a fact that friends do not always act in the way that’s ideally expected of them, especially when a person in crisis is involved. She realized that even she did not behave as a good friend should at all times. She explained that Angela’s advice on just getting it all out in writing and then edit the content later was a good one and that helped resolve the issue. It helped her to cover what she needed to and be tactful at the same time.
Jenn’s book is different from others on a similar slant in that it does not simply help the readers make friends, but also help keep them. It’s a fact that friends, no matter how well-meaning they intend to be, sometimes overdo things, or do too little, or something that will only exacerbate the condition or state of the person in crisis. Jenn was able to look at all this from the outside in because she was the person in crisis who had friends hovering all around her. She described her book as being “her heart on paper,” since it was a topic or story that she felt strongly about sharing with other people.
The book being her heart and all did not keep her from experiencing writer’s block. She recounted how she would sit at her computer and then thought of things she needed to be doing would enter her mind and she’d be distracted from the writing. But then she discovered that if she gave in to the thoughts and divert her attention to other tasks, her mind would start thinking about the writing and then she’d find herself back at the computer and typing like crazy. Angela expressed her reluctance to accept this kind of motivational process, but Jenn explained that it was akin to giving oneself a reward of sorts that encourages the writing, like a yummy cookie in a plate at the office.
Jenn’s advice to people like her who’ve always wanted to write but just can’t get to the start is to stop telling
themselves that they’re not a writer. “It doesn’t mean that you’re not a writer,” she said, “but it might mean that the
book isn’t focused or it doesn’t mean enough to you; that your heart’s not in it and that if you can find out what’s in
your heart, you will get that book out, and it might not be what you suspected it. So figure out how to make your current manuscript mean something to you, or write a different book. But either way, you can do that.”
DOWNLOAD the PDF: Book Journeys Author Interview-Jenn McRobbie-July 30 2015
Next week, watch out for Angela’s interview with another exciting author.