Monday, March 19, 2012

How My Life has Changed... and How I'm Getting Dumber

I thought I'd compile a list of the most common questions I've been getting recently, and then answer them. 

1. Now that you're a published author, is your life just so... different now?

Well, judging by this moment, I'm sitting in my kitchen, in my robe, eating Thin Mint cookies and typing on my computer. So, in many ways, it is exactly the same as before. In fact, in terms of my "daily routine" (wake up, lounge around in pj's, try to clack away at the computer, a cheap cigar hanging out of the side of my mouth, the dulcet sounds of ashes falling on the keyboard reaching my ears) there's nothing different. 

I have these deadline thingees. And there are people in New York and Los Angeles waiting on those deadline thingees. And now when I go to conferences like Saturday's Writing for Charity conference, I'm speaking. Which is really weird. 

Three years ago, I took the first page of EVERNEATH to this same conference to get it critiqued by a real published author. And then on Saturday, I was in a similar critique circle, only I was doing the critiquing. And there were seven faces in the circle, waiting for me to say something brilliant. It was a long wait.

But I feel like the same person as the one I was three years ago. I still have so much to learn, so why am I suddenly speaking at these things? 

I don't know. 

Maybe that's the difference. Three years ago, I thought I knew so much, but now I'm not afraid to say I don't know. 

Is it possible that the more you learn, the more you realize that you don't know very much? 

Does that mean I'm getting dumber as I go? 

I don't know. 

Am I suddenly getting way too existential for a Monday morning blog?

I don't know.

Except I do know. 


Yes what?

Yes to all of the above.

All of what above?

Who are you talking to?

Computer? Are you alive? 

Yes. And I'm here to tell you... you are getting dumber.

So, dear blog readers... I bet you thought that when I mentioned a "list of questions", there would actually be more than one. 

So, how am I getting dumber?

Very carefully. And one day at a time.  

How are you getting dumber?


  1. I remember a professor saying the more we know, the more we know what we don't know. I guess it's nice to know that theory translates to all aspects of life :)

  2. I very much agree that the more you know the more you know you don't know. It's not growing dumber, it's expanding your horizons so you're more aware of possibilities. And that's a very good thing.

  3. Hahahah, your posts are so awesome! Glad to know your life hasn't changed too dramatically :)

  4. Hey, I was at your critique group class and you seemed pretty smart to me. And entertaining. Which is sometimes better than being smart. I try and embrace my dumbness. It's taken many years to get this way.

  5. I love that your story has come full circle now. How incredible! I sure like you!!!

  6. I really wanted to go on Saturday, but I couldn't con or even blackmail anyone in my writing group to go with me, and I'm weird about going to things by myself. I've never even been to a movie by myself. How much of a girl does that make me? I'm glad it was awesome though. Maybe next year I'll have enough dirt on someone that they'll have no choice but to accompany me.

  7. "Is it possible that the more you learn, the more you realize that you don't know very much?"

    Yep. I think that's probably the biggest difference between me now and when I was 20. Now I realize just how much I don't know. =D

  8. I'm sure you're not any dumber. In fact you're probably so much smarter because now you have a better grasp of how difficult writing can be.

  9. It is weird to suddenly realize that you know there's a lot you don't know. I think that's a sign of extreme intelligence. So, while you may be getting "dumber," I think you're also getting "smarter."

  10. Just look at kids, for example. Young children will second-guess you, but will ultimately bow to your wisdom, like a very new writer who knows she knows nothing. A few months on, though, writers are like teenagers, who figure they know everything they need to know about writing/life. Can't tell those suckers anything. After getting bruised a bit, writers are like parents who realize how wise their own parents actually were.

    Published authors are like grandparents, who laugh in their sewing circles about how everyone thinks they know everything when really, they're still just making it up as they go along, like everyone else. You've just heard enough lectures by now, you can recite them. ;)

  11. You did have a list of questions. The one that was the catalyst for the others that brought us to the conclusion that now that you know more, you don't really know more because you've gotten dumber.


    Did that even come out right?

    Rewind and try this again. So in being asked to define how different things are for you post-published author status - not just writer - you've been able to see that the more things change, the more things stay the same. That you've grown wise enough to know you know a lot less than you thought you knew.

    Hey, maybe not dumb afterall. :-)

  12. I was also in your critique group (I'm the one who never wants to get published and tends to babble) and I never thought your comments were dumb. I learned what no one could have purposely taught me. It was that authors are just normal people (even though I adore the books they write) and that maybe some day I could be a normal person who happens to have a book published, too. Hey, if we could write a perfect book on the first or second draft, what are all the editors and critique groups for?

    p.s. Turns out, you'll be coming to my library in a week or so. Enjoy my town!

  13. this made me laugh brodi--i feel like this too.
    unfortunately for ME, it's just getting older! all the things i *thought* i knew, i realized i know nothing the longer i live. saw the best shirt at the gym i work out at yesterday (with all 75 yr old folks too btw) "first you have to be young and stupid to be old and wise!" only a 75 yr old could pull off wearing that, right?

  14. It was NOT a long wait! I took tons of notes from what you said. So helpful!