Friday, January 11, 2013

Stalkers Anonymous

One of the things I remember most vividly about finishing up my first book was how “old” I felt at the end of it.  Seriously, I walked around like I’d just survived a tour of duty in a war-ravaged country.

What I’d really survived, of course, was spending the bulk of my mid- and late-twenties working hard and not having anyone pat me on the head and tell me I was a good girl at the end of it.  In layman’s terms, I believe we call that experience “growing up,” but for a while there, I was pretty convinced that I’d gone through some kind of unprecedented trauma.

Earlier today, I ran across an e-mail exchange between Sam and me from 2010, right after she’d finished reading I’m Stalking Jake!, and our conversation should probably be printed off and stuck in a psychology textbook somewhere.  Sam’s questions and assessments were completely normal (and wonderfully heartfelt); mine oscillated between fury directed at various characters in the book and a pitifully sad desperation regarding the ruins of my parasitic interest in Jake.

I remember having a meltdown – full on hysteria – about a week after the book came out; a week was all it took for me to realize that it wasn’t going to be an instant ticket to success.  And I did a Grade A job of feeling sorry for myself over it.  I mean here I was, I’d poured every ounce of myself into something from ages 24 to 28, and seven days after revealing the ultimate result of my toils, it seemed like no one cared. Certainly the guy at the center didn’t care, and my forceful confession to Sam that I still harbored an interest in finding a way to look Jake Gyllenhaal in the eye and ask him what the hell he was doing with his life (because he clearly wasn’t happy!) is perhaps the most obvious example of transference that I’ve ever seen in print.

I like to think that I've come a long way since then...

But then a few weeks ago, I got a call from the publisher asking me if I'd ever thought about trying to market my book online.  (Let that one sink in for a minute...)  After assuring the caller that what I was about to say was not directed at him personally, I allowed rage to take over and told him exactly how I felt about his phone call and then hung up on him.

So something tells me I might have a few issues that I still need to work through. :)


  1. You might be right about there still being a couple of tiny little issues . . . ;-)

    1. You know what they say; the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem... ;D

  2. oh wow, I am so sorry about that idiot-ish call from your publisher. He should know it all............ sending some positive vibes.

    and yes, admitting you have a problem ist the first step ;) the whole thing played a huge part in your life - so you have all the right in the world to not be fully over with it yet... and put all the anger on your publisher too :P

    On a side note, I feel somewhat "compelled" to say: I am doing sooooo good on the "having an average year with doing 60%"-resolution...
    2 questions come up: 1. Can I keep that for the rest of the year at such a rather good outcome??? 2. Where could I be if I would've known all this 15 years ago o.0 ??? (Of course 2nd question will be reasoned only by the end of this year and it's full outcome)

    Annie Sasha

    1. It feels kinda weird to say: "Hey I sucked for a 50% of what I planned to do!" and make it sound like that is something great ... LOL ... but hey, no matter how slow or what - as long as there is movement, one does lap everyone on the couch. ;)


    2. The conversation was a little more complicated than I let on; I didn’t really tear into him until he started pushing with things like, “What were your goals for this book?”, as if I hadn’t done anything to try to sell it. Considering those Jake blogs were practically full-time jobs, that I worked for years with no pay, I guess I still have a few unresolved feelings about how disappointing it was that more people didn’t repay my labor by buying a goddamn book.

      But I really am over it! :D I have a similar reaction any time I think someone is implying I’m not working hard enough…maybe I should put in a 60% effort toward not taking everything so damn personally! :D

      Anyway…I love that the 60% approach is working for you!!! I’ve had a little more trouble actually following through. I tend to be an “all or nothing” sort of person, so it’s taking some work for me to try to approach things differently! That said, it’s been a pretty productive 2013 so far. Maybe this year is going to turn out to be awesome after all! :)

      Please keep me informed with updates on how it's going for you...and YES, we’re definitely lapping the people on the couch!!!

    3. I promise if I ever win BIG!!! time in the lottery I will buy a full truck of your book :) you def deserve it.

      I feel so bad now ... but maybe I am just a lazy ass anyway and I was always trying to be someone I am not *shrugs*

      Sounds like you are on to something with this year - can you hear me chear??? :) Let me know if I need to be any louder - or send some sweets to keep you on your toes :D

      Annie Sasha

    4. Aww, thank you, Sasha!!! You're awesome! And I'm cheering you on just as hard as you're cheering me. :D Here's to a productive 2013!!!!

  3. Well I cant remember what I said in that email but I'll take that as a compliment Becky :)

    The publisher needs a smack in the head..

    As for the book though, I still think its legendary and I love love love my personalised copy :)

    1. Sam, it was an awesome e-mail, and so were the ones before it and after it. :) I can’t BELIEVE how long and in-depth our e-mails were back then!!! You and I must have both had more time on our hands than we do now. :D (And I’m so, so glad we did!! I’d forgotten how much I relied on you during that whole era of my life. :))

  4. Just one thing: You actually wrote the book (and I bought and read it).

    The thing is, you might not have seen the bigger picture when you were writing it. My problem is that I did think of the bigger picture (though I have no clue how big the picture really is) and it stopped me from writing the book. And now I don't have to anymore, cause you did it.

    Me, same story, different details like different idol and a few different choices, but ultimately the same.

    And the challenge you once set on describing your book: "It's about online fandom and everything that can come from it."
    Am I close?

    1. First of all, a huge thank you for buying a copy and reading it! And secondly, thank you for reading this and commenting. :)

      You know, it's interesting because it's only been out for two and a half years, and yet I don't think that at any point in my adult life so far, I've had a two-and-a-half-year period that was more full of change. The last time I read the book was about a year ago, and when I read it then, I sometimes cringed and sometimes was astonished by what I read. I'm sure those emotions would only be heightened now that another year has gone by...

      So yes, it is absolutely about online fandom and all that encompasses it. And I think it's also about being in your mid-twenties in general. I can read it now almost as an allegory, with Jake representing The Ideal. Not even necessarily the ideal male (although that's an obvious one), but just any ideal in life. Because isn't that what we're all seeking during those first years when we're truly out on our own and defining who we are as individuals, outside the confines of school or the family that raised us? We're looking for *something*...and it's hard work, and sometimes it's disappointing, but what we get along the way turns out to be life.

      That's probably way deeper than most people would dig into it while reading...but then again, I hope you can forgive me for overanalyzing my own book. ;)