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Archive for June 7th, 2012

How a zit and two gray hairs led to a bunch of questions … and a book

For the next 23 days, we’ll be taking a little detour from the traditional marketing posts you’ve come to know and love on the Marcie Brock blog as I lead by example and follow my own writing prompts for the Author Blog Challenge. There’s still time to register. Join today and qualify for drawings for daily giveaways for every day that you post.

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Day 6 writing prompt:

Describe how the idea for your book first came to you. Where were you? Who was the first person you told? How did they respond?

It’s interesting how seldom I actually talk about my book in this blog. I suppose it’s because over the years, I’ve spent so much more time on my clients’ books than my own. However, today’s question in the Author Blog Challenge asks specifically about where the idea for my book came from … so since we’re all in for the Challenge, we’ll talk about my book today. Fair enough?

My book, 1,001 Real-Life Questions for Women, had quite the silly start. Let me begin by admitting that this book was a L-O-N-G time in the making.

The time: March 2001
The place: My bathroom

One morning, I got up and looked at my reflection in the mirror as I brushed my teeth. To my horror, I noticed a pimple on the very tip of my nose, the most obvious place possible. No amount of concealer was going to hide this baby – it was there for all the world to see, like a big Rudolphian neon sign at the end of my nose. Bemoaning the fact that at the age of 33, I still got the occasional zit, I looked up at the mirror again, this time to discover, with even more horror, that I also had not one, but two, gray hairs! No way! NO WAY!!! Acne is the curse of the young, and gray hair speaks one word to me: OLD. How ironic! I wasn’t really young anymore, but I certainly was not yet old – and still I had these two antithetical things happening at once. I wondered at that moment how many other women were, that very day, experiencing this same exact age-related concurrence.

I spent that whole day wondering which other women were sharing this or that experience with me.

Who’s stuck in traffic right now?

What other woman fought with her boyfriend today?

Who else thinks their job is b-o-r-i-n-g?

Out of that wondering came other questions about every topic imaginable (and perhaps some that seem unimaginable). And out of those questions came the idea for this book.

I realize it’s not the only book of its kind. But it is, as far as I am aware, the first book of its kind written by a woman and geared specifically toward women. This is not to say that men should not read the book or would have no interest in it. The emphasis, though, lies with the universality – or lack thereof – of the experience of being an American woman in the 21st century. Young or old, rich or poor, beautiful or plain – there are facets of womanhood that unite us all. My goal is to examine these common experiences – and, hopefully, create a safe way to dialogue about them.

How could you know those things? I’ve never told
anybody about some of the things in this book.

— Ruth S., age 75

She wasn’t the first person I told about the book, but she was one of the earliest. And she was the first person to read the whole thing. My friend Ruth was 75 when I met her, a Jewish lady originally from Queens, New York. At the time, I was 35 – had grown up Catholic in Phoenix. Our backgrounds probably couldn’t have been more different. Yet I’ll never forget her response after reading my book. She came to me, put her hand on my shoulder, and whispered, “How could you know those things? I’ve never told anybody about some of the things in this book.”

That was all the validation I needed that I was on the right track. We’re all much more similar than we are different. Our experiences unite us much more than they divide us. And no matter how alone you may have felt in your life experiences, chances are someone else has gone through it, too. Even the “unspeakable” stuff.

More on this book to come…

Laura

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We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

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In honor of our 1-year anniversary (May 2, 2012), we’re hosting the Author Blog Challenge! It starts June 2 and is open to published authors, authors-in-progress, and would-be authors. Come check us out and register today!

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