Felicia Day on Weirdness, Writer’s Block and Women With Swords
5 Questions for the Best-Selling Writer of Embrace Your Weird
Felicia Day’s Embrace Your Weird is now out from Gallery Books.
Who do you most wish would read your book?
My dream would be to send this back to 20-year-old me. So I could give my younger self tools to overcome the blocks that kept my creativity at bay and anxiety firmly in the driver’s seat for so many years. If I’d learned half of the things I share in my book earlier, I know that I would have tried more, created more, failed more, and have been a better creator through all of it.
Other than that, I’d love this to reach people who say they’re not creative. Because it’s my mission in life to do things people say aren’t possible.
How do you tackle writer’s block?
Since this is a BIG part of my book, it’s hard to summarize in one small section here, but changing my mindset from perfectionism to “trash-ism” really helps. Meaning, I allow myself to write terribly to get to the point where I finally work around the block and start having fun again with the work. I think a lot of us have this idea that creative work that isn’t “used” is wasted. But you have to do laps in order to train up to place in the competition. Same with writing. When the glue of writer’s block sticks us in place, the only thing to do is struggle to get out of it with PROCESS. The worst thing to do is sit in the glue, it just makes us more stuck!
Which book(s) do you return to again and again?
I wrote a creativity self-help book because I wouldn’t be here without other works in the genre. If You Want to Write by Brenda Ueland is one of my favorites. It was written in the 1930s and is like sitting down in a cozy chair with a hot chocolate on a cold winter’s night. She affirms so much about the process of creativity, she’s a wonderful emotional cheerleader and my book was definitely inspired by that work.
Other than that, Sophie’s World by Jostein Gaarder is one I revisit every few years. It’s a brilliant mashup of narrative and philosophy that is so deeply layered that I take something new away from it every time I read it.
What was the first book you fell in love with?
I have loved SO many books, but when I was twelve or so I read Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan and that kicked off my lifelong obsession with fantasy. I loved how the characters were best friends, how complex the world was, and how huge the books were. I loved settling in with them for weeks at a time. I would even re-read all the previous ones when a new one came out. Serious dedication. It’s been a big commitment in my life, that series, but all worth it!
Is there a book you wish you had written?
The book Gideon the Ninth by Tasmyn Muir is one I’ve recently drooled over. My dream is to write a book about a kick-ass woman with a sword, and this book exemplifies that genre so much that I suppose I need to find another dream to write about! The world building is so startling and new, there are no comfortable moments, which I love. Surprise awaits around every corner and the characters are nuanced and complicated and, most of all, funny. It’s a fantasy that breaks ground and satisfies all at once. Truly a favorite of mine this year!
Embrace Your Weird by Felicia Day is now available from Gallery Books.