About two years ago, I started exploring the possibility of turning this little blog into a book. I was coming off 2 freshly-pressed posts and a slew of new subscribers. It was both fashionable and marketable to be a single, 20-something, broke female and I was a single, unemployed, 20-something female. The timing seemed right and the iron seemed hot, so I thought, now’s the time to strike.
And thus began the self-pimping.
I tried everything, even stuffing my calling card into Sloane Crosley’s hand at a cocktail party for athletes (she was dating an Olympic speed skater who was friend of a friend at the time, and I was the only person in the room who knew her at sight). I didn’t really expect that to get me anywhere, so I met with a writing coach. I must have sold him, because in an uncharacteristic move, he put me in touch with his editor after our first meeting.
Bam! Was this really happening? Was I officially on my way to being the next blog-to-book phenom?
I quickly beefed up a few of my better posts and started to throw together a pitch. But as I sat there working out the plot-line that would drive my collection of essays, I hit a road block: what was my ending? I had a premise, but what was going to be the punchline of “They Told Me to Find a Rich Husband?”
Should I end with a relationship? With a rich man? With a poor, struggling academic? With the next Damien Hirst? But, I wasn’t dating anyone… like, I couldn’t even use artistic license.
Since I so often talked about the difficulty of finding a job in the contemporary art market, does it have to end with my finding a job? Maybe starting my own gallery? And that perfect piece of real estate? And free health insurance? I was still several months away from getting hired.
Or could it end with me as I was — still in limbo?
If that was my ending, what was going to be the moral of my story?
This is the challenge a lot of bloggers who want to become professional writers forget — a book, even a collection of essays, moves in some direction towards some kind of conclusion. Blogs are amorphous, moving in any direction we want them to go. Thematic, yes, but endless. Now, a book’s conclusion can be relatively inconclusive, but still, there still should be some kind of moral.
At the time I decided my moral would be: it’s okay if you don’t meet the world’s expectations for you, because times are rough, your 20s are uncertain, and eventually, you’ll hit your stride.
And then I decided that was lame.
So I shelved the manuscript and decided I needed to gather more material.
Luckily, a lot of life happens in a short period of time. Last week, as I toasted and thanked my staff, my friends, my family, and my boyfriend at my gallery’s opening, I felt it might just be time to revive They Told Me to Find a Rich Husband, the book. Somewhere in all the hullabaloo of the last two years, I had found the topic for my concluding essay.
But don’t worry. I’m no Disney princess. I’ll keep it real.