When I was an isolated, depressed Brooklynite mother of two babies (who couldn’t read) blogging was magical. It was my sanctuary. I’d sit at my computer for hours, usually with a little Miller nugget on my lap, and confess my TROOF. This went on for years. I struggled oh so publicly with my anxieties, doubts, resentments, not to mention all my anxieties about sharing my innermost anxieties. Sometimes I was LOL funny. Other times I was a tedious, whiny bore. I was at my best when I was fuming mad.

back when she couldn’t read…

Now I’m actually doing myself a disservice as an author by not blogging, but the thing is, well for one, my kids can read. So can their friends and frenemies. Can’t chronicle their exploits anymore! For another, as a fitness instructor, I know way more people now, so my audience—the one in my head that I write to—is vastly larger and far more various than whatever I imagined back in 2004 when I started—most likely one imaginary person who thought I. was. AMAZING.

And another thing! The internet is a cacophony of mostly useless, irrelevant and unnecessary information. I don’t want to add to it. I’d rather not write anything than write simply for the sake of pimping myself. Clearly I’m not and never have been a good salesperson. Which is why I’m an artist and not a marketing or PR whiz. I suck at self-promotion. It makes me feel dirty.

Why do I write at all? To make authentic connections. The best moments of my blogging days were reading comments by friends and strangers—some of whom became friends through my blogging—comments that said, “I totally relate!” That’s a gross paraphrase, but you get it. People thanked me for articulating what they felt but couldn’t describe. Some called me brave. To my face. Behind my back they probably called me crazy. My father pronounced it a compulsion. My SHARING. And maybe it is. But whatever. WHATEVER. I write about him too.

I should be blogging all the time. Writing and submitting essays. Getting my name out there. But right now, any essay I write would look like this:

Hi, I’m Elise. DON’T read my book. Don’t follow me. Don’t fucking bother. The truth is I probably wouldn’t follow you. I would rather nap. There’s so much bullshit out there it makes my eyes bleed.

I’ve come to believe that people who are good at selling and promoting themselves are salespeople, not artists, which YES makes me feel better than them, in my farty obscurity. I have read the books of XXXXX who is huge at promoting her big fat brand. What will she be remembered for? Being rich? Selling flaccid piles of manure? But she’s SO GOOD at it. The first thousand Amazon reviews she has gush praise. Readers are creaming in their Gap leggings over her. But keep scrolling down. There. No, THERE. This particular truthful review charges that the author cribbed characters and plot lines for her umpteenth novel from an episode of 30 Rock. Why? To furnish her country house?

Why is it a liability in this world to have some fucking integrity? To do nothing for a while until there’s actually something in there worth sharing? Why do so few people have any integrity? Because we’re all whores for the empty value of approval, fame and money? (And do I really not care about those things?)

I wrote my latest book because I had a crush on my back doctor, I read Twilight and 50 Shades, and knew I could write better on the theme of infatuation, which was the theme of my entire childhood and adolescence, so I consider myself an expert. Forty drafts later it’s a completely different book. There is still a hot back doctor though, because of course there is.

I wrote my latest book because I had written a first novel. I wrote a first novel because my non-fiction wasn’t selling. And I joined a chick-lit writing group. And I discovered I could actually write a novel. A decent one worthy of representation, and a bidding war between publishers. A movie option. One thing led to another and here I am. But now I find myself in a world full of irrelevant noise. And I don’t really suffer from adolescent crushes anymore. I’ve outgrown my own genre. My cage. And the freedom is confusing. Paralyzing. But yes, a little exciting too. I will give you that.

I work hard in life to be authentic, to have integrity, to be so truthful you either hate me, resent me, or connect fully from your heart, gut and loins. So if you like my shit, read my shit. If you hate it, I get it.

I used to have crippling crushes on assholes so I wrote about it. That’s the nucleus of this thing. And I make fun of modern life—the stupidity of us all. Take it for what it’s worth but no more. Don’t waste your time. It’s too precious. My kids taught me that.

xxx