A Non-Stalkerish Homage to ‘The Bloggess’

Stalker alert:

This post is dressed up as a homage to a fellow writer and blogger when really it’s bordering on weirdness *pulls stealthy mac and hat disguise combo together whilst she sits outside her object of appreciation’s home*

Jenny Lawson

For those of you who have not encountered Jenny Lawson, aka ‘The Bloggess’, where have you been? Possibly nursing genteel propensities against profanity and telling it like it is. That’s my blog buggered for your future readership then.

Today I am paying my respects to this woman in a manner that will attempt to be unstalkersish but possibly gushy. I will probably fail.

I discovered Jenny Lawson when I was considering writing a novel about a woman’s experiences with depression. I thought that it may be gloomy to read because, duh, it’s about depression.

Sure there are writers who do it well. Sylvia Plath I’m looking at you, kind of, in your grave… *attempts to not be creepy  are now well and truly blown* However, it’s bad enough going through the crappiness of depression and anxiety, without dragging everyone else down with you.

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Then I read Furiously Happy.

That was my ‘aha’ moment. Not Aha of ‘Take on Me’ fame, although that video is still pretty cool and I am jealous of the woman on the other side of the mirror in how she achieves that ‘Phantom of the Opera’ style walking through mirrors business. As usual, I digress.

Furiously Happy showed me that mental illness and being an oddball can be entertaining and of value.

So I had a moment where I realised I could write a novel about depression and, shockingly, it could be funny and honest. Jenny (I’ll use her first name now in a ‘not strange at all,  I feel like I know her’ manner) showed me that we can make choices about how we approach this sad and sorry business.

Sure, there are the truly dark days where the duvet is your friend. But there are also days when you say ‘Up yours’ to the illness and just mock it, attack it and be inappropriate about it. This is how you gain a semblance of control.

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This approach may seem vulgar to some but everyone copes and communicates in their own way.

From also reading Pretend This Never Happened and following Jenny’s blog, The Bloggess I found a kindred spirit.

I really am bordering on a fixation now aren’t I? Note to self: halt the fan fiction, call off the P.I. and stop rooting through her bins. Lay low for a month and then it is back ON.

I previously struggled as a woman who thinks she should be good and proper (I’m a psychiatrist’s dream), but harbours a mouthy, sweary and largely inappropriate being inside, with how to pitch my blog and my novel.

I’d just started writing both and I was preoccupied with the delicate Dorises who would be shocked when I dropped  the occasional ‘arse’ or ‘cockwomble’ in as description. I’ve come to realise they’re not my audience. As you can tell, I don’t give a f**k now. Okay maybe a little…

Let’s be clear, I’m not nicking Jenny’s writing style. Possibly a little when I first began but all writers do it in the beginning stages don’t they?

I found myself writing about my experiences of growing up surrounded by stuffed racoons and how my husband Victor did not always understand my gibberish. The husband, who is most certainly not called Victor, had some questions, as did my dad who is a lover of living, breathing animals as opposed to those who have been down the taxidermy path.

So I moved on and learnt from Jenny and other writers that you have to find your own unique voice.

I look forward to posts from ‘The Bloggess’ because her writing conveys someone I think I could relate to over a cup of coffee, if only she would answer my messages *my stalker senses are tingling*.

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Being honest about mental illness

‘The Bloggess’ showed me that I can be me and if someone does not like that, they’re not part of my freaky clan anyway.

When I decided to be honest and write a post about depression returning, called The Enemy Strikes Back, I felt more secure in knowing that other bloggers and writers with mental illnesses, such as Jenny, had paved the way for me. I decided that if they could find the courage to do that, then so could I.

I received an overwhelming amount of responses to this post, of support, encouragement and gratitude. Thanks Jenny, and Abbie from Sidereal Catalyst, to name but two bloggers, for inspiring me to be able to do this.

For the love of cats

It probably hasn’t escaped your notice that I now have the World’s Cutest Kitten ™ named Feegle. The lines between Jenny and I may be blurring now with the addition of writer’s cat.

It’s possible that I could be more of a fan of Ferris Mewler, Hunter S. Thomcat and Rolly than ‘The Bloggess’. Darn her and her gratuitous use of felines in her writing. I’d never do anything like that * sheepishly remembers Kitty, Cat, Moggy, Feline Fest and Lessons in ‘Kitten*

IMAG0332 - CopyJenny Lawson/ ‘The Bloggess’, I thank you.

Thank you for brightening the shittiest of days with your shenanigans.

Thank you for showing the world and me that mental illness is part of life’s rich, and literally mental, tapestry.

Thank you for opening my eyes to the revelation that the addition of a cat makes life great.

Thank you for writing so honestly about dodgy brain chemistry and scraping yourself off the ceiling level anxiety so it felt, almost, ‘normal’ (whatever that is).

More than all this, thank you for hopefully not taking out an injunction or consulting your lawyers at this early stage of my ‘appreciation’. I’ll lay off calling myself your Number 1 fan as I’m sure you value your legs and it’s not at all sinister to reference Misery as a finishing note.

P.S. Hey lovely readers, help a weird woman out here and share who the objects of your inspiration or appreciation are and why (writers/bloggers or not). I can’t be the only one. Can I?

About Lisa Sell

Lisa Sell is a fiction writer and blogger. When not wrestling with words she can be found showing the love for chocolate, cheese, coffee, the cat, and the Husband. Not particularly in that order.

27 comments on “A Non-Stalkerish Homage to ‘The Bloggess’

  1. I do believe I **sort of** harassed you – when I first found your blog. 😳 Any harassment was purely out of love and admiration of you and your lovely blog. Your darling husband would not let me be the president of your fan club. 😭 I had to step back- although ever so slightly- so he wouldn’t call the authorities on me! 😁😁 😘😘

  2. Ha ha! I remember the wrangle to be chief cheerleader! I’m always happy to be harassed and adored, particularly by someone who has such a fab blog. I feel there’s a lot of love going on right here. Stall away my friend and I’ll do likewise for you!

  3. My current object of admiration is Reni at Eden’s Corner b/c her blunt approach to calling out everyone from pharmaceutical companies to PR madmen inspires me not to hold back in speaking about injustices. Heading over there now to check up on her….;-)-

  4. I follow her blog as well as yours. I guess you could say I am stalking you both. Not so much for style, but to branch out in my own ideas. Thank you.

  5. I can’t say that I’m stalking anyone at the moment, although it’s not beyond me. However, I am a huge fan of Jen Snyder because of her caring, helpful, and heart-centered approach to her business. I want to emulate that in mine.

    1. She’s been so helpful to people in general. It’s great to be part of a Facebook group run by someone who isn’t about self-interest. We can be her fans/stalkers!

    1. So I can breathe now and not keep checking my emails for lawsuits? Thanks so much for reading and commenting on this. I’m off to light candles on my Bloggess altar…

  6. Hi Lisa!

    I attended the Texas Style Council in Austin a couple years ago and Jenny Lawson was one of the key speakers at the event. There was such a buzz about her and it was really fun to hear her blogging journey and stories. I can understand why you are such a fan 🙂

    xo Gennifer
    http://www.GenniferRose.com

  7. I love the honest style of Jenny Lawson. For me, I obsess over Enid Blyton’s writing. I love her stories growing up and even now (totally not embarrassed). So its nice to know I’m not the only author stalker on the planet 😉 I just stumbled your post (it’s a great read)!

    1. Thanks Anne! I’m pleased you enjoyed it. Nothing wrong at all with still loving your childhood favourites. I’m still partial to C. S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia. Loved them as a child, still love to read them now.

    1. Absolutely agree. It’s something writers have to figure out over time as there are a lot of rejections in this gig! Thanks for reading and commenting

  8. What a great post!
    I love that you’re writing about mental illness especially depression in a different perspective and I agree with what you said that,we make choices on how to approach a sad fact.

    I’d be looking forward for your work. 😉
    Keep it up and good luck.

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