As an aspiring writer, I look to find pieces of myself in successful writers because it helps to fan the flame of hope (or delusion) that if they managed to prosper off of their talent, then maybe I can too. It doesn’t matter how pathetically thin the connective thread is, I will cling to it like my life depends on it…. or at the very least, my sanity.
I’m sure I’m not the only one who does this. Please, tell me I’m not the only one who does this!! I imagine some singers look at Lady Gaga and think that because they both enjoy eating and wearing their dinner entrees, they have a chance of playing Madison Square Garden one day too; Or chefs who believe they can achieve Emeril Lagasse’s level of success because they both use annoying exclamations like “BAM!” at the end of every sentence.
I look to find those little things I can identify with in humor writers like David Sedaris and Jenny Lawson because I
stalk love them. It makes no difference if these commonalities are completely inane or have no correlation with being a writer; I get giddy with excitement when I discover one. Here are two of the most recently uncovered kindred spirit connections….
The similarities between David Sedaris and myself are (sadly) few and far between, except for our past love affair with cigarettes, and our mutual attraction towards gay men; which makes it all the more thrilling when I stumble upon a new one. When his book Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls came out, I raced out and bought it, just like I had with all of his other books. In his first personal essay entitled Dentists Without Borders he talks about the discovery of a lump on his right side that he described as a little deviled egg tucked beneath his skin. I had made a similar discovery on myself, except my mysterious lump was on my back and more closely resembled a small marble – but let’s not split hairs.
Where we diverged was how we handled it. Within twenty minutes of making the discovery, David had assumed the lump was cancerous, called up his doctor, and made an appointment to have it checked out. Whereas I jumped headfirst into denial (for about a year), and assumed that the lump was just another lovely byproduct of turning forty, like moles and chin hair. But our two medical mysteries ultimately intersected at the same diagnosis – a lipoma (a fatty tumor). Gross, but harmless. And even though my little lipoma might someday reach Quasimodo proportions, I grin every time my hand grazes it because I feel like it brings me one step closer to a book deal.
The second recent parallel I discovered was with The Bloggess, Jenny Lawson. In general, I think it’s easier to find things in common with Jenny (over David) because we are both card carrying members of the almighty woman’s club – very exclusive, only half the world’s population is allowed in. And we have at one time or another, used our membership privileges (read that as vaginas) to create a person. Add to that, our mutual affection for cats and the word motherfucker, and it’s like we were separated at birth.
While reading this blog post, I found out that we also have equally dark and twisted offspring. While other little girls dressed up as Disney princesses and over-sexualized superheroes for Halloween, our daughters decided to go the more macabre, Grimm’s fairytale route….
Though I have to admit,The Bloggess really went the extra mile, and had her daughter collect (what I can only assume are) the tiny remains of competing trick-or-treaters in her basket; my daughter, Meghan, only had Laffy Taffy and Skittles in hers. In all fairness though, with Jenny’s long-standing obsession with taxidermy (no really, you NEED to click on that link), she’s got a really big head start into the world of all things creepy as hell. So, it look’s like I’ve got some serious catching up to do if I want to call myself a published author someday.
Who are some of your idols? Do you have anything in common with them?