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Old 02-20-07, 12:49 AM   #1
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Should I write a book?

Hi Foo people...I've been in the roadie and training threads for awhile and just discovered you all. I've been trying to acquaint myself with the Foo world and I'm guessing by the threads that pretty much anything goes here, SO- I have a question and I thought this might be a good group to ask....(see title).

I recently found a journal I used to keep in college about the daily escapades I had in hot pursuit to get and keep a nice boyfriend. I think there are two types of girls at that age, ones that want a boyfriend and usually get treated poorly as they will do anything for "their man" and subsequently get walked all over and the others who are very confident, take no BS and keep the boys guessing. Unfortunately I was the former.

I was a very young, naive, 17 year old virgin when I went away to school whose parents were EXTREMELY overprotective, so I had little experience with dating. I was very detailed in my journal about my daily trials and tribulations and thought maybe a "Girlfriends Guide of What Not To Do in Dating" might be an interesting read if I included all the tales interjected with some future "more sensible older person" perspective. The escapades include putting myself in precarious and dangerous positions where very bad things COULD have happened, some relatively rough things that did happen, and ultimately led me through finding a good one and losing the "innocence" a couple years later, of course he turned out to be a rat later on.

It was a page turner for me because I lived it and didn't remember most of it, not sure about anyone else? Was wondering if there might be an audience of similarly naive young girls that might read it and see themselves and perhaps avoid the pitfalls (of course now they are probably 13-14 yrs old!). Your thoughts? (Please be kind!)

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Old 02-20-07, 12:56 AM   #2
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As a professional non-fiction writer, all I can say is that if you really lived it, you can write about it. Any subject. Any era. Just so long as you know the subject inside and out.
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Old 02-20-07, 01:08 AM   #3
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Hello, race newbie. Welcome to Foo.

I have no idea what the reading tastes of teenage girls are. But as Big Paulie suggests, good writers can make almost any topic interesting.

Perhaps you test the market by writing a few short articles and shop them around with periodicals? If that goes well, expand it into a book.
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Old 02-20-07, 01:10 AM   #4
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Go for it! It has the makings of a good book! Just include a chapter called "All Men Are Pigs"! That is what I tell my daughter!
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Old 02-20-07, 01:12 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Paulie
As a professional non-fiction writer, all I can say is that if you really lived it, you can write about it. Any subject. Any era. Just so long as you know the subject inside and out.
Thanks Big Paulie. Those years were the formation of who I have become today in many ways, so I definately feel in touch with the subject matter! I guess I was more curious if there might be a market/interest for it? I don't have a lot of free time and wouldn't want to write something that no one would be interested in publishing or reading. I was thinking it would be a good gift to give a younger girl heading off to college herself or these days maybe entering high school.
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Old 02-20-07, 01:21 AM   #6
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Thanks Velo Vol. Not sure if you've seen Sex and the City, perhaps a short article type story like Carrie does might work? Kind of in the brainstorming phase here!

PATH, I didn't have an older sister so I had to learn that the hard way! Took me YEARS to finally prove that wrong.
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Old 02-20-07, 01:25 AM   #7
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Don't get too hung up on a specific market when writing a book. It it's good, then a publisher will find a way to sell it. You have to write it for yourself. Publishers are really put off by "new" writers who try to butt into demographics.

Magazine wiring is a bit different, as you have to have a good feeling for a specific publication when you write for them. An article for Seventeen would be crafted differently than an article for Cosmopolitan. I mention magazines, because your story feels like it could be a nice piece for a lot of publications. I don't mean to diminish what you are hopefully going to write, just pointing out that often times a story can be told best in a magazine format.

The main thing is to not think it through too much. Just start writing with a point of view and a clear voice.
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Old 02-20-07, 01:28 AM   #8
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race newbie, I was a college age boy at one time and the biological imperative was always foremost in my thoughts. I have informed my daughter the need for males to "sow" their wild oats as it were. I have also told her that young lads will lie, cheat, steal, and do all sort of dreadful things to satisfy the hormonal urges.

Men value most that which is damn near impossible to obtain!
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Old 02-20-07, 05:50 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by race newbie
...
I recently found a journal I used to keep in college about the daily escapades I had in hot pursuit to get and keep a nice boyfriend. I think there are two types of girls at that age, ones that want a boyfriend and usually get treated poorly as they will do anything for "their man" and subsequently get walked all over and the others who are very confident, take no BS and keep the boys guessing. Unfortunately I was the former.

I was a very young, naive, 17 year old virgin when I went away to school whose parents were EXTREMELY overprotective, so I had little experience with dating. I was very detailed in my journal about my daily trials and tribulations and thought maybe a "Girlfriends Guide of What Not To Do in Dating" might be an interesting read if I included all the tales interjected with some future "more sensible older person" perspective. The escapades include putting myself in precarious and dangerous positions where very bad things COULD have happened, some relatively rough things that did happen, and ultimately led me through finding a good one and losing the "innocence" a couple years later, of course he turned out to be a rat later on.
...
Personally, I'd be very interested in reading your journal! Have you read "The Rules" by Ellen Fein? It might ring in harmony with your journal and experience.

I'm actually contemplating co-authoring a book with one of my friends along the lines of "Women - conflicts of sex, intimacy or love". It's going to be on ideas about how to distinguish and separate sex, love & intimacy and recognizing that the strategies women use to get each of those are different and unique; what it takes to get each is different than the other. Also ideas on how "overprotective" factors in women's development and growth puts them at a disadvantage relative to their peers. Which dovetails into sociological factors governing various double-standards in the mating-game. Ahh... so much fun!
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Old 02-20-07, 06:42 AM   #10
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Yea write it for sure! It could be like 'The Diary of Adrian Mole' meets 'The Game'.
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Old 02-20-07, 07:45 AM   #11
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Sounds like Judy Blume giving advice on dating. No offense to you but that is what most may see it as. With that being said.........could be a hit or not. You can never predict what people will buy. I have seen things that you thought would not sale that sold like hot cakes in winter weather. Then things that were a slam dunk that sat there. Go figure.
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Old 02-20-07, 08:09 AM   #12
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I guess I better get started on an encyclopedia.




just kidding, hi
I have two teanager girls, they like to read about things like this, one of them is reading right now about this girl true journal who tried drugs and basically lost everything from getting hooked.
You idea could be good!
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Old 02-20-07, 09:13 AM   #13
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I was a skinny 17 yr old virgin when I left for college also. I started lifting weights and discovered beer my Freshman year. My book would be very short.
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Old 02-20-07, 09:24 AM   #14
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Write it for yourself first. You care most about your own story, so make it great for you. You can always find an audience later.
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Old 02-20-07, 01:28 PM   #15
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Thanks for your thoughts everyone!

Danno, I haven't read "The Rules" but I have heard of them. Your idea sounds interesting. In college about 12 of us, half men and half women sat around a lot and talked about those things for all the good it did me! Very different perspectives between the sexes! Of course I was talking to the hormonally driven males that PATH mentioned, so I'm sure things have changed!

BDG, thanks for the teenage girl perspective, if yours are in to that kind of subject matter perhaps this might be of interest as well.

Big P, I like the Seventeen idea. If you were me would you write an article and then try and connect with them or pitch the idea to see if there was interest first. I've seen Atoosa Rubenstein on TV (the Editor-in-Chief) would you recommend I go directly to her?

Msheron..."Are you there God it's me Margaret" ala Judy Blume was all the pre-teens favorite book when I was young! "I must, I must, I must increase my bust!" I'd only hope to be as successful!

Think I'll start working on it and see what happens!

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Old 02-20-07, 01:47 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by race newbie
Danno, I haven't read "The Rules" but I have heard of them. You idea sounds interesting. In college about 12 of us, half men and half women sat around a lot and talked about those things for all the good it did me! Very different perspectives between the sexes! Of course I was talking to the hormonally driven males that PATH mentioned, so I'm sure things have changed!
"The Rules" are practiced on an innate, automatic and subconcious level by hotties who've been dating since they're 12. They've learned it through trial-and-error and practice. Late bloomers need to learn this on an intentional level later on and that book is a great tool for catching up.

Actually men have not changed much since the beginning of time. Just recognizing that simple fact alone will give most women great empowerment in their dating.
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Old 02-20-07, 03:11 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by blonduathlongrl
I guess I better get started on an encyclopedia.




just kidding, hi
I have two teanager girls, they like to read about things like this, one of them is reading right now about this girl true journal who tried drugs and basically lost everything from getting hooked.
You idea could be good!
"Go Ask Alice" by any chance? I read that when I was probably 14 or so. It was definitely a (for lack of better words) F'ed up book.

race newbie I say go for it. I think journal type books work well if it's a fresh, new, never been done before and exciting idea like, "On the Road" for example but if your life has already been written then it won't work so you may think about writing it not as a journal per se but in some other context possibly 3rd person.
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Old 02-20-07, 09:18 PM   #18
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Big P, I like the Seventeen idea. If you were me would you write an article and then try and connect with them or pitch the idea to see if there was interest first. I've seen Atoosa Rubenstein on TV (the Editor-in-Chief) would you recommend I go directly to her?
I would start writing the article to see if it has the energy you hope it will have before you contact them. Then write short, direct letter to the editor (use the masthead to choose who to direct that letter to) explaining how you found the diaries and want to retell those experiences some years later. You could include a page or two of your article, but that's not necessary. Again, be brief and to the point. There's no need to sell your idea, just explain how it all came about.

Also, go to a good news stand and go through all the publications directed at young women. Take your time and study them. You want to find a magazine that carries features along the same lines as yours. (Real Simple might be a good one to look at.) And, do this at a news stand, not on-line. There is a lot of information in the actual magazines that the on-line sites don't have.

When you sit down to write, give your original journal entries a lot of weight. You wrote them to yourself, for yourself...and in the moment. Those words are sacred, and can never be replicated now. Even if they are callow and embarassing, they should remain, as they are the documentation of a young woman's journey. Maybe use the actual entries, and then comment on them from your perspective today.

Also, watch Ugly Betty! It's not as exaggerated as it seems!!!
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Old 02-21-07, 08:24 AM   #19
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Not sure if your idea will sell or not. Sounds like it might if well written.

You might want to stay away from calling it a "Girlfriend's Guide" though. I think that franchise is already taken. Do a search on that and Vicky Iovine.
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