The Gift that Keeps on Giving

The Gift that Keeps on Giving July 28, 2020

A visual representation of me when I think about reading another Rachel Hollis book.

I wasn’t even going to blog this morning, except that I had a whole pile of interesting stuff I forgot to include in my weekly links post yesterday. Halfway through the morning, I realized my failures and stumbled eventually into bed with the intention of waking up, putting them here, and moving on. But Twitter neither slumbers nor sleeps, and so when rosy-fingered dawn came bashing through my window, there was this fantastic announcement:

I had heard of this by the hearing of the ear, and Melanie and I talked about it and a few other things, but I thought for sure it would take weeks and weeks, or better yet months or years for her to sort through everything and rework her manuscript. We can’t all be right, though I hope everything I say here is prescient and useful:

Honestly, I am astonished by the speed with which Ms. Hollis is able to cope with her life. If indeed she endured covid and dispatched the grief of a divorce in a few weeks, that is amazing. Covid is still a thing where I live, and if my husband left me you can bet that I would never get over it. Neither would he, actually, if I didn’t die before he did.

Anyway, the real source of my envy mixed with horror is that I–get this–am still working on a book that first came into the world all the way back in, when was it? 2016? Scratch that, I started writing it in 2015. Then it came out. Then it went away. And here I am still laboring. It’s supposed to be available for real in October. Whereas, Ms. Hollis has done three books in less than three years. Of course, she has a staff, and isn’t homeschooling, and isn’t doing lots of stuff in the church. But neither does she have good editors such as I have–else her books would be much better written and more interesting to read.

Also–and now you’re probably going to think I’m just being mean, but I’m not, I’m really curious about this–why do people get put on the front of their books? Why would a publishing house even agree to that? Why not put a picture of something the book is about on the cover? Or is the book really only and completely about Ms. Hollis? The last two were, so that would make sense. Which leads me to my oft beaten drum that the world needs fewer and better memoirs, and also, not everything has to be about me, and also, monetizing your whole life is a tragic thing to do.

Well, I guess its good that covid has been great for some people. Here are those other links: Last week’s Stand Firm Podcast, Spurious Correlations, and Food in Paintings. And now I really will go back to the work I’m supposed to be doing–finishing that book and complaining about the heat.

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