My trainer likes to ask me, “Are you feeling great?” and I always growl something cranky in response because no, I am not feeling great. I am probably feeling gross. She also likes to say, “You’re going to feel great when it’s over.” I hear this from lots of people and I tend to wonder what the hell they are talking about. I feel sore and sweaty and tired after the gym. I actively yearn, during workouts, for a diet cherry pepsi and sitting very still for as long as possible whilst watching Law & Order SVU. Yes, it seems to be working but I’m not a happy gym person. Don’t make me be one. Showing up should be enough.
Sometimes, I think very mean things about my trainer. I just get so irate in my head. Like, YOU DO THESE STEPS OVER AND OVER. But she’s hot and thin and doesn’t need to do steps until her thighs burn.
The struggle is real.
Today, the publishing gossip is that Lena Dunham is shopping a book proposal and her agency is offering the project for a minimum of $1 million. That’s great, I guess, to have it like that. I wouldn’t mind having it like that. It’s also a little dispiriting, right? I mean, it’s okay to say that, isn’t it? It’s not that the book exists or that it will sell or that it will make a lot of money. I understand how publishing works and have no problem with the success of other writers. It’s just hard to cut away the tendrils of envy, not envy for the money, but for the book and how easy it sometimes seems [nothing is as easy as it seems] when you’re on the outside looking in.
Best American Short Stories is out today and it includes my story “North Country,” and this is probably the most exciting writing thing that has ever happened to me. I am grateful.
Sometimes, when a famous writer says something annoying about gender, I get so tired. It is particularly frustrating when it’s a writer with a lot of visibility, with a platform that could be used to create good or change. Just once, I’d like these writers to take a real stand, to stop equivocating, to just say yes, this problem is real, and the people talking about the problem have reasonable grounds for their frustration. It’s really not that hard.