We Are All Going to be Okay
Today, tomorrow, for the next while, people are going to exhaust themselves as they worry about Lena Dunham’s incredible book deal.
1. This is reality. This is the business. This is not the end of the world. This is is actually just one of many such deals. There will be another and another and another until the end of time. We’re talking about this deal because it is the exception, not the rule. Save yourself the ulcer and let it go.
2. It’s okay to be jealous or envious so long as you get over it.
3. The time you’re spending stressing about Dunham you could spend writing, revising, reading, having sex, drinking, working, watching TV, whatever.
4. If you want to give me $3.5 million or more, I will make it worth your while in very creative ways. I will also write you one hell of a book. Or 35 books, most of which will be pretty good.
5. Yes, I am fucking jealous as hell but jealousy isn’t even the word. I don’t do what Dunham does. I write dirty realist fiction and popular culture and book criticism. There’s no comparison there. I don’t care about this particular book. I’ll read it. I might enjoy it. I don’t begrudge the book, the writer, or the deal. It’s all about me, really, sort of wondering, hey, when’s it my turn? When’s it the turn of all my awesome friends? This lamentation won’t keep me from keeping on, though. I have shit to do. And so do you.
6. Does anyone really deserve or not deserve a book deal? This isn’t about deserving, is it? Let’s not frame the conversation that way. These are kind of high class problems.
7. Can you imagine the stress of having to earn out that kind of advance? No thanks.
8. I don’t even know.
9. What is the appropriate age when one is worthy of giving advice? 30? 40? 50? Older yet? This is a really arbitrary thing. Advice isn’t always about age. It’s about experience or cachet or who knows what, so yes, a young woman in her mid-twenties is writing an advice book.
9a. Though as someone in her late thirties, I cannot help but think, ORLY?
10. Still, girl power, right? It’s pretty cool that a young woman can command this kind of deal.
10a. It would be even cooler if Issa Rae could command such a deal, too.
11. Life is hard. As my friend Tayari says, the struggle is real.