WBEZ | columns http://www.wbez.org/tags/columns Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en The Jenny Lawson Interview http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2012-12/jenny-lawson-interview-104250 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/cheesecake_1.jpg" style="height: 424px; width: 620px;" title="Jenny Lawson (Photo by the artist)" /></div><p>Today I talk with Jenny Lawson, the proprietress of the beloved and award-winning humor/parenting site <a href="http://thebloggess.com/">The Bloggess</a>, on which she based her bestselling debut book, the darkly funny memoir <a href="http://thebloggess.com/lets-pretend-this-never-happened-a-mostly-true-memoir/"><em>Let&rsquo;s Pretend This Never Happened</em></a><em>.</em></p><p><strong>Tell me about how </strong><a href="https://www.facebook.com/pages/Hamlet-von-Schnitzel/260380777366651"><strong>Hamlet Von Schnitzel</strong></a><strong> the mouse became the cover of your book.</strong><br />I just wanted to see if I could publish a book with a dead rodent on the cover. Turns out, you can.</p><p><strong>I&rsquo;ve read that one of the reasons you started your blog was so that you</strong><strong> could write a book. Did your journey from blogging to</strong><strong> book-publishing go the way you envisioned? What was harder about</strong><strong> book-writing than you anticipated?</strong><br />It was harder to write the book because it was longer than a blog post.</p><p>This is when you start to question why you asked me for an interview.</p><p><strong>How is your novel coming along? Is fiction more of a challenge or a</strong><strong> release when you write so much nonfiction?</strong><br />Actually it&#39;s another memoir, and right now I&#39;m having such writer&#39;s block that it&#39;s more of a small pamphlet.</p><p><strong>I&rsquo;m </strong><a href="http://www.mediabistro.com/Claire-Zulkey-instr334.html"><strong>teaching a course on blogging</strong></a><strong> this winter and was concerned when I learned I&#39;d have to talk about setting revenue goals when starting a blog. Do you think it&rsquo;s possible for a lone person to create a &ldquo;successful&rdquo; blog (either in terms of traffic or revenue) from the get-go, or is it something that has to be discovered and proven over time?</strong><br />I think it&#39;s possible to make money immediately. Like, if you posted a lot of porn maybe.</p><p><strong>What is your process or policy reading </strong><strong>comments and interacting with your readers?</strong><br />I read all the comments but I hardly ever respond to them because I feel a lot of pressure to be clever and I can&#39;t handle it.</p><p><strong>How much do you keep your daughter in mind when you post online? What if anything have you held back in order to ease her future Googling?</strong><br />I never write anything I think could be used against her by bullies as she gets older. It limits me A TON. But she&#39;s worth it.</p><p><strong>Have you ever published anything online that in hindsight you wished you hadn&rsquo;t?&nbsp;</strong><br />I think you always see the flaws in your own writing and at some point you have to just let go and publish. I try to never write anything hurtful so that I won&#39;t ever feel regret. People can say I&#39;m not funny, and that&#39;s fine. But it would bother me if people said I actually hurt their feelings.</p><p><strong>Is &ldquo;mom blog&rdquo; a pejorative term or just a descriptive one to you?</strong><br />Descriptive, although I prefer &quot;parenting blog.&quot; I&#39;m not a fan of the<strong> </strong>term &quot;mommy blog,&quot; though.&nbsp; It seems a bit condescending.</p><p><strong>If you were to change</strong><strong> tack and blog about a completely different topic, what would you make your beat?</strong><br />I&#39;ve written a <a href="http://www.edenfantasys.com/sexis/adult-humor/clown-porn-50791/">sex column</a> and two <a href="http://thestir.cafemom.com/column/ill_advised">advice columns</a> and I enjoyed them, but I think it might be nice to do something more graphic. (Meaning illustrations &mdash; not that other kind of graphic.)</p><p><strong>How often do you experience professional envy? And if you&rsquo;re up for it,</strong><strong> who is someone you experienced it towards lately?</strong><br />As often as the next person, I suppose. It&#39;s hard to see people who writing comes to so easily. It takes me so long and I labor over every sentence. People like Stephen King &mdash; who are so prolific and talented &mdash; can make me a little frustrated as a writer.</p><p><strong>How does it feel to be the 334<sup>th</sup> person interviewed for Zulkey.com/WBEZ?</strong><br />Blessed, happy and little bit gassy.</p></p> Fri, 07 Dec 2012 10:26:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2012-12/jenny-lawson-interview-104250