About the Book
Genre: Non-Fiction, Humor
Release Date: July 5, 2016
Synopsis from Goodreads:
You'd probably know a "fangirl" when you see one, but the majority stay relatively closeted due to the stigma of being obsessed with fictional characters. However, these obsessions are sometimes the fangirl's solutions for managing stress, anxiety, and even low self-esteem. Fangirling is often branded as behavior young women should outgrow and replace with more adult concerns. Written by a proud fangirl, The Fangirl Lifeis a witty testament to the belief that honoring your imagination can be congruous with good mental health, and it's a guide to teach fangirls how to put their passion to use in their own lives.
The Fangirl Life encourages you to use an obsession not as a distraction from the anxieties of life, but rather as a test lab for your own life story:
How can a character girl crush be useful instead of a waste of time?
How can writing fan fiction be a launching point for greater endeavors?
How do you avoid the myths that fictional romance perpetuates?
By showing you how to translate obsession into personal accomplishment while affirming the quirky, endearing qualities of your fangirl nature, The Fangirl Life will help you become your own ultimate fangirl.
Excerpted with permission from THE FANGIRL LIFE by Kathleen Smith, from TarcherPerigee/ Penguin Random House, July 5, 2016. Copyright Kathleen Smith 2016.
Please Reject Me
So we know that you’ve got the skill, but have you got the stomach? Professional success and extreme adulting mean being able to hear the word no and not holing up in your feels bunker. The most marketable skill isn’t a trade or specialized knowledge, it’s the ability to be rejected over and over and still stand up and show up. A few years ago, I decided to go on a failure crusade. It all started when I sent a story idea to a big newspaper, asking them if I could write about my work with therapy clients. They liked the idea, and I sent them the first draft, which was returned with encouraging feedback. I edited and sent in a second draft. And then I never heard from them again, despite many emails.
Eventually, however, I decided that changing the narrative was more effective than huffing and puffing down the newspaper’s headquarters. I couldn’t control their reactions, but I could edit my own story and try harder. This wasn’t a story about me getting rejected from a newspaper. It was a story of me getting better and better at hearing no and surviving. About developing an immunity that would serve me well in my career. My new mission was to get rejected every day by at least one publication. Sure it didn’t feel amazing, but I kept my cool over rejection emails and started composing new pitches. I thanked my rejecters for their quick responses rather than being a snarky crybaby. In a way, I had chosen to jump the shark on my own life. I was taking chances and trying something new, and I couldn’t care less what the critics said.
This book exists because I flipped my laptop open after a long day at work and took the time to try to get rejected by a literary agency. A few days later I was on the bus, stuck in traffic. As I checked my email, my eyes grew anime-size. I jerked the cord for the next stop and exploded out of the bus. I sprinted down the street screeching like a rapid giraffe. In my great rejection quest, I had gotten a yes—all because I had taught myself not to be afraid of a no.
What I want you to understand from this story is that the only no that can really do damage is the one that you give yourself. When you listen to Carl and don’t take the chance to do something brave, you’re risking more than when you throw an idea out or apply for that promotion. A no or yes doesn’t separate conquering fangirls from the ones who stay stuck. It’s the willingness to get that rejection and keep going. There are endless real people stories of those who heard no and kept going. Oprah was told she wasn’t right for television. Lucille Ball was told she was too shy to be an actress. Madonna was working at Dunkin’ Donuts in Times Square. Nobody noticed Jon Hamm or Harrison Ford for many years. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was rejected by publishers twelve times! The lesson here isn’t that people are idiots. It’s that rejection is part of the story, but it doesn’t have to be the end of it.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
KATHLEEN SMITH runs the website FangirlTherapy.com, where she answers questions submitted by fangirls struggling with their obsessions. She's written for websites such as Slate, Lifehacker, HelloGiggles, Bustle, and Thought Catalog. Kathleen is also a licensed therapist and mental health journalist, reporting for publications and sites such as Counseling Today, The Huffington Post, and PsychCentral. An out-and-proud fangirl, she read every Star Wars universe novel then in existence by the time she was 12 years old and was a blogger for the popular website What Would Emma Pillsbury Wear?, where she chronicled a year of not wearing pants, as inspired by the hit show Glee (before it was ruined beyond all recognition). She would never turn down a ticket to Comic-Con. She’s on Twitter @fangirltherapy.
Link to the Book
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