Like the Tour of Italy at Olive Garden, Except Less Caloric and More Write-y (#mywritingprocess)

The title of today’s post is mostly obnoxious and misleading, as it has nothing to do with Olive Garden’s delightful (OMG my big Italian family will have me off-ed if they ever find out that I just described something at OG as “delightful”) chicken-lasagna-Alfredo dish the Tour of Italy. But it does have everything to do with the fact that I’m participating in the #mywritingprocess blog tour, which has the word “tour” in it… so yeah.

The tour torch (tourch?!) was passed to me by the brilliant Ross Murray, whom I like to think of as David Sedaris except straight, Canadian, and with offspring. I actually have to pay attention when I read Ross’ stuff, because the humor is that good and sneaky and true.

Sometimes I kick babies things and eat gallons of ice cream out of frustration with my occasional fear that I’m lame and nothing I ever write is even remotely funny, but then Ross will comment on a post of mine and I’ll be like, “Okay, well if he’s still here, I can’t suck that bad.” (Either that or I’ve just become a habit.)

Ross answered the following #mywritingprocess questions last week, and now it’s my turn!

1. What am I working on?

So last year I wrote a book about my life and then spent a few months querying it and then some literary agents requested it and then they spent a few months reading it and then a couple of them rejected it and it was probably because I use “and then” in a run-on sentence-y kind of way far too often—and so I’m working on doing that less (starting now). I’m also taking all the agent feedback I’ve received (much of which was really insightful and definitely made me feel like the universe blessed me with a free professional critiquing service) and revising/editing/perfecting.

Aside from the ongoing book saga, I’m also working on figuring out where to go with this blog and how to make it take over the world. Lastly, because I’m an overachiever, I’m working hard on crafting a good tweet for later this week that I’m hopeful will net me two or so new followers.

2. How does my work differ from others in its genre?

My voice, I guess? I mean, it’s all like, mine and shit. Also, I’d say my work is more “I’m an occasional hot mess who contradicts himself often” and less “I have everything figured out” than others in the memoir game. Oh, and it’s probably riddled with more casual Mariah Carey/Clueless/Jim Carrey/penis references than any other author’s work ever. Why I haven’t won a Pulitzer yet is beyond me.

3. Why do I write what I do?

I’ve always been great at talking about myself, and so yes, you could say I’ve always been a narcissist. I’ve also always been great at writing. So one day I combined these skills and later found out that what I was doing was called “memoir.”

Why humor? Because it’s fun, and I like fun. But don’t get it twisted; my book has plenty of surprisingly dark, serious moments – they just don’t last very long because every time I write dark I eventually get to a place where I’m like, “Wait. I really want to insert a footnote about how what I just wrote is eerily similar to that scene in Friends where Monica got stung by a jellyfish and Joey had to pee on her leg because she ‘couldn’t bend that way.’ Can I go back to being funny now?”

Yes, Nic. You can.

4. How does my writing process work?

Usually there’s a lot of meditating, going to the gym, cleaning my apartment, playing the guitar, calling my mom, drinking wine, and watching the OWN Network that goes on first before I ever sit my ass down and write. Then I finally sit my ass down and write. Then I treat my Word document as if it’s my best friend/therapist and it feels awesome and I’m just like, “Jesus, why do I always procrastinate doing something I love so damn much? Am I self-sabotage-y? Am I a hazard to myself? Am I my own worst enemy? DON’T LET ME GET ME!

Okay. Before my descent into early 2000s P!nk lyrics goes any further, I think it’s time to pass the tourch (!) to someone else.

And I nominate…



Ekgo is one of my favorites in the blogosphere. She lives in one of my dream locations (amongst mountains), grows garlic, and sometimes offends people. We found each other via our mutual hero the Bloggess, and I think that says it all.

Much like how Ross can make me get over the occasional “I’M NOT FUNNY AND I SUCK MORE THAN MONICA LEWINS…A VACUUM“ spiral, Ekgo too will show up in the comments with something so ridiculously hilarious and outlandish that I have to laugh and say to myself, “YES. Ekgo gets it.”

And then I’ll keep scrolling and be like, “…and so do ALL of these other incredible readers!” So if you’re reading this, thank you. Seriously. I love you all and would hand out 1,463 tourches (You get a tourch! YOU GET A TOURCH!) if I could.



  1. Chandler is the one who peed on Monica’s leg.

    Also, when you are finished applying the suggestions that you have received from agents and think that your work has reached a new level of perfection, you should consider hiring an editor to go over it carefully. (Hint/Disclaimer: I am an editor, and I already like your work.)

    • AHHH HOW could I forget that?!?! I’m officially getting old; I used to be IMPECCABLE with my Friends references!

      And thank you for that tip! Who knows, at this point, I may end up doing just that 🙂

  2. This reminds me; I need to blog again. God, I’m lazy!

  3. So about the Oprah Winfrey Network, isn’t “OWN Network” redundant? Shouldn’t it be “OW Network?”
    That was my takeaway from today’s post. That and I’m an enabler.
    Ross “The Straight David Sedaris” Murray

    • Yes. It is painfully wrong. It should obviously be The OW Network. They could use it in their slogan: “The OW Network: Because being inspired can be a painful process.”

      It is similar to “ATM Machine. It should be an AT Machine. As in, “I saw the most heartbreakingly inspirational show ever on the OW Network, so I am going to my AT Machine for some cash to hand out to random homeless people!”

    • SPOOKY – I was JUST thinking that about OWN Network being redundant the other day! For some reason saying OW Network, though, feels very not organic. Of course, I could just say OWN, but then I feel like there’s a missed opportunity to be redundant, which is clearly one of my favorite things.

      • I think we should all start saying “That’s TMI information.”

      • You know, sentences like this:
        Sometimes I kick babies things and eat gallons of ice cream out of frustration
        make me fall in love with you all over again.

        Thank you for nominating me! You like me, you really like me! Much like I really like your drumroll hands because they are awesome and not jazzy in any way!
        I think you can probably change the “sometimes offends people” in that stellar introduction of me to “usually offends people” for the sake of accuracy.

        I now take the tourch and will go burn shit down! MWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!! <–evil laughter.

        Can't you just say OWNetwork? That way, you still get to say OWN Network, essentially, but you're not being redundant.

        • You are so welcome! Thank YOU for being such a divine blogging diva, and making me laugh like a crazy person on many occasions, which is of course my favorite thing to do ever. And OMG OWNetwork is such a sensible solution. I think the real solution though, is to call Oprah and see what she thinks. I’m on it!

  4. So… what I took away from this is that if you’re feeling like you’re not funny and a suck-y writer, visit Ross to feel better about yourself?

    • LOL. I suppose it will either make you feel better OR worse about yourself, depending on how your brain works… but I’m sure you’ll agree with me when I say that visiting Ross is always a good idea.

  5. You forgot all of the spiraling. ALL of the spiraling. SO MUCH SPIRALING.

    It’s a big part of your process.


  1. […] I only just found out how much he had accepted me last week when he passed me the #mywritingprocess TOURCH (<–click that word to find out why I keep saying “TOURCH” and also to see […]

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