because none of us is fucking up like we think we are, is what i'm trying to say

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Would You Like To Be My Literary Agent?

Laura Jane Williams

Hi there,

My name is Laura Jane Williams, and I’m writing a book that some very important people at some very important publishers have already emailed me to ask about. I think that will be of interest to you – at least, I hope it is, because it scares the bejesus out of me and so I’m gonna need somebody like you to take over from here on out, so that we can both focus on what we’re best at.

The book is called My Vagina’s Monologue, and is, if I do say so myself, the ultimate twenty-something’s “survive and thrive” heartbreak memoir. Set across Paris, Rome, Detroit and.... Derby, it’s Eat, Pray, Love meets Wild in a post-Lena Dunham world.

It’s basically the book I wish I’d had when, as a heartbroken millennial, it felt like I couldn’t go on. 

My high school sweetheart dumped me so that he could marry my best friend. That is a real thing that happened to me. It's the kind of shit that hurts parts of you that you never quite realised could hurt - there’s a very specific spot behind my sternum that is still a little tender, even after all this time. I’ve mentioned it often on this blog: that my hate and anger for one man (and former best friend) became hate and anger for a lot of men. I seduced for sport and won the game by kicking yet another fella from my bed at 4 a.m: I was a frustrated, lonely mess, and for about four years, too. I was having a conversation about the way I had been betrayed, but I was having it in an empty room. No man went unconquered in that time. I wasn’t a very nice person. I didn’t have a lot of friends, then, either.

In late 2011, after one particularly soul-destroying night with a balding Australian who didn’t directly address me in public, I knew something had to change. I was a parody of myself. A self I didn’t even like. I declared a yearlong vow of celibacy, and in the summer of 2012, just as they were walking down the aisle together, moved to an Italian convent so that, through a series of painful insights, I could exorcise my demons. My Vagina’s Monologue is that story. A story of healing. Of redemption. Of becoming who I was always going to be. It’s the story of pulling myself out of the abyss by my fingernails, determined not to be beaten. Determined to find a way to love myself again.

I’m gonna go right on ahead and say: it’s not a special story. I’m not writing this down because I am unique and different and “other”. I am writing it for exactly the opposite reasons, actually. The point is that we all know what it is to be knocked for six. Unsure how we’ll ever come to feel human again. The search for self-acceptance and belonging is a collective quest, and one that girly brunches buzz over, pillow talk is whispered about, movies and books and websites are dedicated to. It’s universal, heartbreak. Peak humanness. I’ve got a talent for storytelling, though, so that's my USP: I can put words to those feelings.

And I did find it, by the way. Love. I ended up flying to New York to tell a boy I adored him, after we cycled around a Swiss lake together and fell asleep on beaches in France. I healed enough to fall again. Healed enough to become the protagonist in my own life. Healed for me. Did the work.

The manuscript is currently at 50,000 words of an anticipated 100,000. I intended just to write the damned thing, first, but the interest of some editors has prompted my early enthusiasm for securing representation. Why am I doing that as an open letter on my blog rather than mailing you directly? Ah, you see: because that’s how I work. I have a small group of 30,000 incredibly generous readers on this here corner of the internet and they make me feel brave about owning not only my destination, but also the process. They’ve written to me and told me to keep on, with this book – to keep on writing because they want to know that they will be okay, too. Part of my story is how I’m turning my history into something other people might find useful, like a book, and I want to be transparent about getting that published. If you’re tribe, like they are, you’ll get what I mean by that. If you think this was a dumb approach, then we were never going to work well together but I'm cool with that if you are. Your outfit is still super cute today.

I’d love to send you my full proposal – if you’d like that, I’m on laura {at} superlativelyrude {dot} com. I'm a full-time writer, and I currently live in Bali, an idea I came up with when I lived in Siberia, and am en route to India to live in an ashram for a bit. I live, and then I write: it's not the other way round. I’m committed to finishing this book by the early autumn, and I’ll say this: let’s meet face-to-face. I’d love to tell you about the notes I already have for my second book, too. I’ll come to you if you’re shouting the wine.

Wishing you a great day, filled with hard work and belly laughs,

Laura xo

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