When I tell everyone I just published my first book, their next question is always, “So when are you starting on Book #2?”
Ah, I am SO glad you asked. Book #2 is currently in the brainstorming stages.
I don’t have a title yet, but Book #2 will definitely be about coaching girls, and will be directed towards the coaches, the parents, and the actual girls. While I do love teaching, I love coaching more, and I believe, as a coach, we hold an immense amount of power that could be dangerous if not handled properly.
The book will cover a variety of topics, such as body image issues, where those come from, how they present themselves, and what, we as coaches, should do to reverse those effects; the competitive and jealous nature of girls, and how understanding those behaviors will help to alleviate tension, the positive and detrimental effects of sports on girls, and how we, as coaches, should be aware of those issues.
Girls really are THE WORST. They are jealous, competitive by nature. Everything is about territory, and they are queens at intimidation. But, at the root of all of this is really protectiveness and issues of insecurities, and by pinpointing those motives can help to curve a situation, and make it feel not-so-haboring on our personal egos. When you have a parent attack you about some minute detail, it usually stems from her feelings of inadequacy OR her protectiveness over her daughter. When you have an athlete cutting down other girls, it usually stems from her not loving herself. And, when you have a person who is mean mugging, engaging in bullying behaviors, it usually stems from their feelings of their territory slipping out from under them, and attempts to mark and stomp down that territory.
I am inclined to think that some of these behaviors have become engrained in our society from Victorian times; since the men were in charge of the political, academic, and economic spheres, the women had to mark their territory, and that became the social spheres, and gossip. Even when I visit my great-grandma, her eyes dart out the window whenever a car passes by, because by her maternal role, she is in charge of knowing what everyone is up to. I think the most revolutionary thing I have read so far came from Lysa Terkeurst, in her book, Becoming More than Just a Bible Study Girl. In the midst of these turmoils, she reminds us that (a) we are equipped to handle our own lives, not everyone else’s, and (b) it’s not necessarily my responsibility to seek justice for these “mean” behaviors.
I really can’t give you an estimated publication timeline, because I really do not know. Happily Never After took me a little over a year to write, and the only reason I decided to publish it so soon after was because (a) I just woke up one day and decided I was done with that chapter of my life, didn’t want to continue re-visiting it, and (b) my long term boyfriend got engaged, so that seemed like a good enough time as any to publish. But, some authors go years, and decades, before their books are finally ready for the public eye. I probably need to put in a few more years of experience, witness a few more anecdotes, do a little more research, experiment with some more blog posts before I can officially call myself “an expert”, and for people to buy my book. If you are an avid follower of my blog (which I know you are), you will probably notice that the topics I write about have significantly changed. Where everything used to be strictly existential crisis and dating based, the topics have shifted towards feminist-related issues, such as working as a professional, “Get a Job, Get a Backbone, and Get an Opinion“, and posts about power and control and how women work–all gearing up for Book #2.
Part of this new feminist surge in me definitely sprouted from writing Happily Never After. I didn’t realize what an oppressive environment I was in, both in the relationship and in dance, until I started writing, and I didn’t realize how much I had changed until that professional dance team try out. While dance certainly has done some amazing things for me, I walked away from that try out, repulsed by the objectification, false genuineness, and politicalness of the entire platform, and this reaction has definitely changed my coaching this year. So, as I navigate through this change, I will certainly be journaling, writing, and researching.
No matter who you are, where you come from, what your profession is, these issues still follow you. Because, girls are mean, they are territorial, protective, competitive by nature. While I do believe humans are corrupt by nature, its really difficult for me to also believe that people have truly malicious motives. What often times happens is, someone feels lonely, so they attempt to seek attention in any way they can, and that often presents itself in malicious ways, so people stop interacting with them, which makes them continue to be lonely, and act out in malicious ways, when in reality, all these people need is love. I believe Book #2 will ultimately be looking at how we can love through these seemingly bad behaviors.