Jennifer Weiner: ‘Write the book you wanted to read’

by Mallary Tenore Tarpley

I met Jennifer Weiner a couple of years ago when she came to Poynter and have been following her work closely ever since.

I admire not just her writing, but the way she interacts with her audience via social media, her creative approach to promoting her books, and her relentless efforts to speak out about the role gender plays in literary criticism. I also love that she live tweets episodes of “The Bachelorette” (my guilty pleasure show) and that she has cupcakes on the stops along her book tours. (How fun!)

I recently came across a few interviews with Weiner, who has a new book out called “The Next Best Thing.” Here are some of my favorite quotes from the interviews:

“I remember reading somewhere that you should write the book you wanted to read. So I wrote a book about an unapologetically Jewish, unapologetically plus-size heroine. I gave her a mom who’d come out of the closet and a father who’d dropped out of her life, and a boyfriend who was a lot like Satan — and I gave her a happy ending.

“Then I worked my tail off, getting the next book ready, and getting the word out about ‘Good in Bed,’ because I believed then, and still believe, that nobody will ever love your book more or, hence, work harder on its behalf, than you, the author.” — Salon

“I think that women who’ve spoken out about issues of gender equity at places like the Times and NPR have been ignored. God knows we’ve been belittled. I think now we’re in the fighting stage. I hope that, someday, we’ll win. I hope that if either of my daughters is a writer, she won’t have to jump through an extra, female-specific set of hoops to prove that what she’s written is worthy of serious consideration, even if – especially if – it deals with romance, and friendship, and family, and maybe even shoes.” — Mediabistro

Since I’m sharing quotes, I might as well add a few others from some of my favorite authors:

“I read and walked for miles at night along the beach, writing bad blank verse and searching endlessly for someone wonderful who would step out of the darkness and change my life. It never crossed my mind that that person could be me.” — Anna Quindlen

“The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself.” — Anna Quindlen

“To free us from the expectations of others, to give us back to ourselves – there lies the great, singular power of self-respect.” — Joan Didion

“Until we believe we are enough, we’ll never believe we have enough.” — Geneen Roth

“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I’ll try again tomorrow.” — Mary Anne Radmacher

“Be the heroine of your life, not the victim.” Nora Ephron