October 23, 2015

Scared, but not too scared


I’m scared to publish my book. But that’s because my life has gone in series of  waves – and I think it’s a lot to do with being a woman – one minute feeling totally invincible (thank YOU Spice Girls and my often inappropriate and wise older sisters) to suddenly suffering from a cripplingly anxiety that comes with being a young woman publishing something that might be deemed “inappropriate” or “not very lady like”.

Over many centuries women have been classically conditioned to believe that is a bad thing to speak up, through deep-rooted cultural expectations of how women should be. That we should sit down, look pretty, and ssshhhh. The book might not be very “lady like” but that is precisely my point. I don’t want to be ladylike! I want to make rude jokes, overshare about all sorts of things, and call out those times I’ve felt uncomfortable, precisely because it is so much easier to stay quiet. I wrote this post a while back, while sat at my parent’s kitchen table, reminiscing about the time I was obsessed with Liverpool football club, wore boys pyjamas and had all the tackiest football merchandise including a duvet for my bedroom, I had it all. I had no idea it was “meant for boys”. I just felt really confident wearing it, because I just liked it. It really really was as simple as that. As you get older, things become more complicated and you start to become very self-conscious about a huge variety of different things. But when it comes down to it, your gender or any other part of you should never hold you back, or determine what you’re allowed to like.

I am writing my book because I want to. Because being scared of speaking up about lots of different parts of being a young woman on the Internet shouldn’t stop me from actually speaking. Not speaking up about things because I’m “scared of what people might think” wouldn’t be very feminist of me. And as my friend Katie has said recently “the power of wanting to write something often overtakes the fear of how it might be received” and that is what has happened here. That is how I’ve ended up writing this book. Future Me might even cringe over it in a few years, but hey, 2016 Me thought this was a really really good idea at the time. Life’s too short not to mix it up a bit, isn’t it? So hang on: I’m not scared, I’m excited-scared. There’s a difference.

  • I love this post. A reminder that fear is not always a bad thing, and we should continue through life in spite of it. I am so so excited for your book, and I can’t wait to hear what else you have to say x

  • I know exactly what you mean! Raw honesty is my favourite comedic device <3 It also gives people a lot of ammo, but who cares! We can't stop sharing just from fear of a backlash..and you're not! I'm excited-excited to read the book xxxx

  • Great post! Makes me really excited about the future of literature. I feel breaking gender boundaries is a great thing and you should do whatever you feel in your heart is right. Not what others think is right 😀

  • From everything I’ve ever been told about writing and publishing…. This is the way it’s supposed to feel. If you’re feeling excited-scared, that’s a good thing. It’s the energy you need to get that book on the shelves. 🙂

  • Alice Primrose

My Book

“In love with Emma Gannon’s Ctrl Alt Delete. So funny & smart, and reminding me of some of my own cringe teen Internet exploits!”

– Anna James, former literary editor of ELLE

"Funny, honest, and nostalgic!"

– The Debrief

“Emma Gannon is a bright spark of light in the world. I seriously dig everything she makes”

– Elizabeth Gilbert, bestselling author of Big Magic