Columnist Dorothy Rosby joins author Marsha Casper Cook and myself on the podcast today (Nov. 17th at 12 pm EST) here:
Check out my pre-interview with her below:
What is the book about?
’Tis the Season to Feel Inadequate is a collection of humorous essays about the stress we put on ourselves in the name of celebrating. All of our holidays, special occasions and not-so special occasions can have this effect on us. I start with Christmas and work my way through the year because no holiday makes me feel more inadequate than Christmas—except maybe Nude Recreation Week.
Do you ever get writer’s block? If so, how do you overcome it?
I’m not saying it’s not real, but as someone who’s been self-syndicating a humor column in the West and Midwest for more than 20 years, I’m saying I better not get it. And the way I stave it off is by a daily discipline of writing—even if I don’t like what I’m writing. Occasionally I have to get up and walk away, clear my head. But that can be dangerous if I overdo it. Writing is the only cure I know for writer’s block.
How did you get into writing humor?
It was my experience as a humorous (allegedly) speaker that led to writing humor. For many years, I’ve been a member of Toastmasters, an organization where members practice their public speaking skills. I loved doing humorous speeches and I won some humorous speech contests. So I decided to type up some of my speeches and submit them to my local newspaper. The editor agreed to take me on as a humor columnist and I’ve been writing a column ever since. Eventually I began marketing to other newspapers and now my column runs in small community newspapers throughout the West and Midwest.
Why is humor important?
As a humor writer, I often feel like what I do is trivial. But I reassure myself that when I’m escaping into my writing, I’m also giving my readers a way to escape the troubles they face. I often hear from readers who tell me that a good laugh is just what they needed. One reader who was going through a difficult time, commented on my blog post, “Thank you for making this day a little more tolerable.” If what I write can do that, that’s enough for me.
What advice do you have for new writers?
Believe in yourself. You’ll get a lot of rejections, and if you don’t I hate you. Not really! What I meant to say is, if you don’t get rejections, you’re probably not submitting enough. Some readers may even say very cruel things about your work. The way I see it, there are two kinds of people in the world. Those who do something with their life and those who criticize those who do something with their life. That’s easier. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t learn from criticism. You definitely should. But you have to have this unshakeable belief that you're good and getting better at what you do no matter who tells you otherwise. You can pout now and then, even fall into despair for a day or so. But you can never give up.
Check out her new book: ’Tis the Season to Feel Inadequate: Holidays, Special Occasions and Other Times Our Celebrations Get Out of Hand
Christmas comes but once a year; chaos never ends!
Happy Halloween, merry Christmas and joyful Lumpy Rug Day. We didn’t make that up. Lumpy Rug Day is celebrated every May 3, though “celebrated” might be too strong a word.
It’s the American way to create a celebration for everything, then turn it into a chore or worse, a nightmare. ’Tis the Season to Feel Inadequate is a collection of humorous essays about holidays, special occasions and other times we let high expectations take the joy out of our celebrations. It’s understanding for those who think Christmas form letters can be honest—or they can be interesting. And it’s empathy for anyone who’s ever gotten poison ivy during Nude Recreation Week or eaten all their Halloween candy and had to hand out instant oatmeal packets to their trick-or-treaters.
Dorothy Rosby has been lampooning our celebrations in publications across the West and Midwest for more than twenty years. Join her in celebrating National Bicarbonate of Soda Day December 30—in case Christmas gives you indigestion.
Dorothy Rosby is a South Dakota author and humor columnist whose work appears regularly in publications in the West and Midwest. Her humor column received first place honors from the National Federation of Press Women in both 2015 and 2020. And in 2022 she was named the global winner in the Erma Bombeck Writers Competition, sponsored in part by the Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop in Dayton, OH. She is the author of four books of humorous essays.
You can learn more about her at: https://dorothyrosby.com/
Pick up her book here:
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Author of the Landry's True Colors Series, the Cecily Taylor Series, the Star Series, and Dating the It Guy.
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