Guest Blog written by Jennifer Renson
I don’t know if it’s an unspoken habit of “all” writers, but I can say that I can be a picky reader. If a book does not grip me, or at least influence me to continue (influence not force), I, more often than not…won’t.
Which means when I find a book I really enjoy, that says something. That book is something special. I will then, not only want to reread it multiple times (Picture Portrait of Dorian Gray, The Life of Cesare Borgia), but share it with others in (related) conversations. Recently the book I cannot put down, except for when I have to (work…), is Bream gives me hiccups & Other Stories by Jesse Eisenberg. Released in 2015, the actor is known for a multitude of films, such as Zombieland, The Social Network, The Village, American Ultra, and most recently Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. He wrote a collection of creative, humorous, and relatable stories published into one conveniently, easy to carry and intriguing book.
You must now be wondering, how does Jesse Eisenberg relate to the subject of this post? I promise this is not sponsored and my point is approaching. I was interested in reading his book after finding out about it fairly recently. Why hasn’t this come to my attention sooner? Either I was knee deep in my own work (writing=life) or it may have fallen by the wayside? We can all agree that when a celebrity, politician, or even popular Youtuber releases a book, its usually an autobiographical piece. Walk into any Barnes and Noble store and they will be right there waiting to be bought. Almost staring you down…
Thus, I’m drawn to Eisenberg’s book for the fact that I am interested in learning about him through his creativity as a writer. In my opinion (my opinion), as an actor, he’s enjoyable to watch on screen. He’s talented and steals every scene. He’s dedicated to his work. As a creative writer, his level of talent just went up several notches, and I am thoroughly ten times more impressed. People who are enthralled with books want to know what inspires writers. They want a glimpse into the mind’s behind captivating work. What drives them, how do they write, why – you get the idea. Well, same goes for writers. We want to know what inspires other writers, too. We want a glimpse into another’s imagination.
During the four-day Wizard World Philadelphia Comic Con this year, Jesse Eisenberg was one of several celebrity guests signing autographs, taking photos, and answering questions in a panel. I was one of many who attended his panel, curious as to what his writing method/style was. I was lucky enough to ask him that very question, his book in my hands while tempted to ask him to sign it (I did not ask for the mere fact we were not allowed to ask for “personal requests”. Although, in hindsight, I think he would have if I had asked. I, then, yelled at myself and made a note for next time). I received an incredible response from the writer himself, leaving me enlightened and regretting not asking for his signature.
It was interesting to have this sort of brief but grateful encounter, since (as far as I can recall) he was the first writer I met and spoke to about their work. I’m usually on the receiving end of that spectrum; sending my books for reviews, doing fun Q&A’s. A lot of books I love are considered old, classic, and perhaps unconventional, which means the authors have passed on and cannot be reached for an intellectual conversation about their life changing work. So, to be able to have this moment presented before me when I could have asked Eisenberg something else (mostly regarding his movies, specifically if he likes snowballs. Zombieland reference.), I chose to ask a question to understand his writing style and, in turn, better understand my own.
To hear him explain how he writes, how it’s sort of a mishmash of scribbling things down in his trailer between filming, trying to keep that flow moving, made me realize I do the same thing. I realized the similarities we had, and then thought of other writers I know and how they go through the same process of keeping the flow of creativity moving. I love reading how so many writers are so engaged with what they create. They are proud of it! No regrets! They live for their work and want it to be shared so that others can enjoy it, too. So, that perhaps, in a way, we all can be connected.
So, what is the underlying message here? Well, that writers should be supporting other writers. If you’ve read a book you loved, contact the author (if possible) and let them know. Ask them questions. Let’s make connections with each other. Read each other’s work, pass it along, make friendships, share reviews, meet at conventions and book signings, and let’s spread our different forms of creativity. Don’t forget without “writers” we would not have music, television, and movies. Yes. Let that sink in.
Is there any particular book you’ve been eating up recently and cannot put down? Have you met a writer you admire? If so, what happened? I’d love to hear your stories. Log on to twitter.com, and message or tweet me @JennyRenson. Also, Jesse, if you do read this, thank you again for answering my question and I hope to one day soon get to know more about your writing habits and upcoming work!