The Making of On Our Best Behavior (my editor, Whit Frick)
“If I remember correctly, I think you ran as fast as you could to the thing that you're more comfortable with, which is other people's research, other people's ideas, showing the connection between historical ideas and current, you know, thought leaders and the way they were operating. And so, and what I felt was that you, Elise, were missing. And I think what I really wanted you to do, and this is what I meant by like, show us your journey through these things, is I needed you and, and you got there, to filter and to sort of act as guide for the reader showing us what you were realizing as you were bringing and making these connections and synthesizing all of these other thought leaders, and, you know, expert work because that's the journey we need to be on as reader.”
That voice? That's my editor Whitney Frick, and she joins me today for a very special episode of Pulling the Thread, on the eve of On Our Best Behavior's publication—coming May 23. Many of you have been with me as I've written this book, and by osmosis, you probably have some sense of the process, but it felt important to me to celebrate OOBB (as we call it), by bringing you all the way inside. I wanted to do this with the person who knows the text almost as well as I do.
Writing a book is really hard—and it's also incredibly co-creative. As someone who has co-written or ghostwritten 12 books, I'm usually the co-creator, holding the structure for the authors while they revisit their lives and mine it for story. In this case, though, it was Whit who helped me, holding the potential of the book as a guiding light for the process. She took me by the hand, bringing me ever closer to myself as I worked through drafts. We both worked really hard on this book—really hard. Distilling, refining, and interrogating the material until we knew the path was so well-trod, readers would be able to easily follow the book's unfolding, and understand exactly what I was trying to say. To say that I'm pleased with how On Our Best Behavior turned out is an understatement—I'm thrilled, which is not something that's easy for me to say. I believe the book is the best I could write, and I'm so grateful to Whit for getting me there. As we explore in today's conversation, I had a very powerful battle with resistance—and am so happy I pushed through. If you haven't yet ordered your copy, On Our Best Behavior is available wherever you get your books starting May 23—in the U.S., Canada, UK, and Australia, with more countries to come.
MORE FROM THIS EPISODE:
On Our Best Behavior: The Seven Deadly Sins and the Price Women Pay to be Good
Follow Elise on Instagram
Elise’s Substack Newsletter
The Dial Press
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