Tag Archives: i’d rather be short

Top 10 Lessons: writing a book

top-10

I’m still so giddy about speaking with Megan Silianoff at the Texas Style Council blogging conference a couple Sundays ago. We met so many rad ladies with rad happenings up their sleeves. Grateful to be a part of it all, and extra grateful for those who the took the time to hear us talk. Megan is the woman behind Greetings from Texas. She wrote the memoir, 99 Problems But A Baby Ain’t OneShe named her baby, Macy, after Jay Z. Need I say more?

During our workshop, we chatted about how we turned our blogs into books. I wrote last Monday about tips and tricks on the journey to publication. Today I share with you the top 10 lessons we learned on that journey.

1. It’s better to start somewhere now than to start somewhere later. 

When I originally had the idea for I’d Rather Be Short, I knew it was good but I sat on it for a year because starting is hawd (that’s ‘hard’ in whiny speak). Then I ran the 1/2 marathon in March and had oodles of energy when the race was over. I channeled that into a month of drawings so I could pitch the idea to agents that May.

Guess what!

When I finally got started, the drawings were terrible!

Like this one and this one.

The good news is that by starting I got through the bottom feeders faster than I would have if I was still stalling just because starting (AKA decision-making) was hawd. 

2. At least try.

Megan didn’t always see herself doing this book thing, but realized she loved writing. Life dealt her an unexpected hand—she got cancer while she and her husband were trying to adopt. She felt compelled to keep everyone upbeat during this hard time, so she started a blog and from there she went. One thing I loved that Megan said at the conference was that she was so determined to get her query to the agents who represented her favorite books. She’s proud of those rejection letters because she got it into their hands. She gave it her all. 

I freaked myself out one too many times thinking about how a tiny girl from a tiny town could have a real book in a STORE. I felt like a fake. Then I realized that every book in every store is either that author’s first book or they have had a first book. If you know of any second-time authors who don’t have a first book, please let me know so I can correct this point I’m trying to make.

3. Be protective of your dreams.

No, I don’t think you are going to steal my dreams. This is about protecting your sensitive, fragile, dreaming heart from others’ lack of enthusiasm, naysaying or preemptive praise. Watch Derek Sivers’ TED Talk (it’s only three minutes). Studies show that people who talk about their goals (before putting in the work) are less likely to achieve them. We get a tiny dose of satisfaction just from talking about it, and that’s enough to derail the EFFORT part of the dream. In my case, I knew that I had something good on my hands and I didn’t want somebody’s, “Oh, that’s kind of cool” comment to bring me “back to reality”. How can we expect them to be over the moon for an idea they just heard—an idea we’ve been stewing over for days/weeks/months/years? It’s not fair to them or to you, so keep it to yourself until it’s time to tell someone who will keep you accountable to seeing it through.

4. Must be delusional.

This one takes reminding. We have to be so crazy about our ideas that we work at them as if they just might work. Otherwise, beers with friends, Breaking Bad and sleeping in seem like more of a priority. I could have had better life-balance during that time, but I was crazy, so that’s what you get.

5. Level up.

Run a long race. Start a conference. Do that “thing you couldn’t do”. Then you level up. You realize you have the energy, will power, confidence, others’ support, etc. to do the next thing. You realize the doers aren’t super humans; they just do. 

I’m not suggesting you add an unnecessary step in pursuing your dreams. I’m just saying that these things build on each other. Megan and I didn’t know it at the time (she started the Houston Blogging Symposium, and I ran a long race), but those feats gave us the confidence to do the next thing. We accidentally realized we are “that type” of person. (See Amy Cuddy TED Talk. One of my favorites).

6. You are who + what you surround yourself with.

This one is simple, but possibly the most impactful for me. I started the book partially because I wished it already existed. I didn’t love being so short. I thought that since so many people brought it up when they first met me (for 25 years!), I must have had what people didn’t want. I was okay enough with it, but embracing it seemed far from my reach. Throughout the process of making the book I looked at the words, “I’d rather be short” hundreds of times.

It sank in.

Recently at the airport I realized I actually would rather be short. I love my child-size self. If I got that from a few months of work, I can’t imagine how impacted I/we are by what we read and look at everyday.

I only have time for things that bring me life. I intentionally invest in those things and (try) to blow off the rest.

7. Go to conferences and writing classes! 

Their our 2 many reasons 2 name 4 now, but if u go, u will right well.

Wasn’t that sentence hard to read? That’s why writing workshops and conferences are so good. Kidding! Kind of…

You really can’t lose. You’ll gain friendships with like-minded people, and you’ll become who you hang out with (remember what we just talked about.) Megan suggests BlogHer Writers, New York Pitch Conference, etc. I really love Spike Gillespie’s workshop in Austin. It’s really life-giving and you get to hear other people’s stories, essays and poems. I learned a lot by listening to them share. I didn’t do this stuff before mine got published, but I have a friend who is a writer who helped immensely before sending it to the fancy folks in New York.

8. You are going to embarrass yourself. Just do it in front of the right people.

This was Megan’s point. Preach it! She said when she turned in an early “final” copy of the manuscript, her editor/writing coach told her it definitely wasn’t done. She looks back on it now and realizes how right he was.

This whole, “it’s going to be awkward” point is worth making.

Perhaps it’s like talking to kids about drugs. You need to tell them the drugs are out there, so they’re already prepared to use one of the methods they learned in D.A.R.E. to just say no. This post is the opposite of D.A.R.E. because we think you should just say Y.E.S. to looking like a fool. Put your work out there. Austin Kleon (author of Steal Like An Artist and Newspaper Blackout) is a big fan of showing your work (see his new book).

9. It’s a new Era in Publishing. 

Anything can happen. Now we can set our sights high—if it’s clever, good or low brow enough, your work can go from 0-60 in 15 seconds. I’d opt for the highbrow, but it’s your call. Don’t have a publisher or an agent? There are still millions of eyeballs glued to the internet right now. Every eyeball is looking for you. Make this easy on the eyeballs. People are looking at cat memes at 2 AM and puppy memes at 2 PM. The good ideas are not all used up. Embrace the opportunities that come with e-books and self-publishing. See last week’s post with tips and resources for that.

10. Know your comparative titles + shoot them an email

Sooner or later you’re going to have to know what your book will sit next to on shelves. Why not make it earlier? You’ll need to know for pitching to agents and publishers, but it helps in explaining it to everybody else. It helps you find your audience and it helps to see what those guys did right. I love reading interviews with Jory John and Avery Monsen (All My Friends Are Dead). Since our books will eat lunch at the same table, I think it’s wise to see what they did. Reach out! I’ve emailed several authors and almost all of them have gotten back to me. They’re people I admire and I wanted to tell them that. I didn’t always do this. We can assume our idols are too cool and busy all we want, but it never hurts to give it a shot. They are people too and if their work impacted you, do you think they’ll be upset if you tell them that?

We made it! These are a few of the many things I’ve tucked away for the last year. Take or leave it as you wish, but know that it’s all sincere. We hope it helps gain clarity, confidence or enthusiasm.

We’re just two dorkos who put our work into the world and we’d like to help others do the same.


follow on Twitter Instagram

My GIF to you

SHORT

This is a little something I made for another little something. It also serves as a makeshift blog post.

Avery Monsen once said, “The important thing to remember is that tea doesn’t taste very good without sugar. Animated GIFs are the sugar of the internet, in the sense that they are delicious but also cause irreversible tooth decay. (We’re so sorry about all this.)”

I couldn’t have said it better myself.

(Found in this article.  What Avery + Jory John are to interviews is what Austin is to jorts + live music. ) FYI, these two are the brains behind All My Friends Are Dead.


follow on Twitter Instagram

Pre-order I’D RATHER BE SHORT!

Idratherbeshort

I am so proud to introduce you to my baby girl, I’d Rather Be Short. Some of you may already know her and some of you may not.

She’s a very special project I’ve been working hard on over the last year. She started on the blog, then found her way into the Penguin/Plume hands. Now she’s a real live book.

She is filled with 100 reasons why it’s awesome to be small. It all started because I wanted someone to tell me these things, and through the process of creating the book, I’ve internalized those reasons and now I get to share them with you. This concept is just one version of the same story: embrace who you are.

I’d Rather Be Short is going to be on shelves this November. What’s better than seeing buying it in stores? Pre-ordering. You can pre-order on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound and Books-A-Million.

Pre-orders are important for many reasons, but the early sales help determine the fate of the book. I’ll get to make more books and it will be sold in more places if there is an enthusiastic push early on.

I’m so thrilled to finally get to show you the cover and update you on the process. I can’t thank you all enough for your support throughout this exciting journey.

high-heels2

chairshare

follow me on Twitter for updates

An idea’s birthday

Image

One year ago (April 1), I set out to do a marathon of drawings for a “silly side project that’s like, no big deal or anything or whatever. But I seriously don’t even care.”

I’ve gone over this love story before, but I think it’s worth rehashing.

2012 started with a bang. I went to Mardi Gras, SXSW and ran a half marathon. It was weekend after weekend of total-utta-insanity. Then BLAMMO, I had a minor case of post-running depression. I needed something to funnel all my energy into. I decided to do something about an I idea I had been mulling around for the last year or so, but didn’t do anything with because starting is hard and it requires starting.

I decided during a conversation with my good friend Amy, that I would do a bazillion drawings in April. It would be like training. I had to it even when I’d rather be sleeping or at the pub. I used the same discipline that got me out of bed to do 10 miles in order to draw pictures of human measuring sticks. I’d casually post these short people drawings to the blog day after day.

I did it. It was hard. I didn’t always want to stay up late working on them. I wondered what was getting into me. Who did I think I was? There was absolutely no reason to believe this would pan out and become anything at all. Since I deiced to start somewhere—anywhere, I was allowed to make stupid bad drawings. And I did. And they’re still up.

Something inside me knew it was a good idea and I had to do it. I can’t describe it other than delusion.

Nobody knew I was staying up late in hopes that it would one day turn it into a book. I figured I’d self-publish on Blurb and maybe down the road a little birdie (yeah, a real bird) would drop it on the desk of a major editor in New York (smoking a cigar with his feet up on the table during a business meeting. “STOP THE PRESS! We have a better one! Clarence! Call Ms. Murphy immediately!”).

Chad knew what to do. He writes and he told me I should submit to agents after I had about 30 posted (100 was the intention from the start).

I went to his house on a sunny Saturday afternoon the first week of May. He helped me write the query to submit to agents. I remember walking with him to the gas station down the road while he bought cigarettes (or some sort of lung poison) peach tea as we discussed my project. He encouraged me (classic Chad) and told me that someone would catch on to this idea.

I tried to guard my heart the way they tell you to in junior high youth group. Except my heart was my heart and the boy was a book.

It took everything in me to not tell anyone; this thing was too big. I felt like I would jinx it if I said it out loud.

I expected to wait weeks or months, but after submitting my query, I got an email the next day.

From Laurie, my agent.

Image

I feel like a jerk sometimes when I tell this story because it worked out so well for me. Beyond Laurie emailing me, the process has worked out seamlessly and taken almost as little time as it could have for being a book (still takes forever). Plume didn’t buy I’D RATHER BE SHORT because I was the best applicant; I was the only applicant. It was my idea and all I had to do was try. I used my gifts and my uniqueness the only way I knew how.

If I was born seven feet tall and loved hula hooping plus magic shows, I hope I would have done something with that too.

Don’t write this off because it sounds cliché: delusion bridges the gap between dreaming and doing.
What’s your story?

*photos are taken in my Waco apartment at the end of the book process.
Twitter & Insta: @beckycmurphy

One of those days when I get to turn in my book

becky-laurel-chipper-thingsNo words.

Book is complete.

There will be words at a later date, but right now I must reslish in my joy.

I’d Recommend:

1. Wen cleansing conditioner. I never saw the infomercials, but I heard it was good and my hair was in a dark place. I really like it. It’s too expensive for me to use on a regular basis though ($30 for a bottle a little bigger than most tubes of hand lotion). I’ll probably use it once a week and certainly won’t use the 30-40 recommended pumps for my medium-long-thick mop top.

2. Bossypants by Tina Fey. I’m in the final stretch of I’d Rather be Short, so yeah, I’ve been a little exhausted from it. I want to have a snappy intro, as this is the only opportunity for my authorship skills to accredit the word ‘author’ in my Twitter bio (aside from the 100 captions for the 100 drawings). P.S. turns out it’s really hard to make zingers zing. Ooops — just made myself nervous as I did not realize the calamity of the intro until…now.

3. I didn’t actually talk about Bossypants in #2. I just finished relistening (for the fourth time this year). It probably won’t be the last. It is so well crafted. Every sentense is more punchy than the last and it offers so much insight into 30 Rock, SNL and Second City. I’m amazed she finished it while her pop culture references are still relevant. If she wrote it at my pace, her anecdotes would be too outdated by the time it would get published. “What’s an Oprah?” or “How will this book get me more robot followers?” the plastic tykes would ask.

4. Andrew B Myers photography. I’ve posted him before, but when Design for Mankind featured him, I went gaga all over again.

5. Lastly, go a few days without makeup; don’t waste your time when you don’t have it.

That is all. I wish you a merry Friday and a happy new weekend.


@beckycmurphy

The closest I’ve been to Ira Glass (AKA my Waco NPR interview)

A couple months ago I got an email from a local NPR reporter. Classic Chad had tipped her on the Becky’s-short-antics story. She was great! Also a short Becky, we chatted for about an hour at the station, and just a week later it was on the air. These moments are really special to me and I think she did an excellent job scratching below the surface.

It’s only about four minutes long. You can listen here.

Thanks again for being gentle with me, Becky. You are talent!

*photos of Ira Glass and Tavi Gevinson on the WSJ


@beckycmurphy

Book Report VII

It’s been too long! Last week was really busy and had an unexpected trip to Milwaukee. Always good to see the family, despite the circumstances.

This week has been just as cray (can I say that?). The book is coming to a close, but not until November 1st. I have a couple more drawings to do,though the edits are the biggest time suck. It’s tricky because while I know what needs to be changed, it’s less cut and dry. The other weeks I knew I had 10 drawings to do then I was done. Now all of the decisions I put off and details I said I’d redo if I had time are here. I have to be decisive and I have to be quick. 100 is a lot to work with. It turns out that when each caption stands alone, they’re tricky to edit. I’ve been emailing friends, my agent and editor with variations of the same sentence, maybe one uses a comma and the other with an ellipses. I’m in the home stretch. I just got a couple of hours of sleep Monday night while last night I passed out for nine. I’ve given up on balance entirely, which is not okay. I won’t worry about it unless it’s November 5th and I’m still eating cinnamon rolls at 3:30 AM.

I’m really proud of the book. I’m excited to, in a year, point out some of the earlier drawings compared to the latest. I’ve improved so much; that alone has made this journey worthwhile. (plus there are one billion other reasons.)


@beckycmurphy

 

 

Start here! Make a decision!

1. I’m quite inspired by these (and many many more) typographic explorations by the talented Holly Wales. Definitely a portfolio worth checking out.

2. I’m really loving the drawing gig lately. I’m on number 85 for I’d Rather be Short. I think I started the book work at the beginning of August  and it’s amazing how much and little I’ve grown after hauling ass the last couple months. If I wasn’t forced to do so many so fast, how long would it have taken me to do this much practice on my own? It’s a humbling reminder of what it takes to improve at anything. I have such a long way to go, but I’m grateful for where I started and how far I’ve come.

3. Watch this TED talk Saayeh sent me last week. Watch the whole thing. Watch it today. Don’t put it off. It’s a well spent 20 minutes. Scouts honor.


@beckycmurphy

Book Report VI

Haaaappy day back to work! I hope you had a great weekend. If it involved sun or sweatpants, I’d say you made it out just fine.

I had a splendid week. I’d Rather be Short is 80 drawings old! I can’t believe I’m already in the final stretch. I want to crank these last 20 out ASAP, so I can do all the edits and final writing in comfortable time.

There are a bajillion (62) taped to my wall. It’s definitely nice seeing the progress right before my eyes.

I wish you a swell Monday. I’m sad this part of the project isn’t going to last much longer. [insert cyber tear]


@beckycmurphy

Book Report IV: better and better

I know I’m a day late on this report, and I know I missed two consecutive Knee-Slappin’ Fridays, and I know I haven’t actually done any Chip Ear Things posts, but I’ve been drawing and drinking wine with friends. Friendship time, quiet time and book time all come before blog time. Also, my new computer, Lloyd, had a bit of a glitch on Saturday (as in, he is out of commission until Apple’s witch doctors fix him. Yes, that set me back and yes, it’s better than breaking my arm.)

The book is coming along real well. I feel incredibly encouraged after my friends came over to critique last night. It gets tough looking at blank pages knowing that I have to make something in exactly x-amount of time and it has to be good or else — well, it just has to be good; and it’s no big deal — it will be good, but still. Constraints are vital to the design process, and I am grateful for them. You don’t get stronger if you don’t increase the weight, and you don’t get faster if you have time to walk.

I really do love working on this project. It brings me life. I have as many drawings as my dad has years, and I am learning to celebrate the journey more than ever. I used to be anxious about how I would deal with the toddlers mixed with the elders. The early ones! Little detail! Too much detail! The perspective! The color! Now I see them as a whole family instead of just the twins. It adds texture. Some have thicker lines. Some brighter palettes. Some of the gals have bony knees and some look like they eat pasta with their friends.

But when they hang on my wall and look at me as they are now, I believe they would all enjoy the same white elephant gift exchange, and they would opt for a non-traditional Christmas card.


@beckycmurphy

Book Report III

Welcome to Monday, friends. What a splendid weekend it was!

Let’s get down to business. The weekly progress report.

Incase you are new, I do these reports every Monday. I turn 10 drawings into my editor, so it’s a great time for me to reflect on how I can improve for the coming week. (about the book here).

I realized I was missing my Wacom Stylus Saturday night. I feel like it should be in my house, but my place is tiny and currently clean, so I’ve already exhausted the search. I have to say it’s the G-rated version of getting a flat tire on your way to the airport. It wasn’t the end of the world, but it’s throwing off the process a bit. I also have to say that it is a blessing in disguise. Perhaps God really wanted me to stop relying on the computer for my small edits and make sure I did it right the first time.

Photoshop should always (in the context of this project) be kept to a minimum. It’s like makeup. Just take care of your skin and don’t cake with fake. I know that’s what you probably thought I was already doing. I was! Kind of! Each week I have improved tenfold in my process and my work.

Now the drawings are taking just as long, if not longer, but they look better. I’m proud of what they were, but I’m especially proud of what they are now.

I’m thankful for this endurance. I spent 20 hours working on it over the weekend, but that gives me so much more than another (almost) finished round — I am able to start this week with an even bigger can-do attitude. It’s the same feeling as training for that long run in March. The benefit to training wasn’t so much to make the race easier, but gave me the confidence that I knew —without a doubt — I was more than capable of finishing. I love that.

p.s. You can catch more updates from my Twitter and Instagram. 


@beckycmurphy

Book Report II: friendspiration

Friendspiration:

1. Erin’s farmer tanline (exaggerated. Plus it’s on a dude.) / 2. Lesli’s (old) fear of jackalopes / 3. Katie and Stancy’s website (designing) / 4. grandma garbs I wore in college, which just so happened to also be seen on a sweet elderly woman at Fareway. / 4. Twin Peaks & Chipper Things  / 6. Laine’s boots, of course.

I try my best to take a full day off every week. I really do. There are a million reasons for this and life is always better when the schedule fits around Sunday vs. into Sunday.

This week was different. I was not into it. Didn’t want to work on the book. Had to, but didn’t want to. I got off to a late start (holiday, friend in town, shotty internet), so when I could work I was overwhelmed and didn’t get a personal day.

I feel no shame in divulging this information because with any big project (no matter how much you want to do it), there are going to be those days  when working feels a little less natural. Despite my baditude, I produced the best batch of 10 this book has seen. Every round is better than the last. What does that say for the first ten (peppered throughout)? Those are the troublemakers that I don’t have the energy to control. “Ice cream for breakfast. Cut your own hair. Draw on your teeth. As long as Editor and Agent say it’s fine, I don’t care what you do,” is how I parent those drawings… I wish.

The reality is that I deeply care about this book turning out to be [hopefully] [much] better than average. I don’t know if this blog is where I’m supposed to butter it up and sell sell sell, or if I can be honest along the way? Oh yes, I will go with the honesty. I want the designers and illustrators I admire to not only approve, but not be opposed to going out of their way to share it with someone else. I also want 15-year-olds to laugh as they flip through, but walk away with a gust of empowerment. I want that more than the former, but I really want both.


@beckycmurphy

Book: Progress Report

Howdy pals. I hope you’re getting reading to have a great Tuesday.

Some of you have been asking about how the book progress works. Do I give it to my editor in one lump at the end? No. Neither is my editor a man behind a glass desk smoking a cigar [setting: New York] putting me on speaker phone saying, “Don’t mess this up for me, darling. You know my career is riding on this book.” My editor is named Kate and my Agent is Laurie. They are both cool, funny and encouraging.

Here’s the process breakdown:

I found out I was getting published by Plume mid-July. Since then, I’ve waited for my editor to refine my original list of 100, then I edited it, then she did, then I did. Then I was able to start drawing. I submit 10 new illustrations to her and my agent each Monday. I submit changes a few rounds later in addition to the new batch. The whole thing is due November 1st.

When I did 15 drawings in April for the blog, that was surprisingly difficult. Now I’m adding 25 more each month. Yikes! I am making leaps and bounds each week by refining my methods, but I still have a long way to go. I always assume the drawings take significantly less time than they do — I get so absorbed that time flies. I have since found each takes about two hours. One drawing and one on the computer. I HAVE NO IDEA HOW. None of it seems strenuous or time consuming. I am hoping to cut that down to half the time by the time this project is over.

I’m more excited to write about my new habits and methods, but that is for another day. Trimming the fat is one of the greatest challenges to arise from this project.

How and why I wrote the book

I finally get to talk about I’d Rather be Short. Openly! It’s not a yeah-but-don’t-tell-anyone-else-yet sort of thing. A lot has happened in the last three months. There has been scheming. Late nights. Too many emails. Twitter explosions. Contracts. And more claw hands than ever before. I’ll start at the beginning.

I had this idea to do a series on the perks of being short. A) I needed to tell myself that it is okay to be a LITTLE different. B) I wanted to empower others to do the same. C) Since I’m always the shortest friend, I am always the one to get the wonky NPR articles on shortness. I knew there wasn’t much out there because I would have gotten it as a link or gift, so I D) capitalized on it.

I had the idea a year and a half ago. I casually mentioned it to some friends (silly short perks plus illustrations). I put it off for the whole year because I didn’t know where to start.  I always wanted it to be a book in the back of my mind, but I was very careful not to say that out loud. Around New Years, I reflected on goals and what I wanted to make happen for 2012. I made fewer, but bigger goals: run half marathon, write and illustrate this book (published or not), paint a mural and stop biting nails.

I ran the half marathon in March and after the race I had some sort of post-running depression. Besides the fact that this race was over (it was a HUGE deal that I was able to run that, by the way), I also got to see far away friends, go to Mardi Gras, and SXSW in the month or two before. I felt like all of these monumental things were over at the same time and I didn’t know what to do with myself. I decided to do a marathon of drawings starting in April. In April I would do 30 IRBS illustrations. I only got 15 done, but I worked really hard on them. Though the first few really sucked, I knew it was better to start somewhere then than start somewhere later. At the end of the month I figured out the style that I liked. I didn’t reach the goal, but I got started.

When April was over, I knew I had enough material to submit to literary agents. This is mostly because of my friend Chad. He already knew about the business. I confided in him what I wanted to do and he got on board. We spent three hours writing a cover letter, bio and summary to send to agents (mostly agentquery.com). I spent a couple of weeks refining which drawings to send off, proofread work and research the agents that were the best fit for my project. Finally I submitted. I sent the email out and hoped I would hear back from somebody in a few weeks. Anybody.

The next morning I got an email from Laurie. She loved it. I told her that I needed a couple of weeks to think about it and send it to more agents before deciding on who I wanted to represent me. I talked to several in the next 10 days and had some offers. My problem was now “which agent do I choose??!!” (A champagne problem, if you will). I talked to Matt in Austin and he gave me lots of good advice. I started a Twitter account, @idratherbeshort.

I told Laurie that I wanted to work with her, and I haven’t looked back. We spent three weeks writing the proposal and sent it off to 12 publishers. A week later we had an offer. There were rejections but there was also interest. Last week (while in Chicago), the book went to auction and I had several bids. I went with Plume and I couldn’t be more thrilled.

What are the chances that I would get the wonderful news when I was with my family. I’m only seeing them twice this year, and I got to be with them on Navy Pier while I talked to Laurie and reported my decisions immediately after making them. I couldn’t release any information about the publisher until Tuesday morning, which is when I posted it on all my social media outlets. God has blessed me. He’s given me hands to draw with and people to tell me that I should keep going.

I was hoping to write this in two paragraphs. Ha! I will have so much more to say as I think of it now until November. Or Fall of next year. Or whenever I want to write more. I hope none of this sounds braggy. It has been a really amazing opportunity. I hope that this give you hope to pursue that nagging dream you tucked away.

Lesson summary:

1. Go! Don’t wait a second longer! Just start.

2. Be protective of your dreams. It’s necessary to share them with others, but don’t do it until you’re ready. We are all naturally self-indulgent. Don’t expect anyone to be over the moon for what you’ve been stewing over for weeks. Also, watch this three minute Ted Talk about why we shouldn’t be loose with sharing our goals.

3. Become a little delusional for a little while. In the back of my head I always knew this was going to turn out well. I don’t know what gave me that odd confidence, but for some reason, I would work until 2 or 3 AM. Just to do some silly IRBS blog post for like 100 readers. That is crazy, but crazy was necessary.

4. Run a really long race that you will probably hate. It gave me a renewed sense of “Yes I can!” It gave me structure and discipline, which was just what I needed to begin this new endeavor.

photo via Fred One Litch

I’d Rather be Short is getting published!

I can’t hold in the secret any longer: I’d Rather be Short is going to get published! When I was in Kindergarten, I told my teacher that I was going to write and illustrate books when I got older. It’s actually here. I can hardly believe it. My agent has been amazing and landed us several bids. I am thrilled to have Plume (imprint of Penguin) as my publisher. I have a few IRBS drawings posted, but there are many many more to go. I have learned a ton through this process and I can’t wait to write more about it in the next few days. Thank you for all your support with this series. I don’t want to take for granted all of the people who have helped me along the way. I am so blessed to get to do what I love so much.

The book will be released Fall of 2013, but I need to have it complete in the next few months. This is my official warning to the locals: you may not see me for a little while.

(This is why I said I was looking for help yesterday. Please feel free to contact me if you want to contribute to the blog — I’d love to feature essays, art, music videos, opinions, rants, raves, style collages, etc.)

Want more short love? Follow the twitter account @idratherbeshort

This just in! IRBS is on Twitter & Instagram

Thank you to everyone who has been so supportive of my creative pursuits. Through the good, bad, mediocre, funny and awkward, you have stuck by my side. I don’t know what kind of weird stuff I’d be up to if I didn’t have these hobbies to keep me out of trouble. Maybe I would learn how to shuffle cards. Or get into World of Warcraft. Or deal drugs. Or study cartography?

In regards to IRBS, it is just as important that it be life-giving as well as funny. I think we all constantly need to be affirmed that we are beautifully/wonderfully/perfectly made.

In an attempt to reach more shorties (and general yay-sayers), I’ve turned I’d Rather be Short into a Twitter critter. I’m excited. Things are still getting worked out, but it is time to release this baby into the wild.

Head over to @idratherbeshort on Twitter 

and id_rather_be_short on instagram.

I’ll still be posting on @beckycmurphy, but I’ll be hamming it up a lot more with its own Twitter space. Tell your kids, wives, grandparents and tall friends.

I’d Rather be Short no. 28: always winning [at hide-and-seek]

I wasn’t sure what to draw for this one. Dryer? Too dangerous. Hamper? Didn’t think of it until just now. Then I remembered when I strategically hid under the bed pillows at Allie’s house in elementary school. I’m sure it took them ages to find me.

It should be noted that since I’ve gotten older, I have learned that the joke is really on the best hider. That is the person who has to sit motionless for as long as it takes their lazy friends to find them. Depending on how good of a hide and how lazy the friend, it could be a lethal combination.

Hey, it’s Friday! This weekend has never happened, so make it count. I’ll be in San Antonio with Julie & co. The girl is going to be a Mrs. in a few weeks, so the only thing to do in this situation is wine tasting and dancing.

Peace and blessings. Peace. And. Blessings.

I’d Rather be Short no. 27: dodging bad breath

Last night my office softball team played its first game. Hole in the Roof (AKA Pitch Pleeze) played the Inglorious Batters. Of course we won. And by we, I mean they. I am equal parts flattered and surprised by how many times I’ve had to explain to my coworkers why I am not on the team. 8th grade > Softball to the face > Sloth jokes / generally scared of ball / generally unathletic. 

I make a better spectator than player anyway. Someone needs to stare at the office babies.

*Brandon gave me some grief about how “I wouldn’t actually post about the game” (even though I said I was a lady of my word). THIS IS A TEST. Brandon — if you read this post, I want you to turkey my five the next time I go for the kill. 

I’d Rather be Short no. 26: children’s clothes

children's clothes shoppingBeen here so so many times.

Kind of relatable story: When I was 12, my cousin Katie gave me a pair of plaid l.e.i. shorts after she outgrew them. I wore them for a few years, then handed the garment off to my sister (who is eight years younger than me). Then Laurel outgrew them. I found the shorts in her closet and took them back. I was 22.

I’d Rather be Short no. 25: value added

you're extra valuable — human measuring stickMost of these short posts are based off what I have encountered in my SHORT life. This one stems from my college apartment. Did we have a tape measure in the ‘ment somewhere? Maybe. Did we have it when we needed to measure for a curtain rod? I don’t believe so.

I’d Rather be Short no. 24: less intimidating

if you're short, you are less intimidating

Sometimes it’s nice to be intimidating. And sometimes it’s nice to to have weapons and skulls and not catch any grief about it.

Am I right or am I right?

I’d Rather be Short no. 23: the limbo, of course.

I am only halfway to my goal of 30 new IRBS posts in April. They have taken a lot longer than expected, but I’ve been working hard and I’m happy with how they have progressed. Hopefully the next few days will rain with updates. I love the topics that have been sent to me this week: easier to hold hands with kids and more likely to get carried to safety. They’re on the list. Keep ’em coming.

P.S. Are you following I’d Rather be Short on Pinterest?

I’d Rather be Short no. 21: easier to dodge bullets

College memory: After a night out, my friend Laura and I walked back to our apartments together. Our walk turned into a brisk walk and that brisk walk turned into a run. Then Laura yelled, “If you run in zig zags, YOU ARE LESS LIKELY TO GET HIT BY A BULLET!” We occupied the entire street as we ran zig zag the rest of the way home. Had there been an actual bullet to avoid, her mile long legs stood no chance against my child size frame.

Also, how can IRBS [I’d Rather be Short] and IRS [Internal Revenue Service] have such similar acronyms, yet radically different functions?

Bonus: I’d Rather be Short celebrates her 21st birthday today. Cheers to goals, progress, reality and Photoshop shortcuts. Now go smile at a stranger!

I’d Rather be Short no. 20: animals [probably] aren’t [as] scared of you

I don’t know if there is an ounce of accuracy to this, but it was just funny enough to make the cut. If you are short, do animals and kids fancy you more than your peers? Do you think it’s because you’re short, or are you actually just cooler? I would like some data for my very very serious research.

P.S. I am always taking ideas for this series. Today’s was provided by David (90% sure). I have a long list that has kept me busy, but as I progress, I realize how much better some are than others. I’d like to boot the just-okay for the really-great. Tweet me or comment below if you have a dish to contribute. Thanks, friends!

I’d Rather be Short no. 19: adorable when pregnant

Ladies, let this not be incentive.

I’d Rather be Short no. 18: “tall” dates

This one goes without saying. Still had to say it. Dialog as follows:

Some turkey: “no offense, but…uh…you’re like, really short.”

Becky / short human: “Oh…okay.”

Some turkey: “At least all your boyfriends are taller than you.”

Becky / short human: “Oh…okay.”

It is true. Not that it should matter. If it does matter to you then this can stay on the list. If it doesn’t matter to you, then just pretend #17 doesn’t exist (like the 13th floor in buildings or Manifest Destiny).

If you are a short lady, you can date (or even marry!) a tall or short guy and he will 100% absolutely always feel like his favorite WWF wrestler and/or Andre the Giant.

*NOTE TO READER: This post does not qualify for middle school girls. For they will always be taller than all the boys.

I’d Rather be Short no. 17: makeshift costumes

This is a true story. When my roommate Rachel turned 21, she wanted a Disney party. Fair enough…I wanted to be Pocahontas. I really wanted to be Pocahontas  in as few steps as possible. It was probably deBrie’s idea. Or maybe I was too lazy to plan ahead (doubtful – I take theme parties very very seriously). That was three years ago! All I know is that that pillowcase was the best date.

I’d Rather be Short no. 16: long hair in no time

Double whammy Wednesday!

I’d Rather be Short no. 15: a step up, in a way

I did this drawing a long time ago. I liked the picture, but couldn’t remember what the caption was supposed to be. Is “you are literally always a step up” good, or should I make it, “you’re more of a novelty”? Either could work. Possible new post if I need to drag the series out. I’m interested in hearing your thoughts. Also, if you are reading this, thank you for reading this.

UPDATE: I took out ‘literally’ because I received good feedback right after posting. Yeah, it’s funnier without. (Thanks Tom and Natalie).

I’d Rather be Short no. 14: skirt versatility

I learned this when I studied abroad. We were forced to combine wardrobes, and probably forced into doing it creatively. Allison had a really cool skirt that I made into a dress. All it needed was a belt around the waist and I was ready for the Italian disco tech.

I’d Rather be Short No. 13: small feet

kids shoes are cheaper

I hope everyone had a great weekend. I experienced my dream typical day on Saturday.

Now I have to tell you about it because I made you curious… 1) woke up before alarm 2) zumba 3) car detailed 4) drew at coffee shop 5) WacoFork birthday party 6) art show — woodburns featured 7) Dormer show at Common Grounds 8) Found out waterskiing squirrel is still up to his classic shenanigans.

I made some headway with my Short project. I’m not overly enthused about the recent work, but it is a learning process. I was prepared for that “what am I doing this is the worst I should just become really good at watching television” sort of feeling. I know I’m improving as I go. Lucky for you, faithful reader, you get to watch this labor of love go through labor then mature into a beautiful / really really long blog series. Consider this my Facebook baby.

I’d Rather be Short No. 12: vintage wedding dress

Why this is a benefit, let alone in my top 20, I do not know. I wasn’t running out of good ideas. I just liked the thought of drawing a dress with gaudy sleeves.

I’d Rather be Short No. 11: concerts

Side note: just got instagram.

Follow me: beckz_

If you’re not on Twitter, chances are that I don’t follow you. Send info my way!

I’d Rather be Short No. 10: shirt = dress

%d bloggers like this: