Fresh off the release of her new book we had a chance to sit down and speak with the hilarious and always charming Felecia Day, about the book, gaming, and life itself.
C4: Thank you Felicia for taking the time to meet me.
Felicia: No, no anyone who wants to talk about my book I will talk to you about that, or just anything really
C4: Well I have to get this out there right away as a fellow IRL WOW girl I’ve been a big fan for a long time. I used to DPS on Hyjal my little humble brag for the day.
Felicia: That’s a huge deal! Hyjal was the baller server you must be a baller person! That was the top server, you had to be really really good! I bow down, I bow down.
C4: The book was so personal for me, I actually played up until I got pregnant and then I bowed out gracefully.
Felicia: Oh Wow!
C4: So I’m going to dive in and let you know I only got halfway through the book I decided I wanted to experience the rest of it with a physical tangible copy that I can scribble in.
Felicia: Oh yay! Yeah I really designed it and wanted people to trash it.
C4: I am so excited for it. As I mentioned it is a little emotional getting back in touch with certain things and honestly my kid is 10 and I’m still rediscovering who I am and I imagine that it was for you as well.
In a different interview you mentioned you didn’t realize that you didn’t need this book until it was almost done, so I’m wondering if you could talk a little bit about rediscovering yourself while simultaneously writing the book.
Felicia: So I think the point I reached is this, whenever you’re creating something you should be growing in that process. You are giving birth to something. Whether its a blog post or a knitted sweater or whatever it is you should be more familiar with yourself as an artist and have grown a little bit and that’s the conclusion I reached writing the book.
As you said, it is a very personal story because I think the more personal you are the more you resonate with people. We are compelled by stories and the reason I wrote this book is that someone told me that my previous journey in my memoir helped them discover the creativity in their life and also gave them the strength to overcome anxiety and depression and I wanted to give the tools back to people in order to do that.
As I wrote this book I realized I was writing it and I was so motivated to write because I was trying to find myself after having a baby, like it really is a big shift in who you are and we all have these experiences in our lives: puberty, moving out of the house, going to college, turning 30 like we all have these points in our lives where we have to grow and become new people and so I happened to be going through one of those life crisis of who I am and i was like how do I guide myself through this in a fun way and that’s really how this book came about
C4: I absolutely love that and I’ll be honest, I hit 30 this year so we are just checking all the boxes to make this a book for me.
Felicia: Oh there ya go! I love to hear that. I love to resonate with people of all ages and all background i believe we are all universal and if we can know ourselves better and be more of our own supporters.
C4: It’s really emphasizing whats already there and trying to help the reader draw it out of themselves and I absolutely love that. I’m curious how you came up with a nerd friendly self help book but this full interactive experience – how did that spark.
Felicia: Well yeah. I mean what I do online is very interactive. I never feel large enough to not notice my audience and I wouldn’t want to, and so that allows me to be with my fans which is so important and adding to that I’ve read a lot of parenting books and also just how you learn.
I got really into that about a year ago and so you know the best books that I found on it really illustrated that you can’t really learn passively. Just because you read something or listen to something doesn’t mean you’re going to absorb it into yourself. If you can get your body involved in the learning of it then it will impact you so much more readily and that’s why I was like, well we have to do the exercises along the way or people wont really discover something about themselves that might surprise them and that’s why we did it.
It was difficult to do a book that didn’t have the exercises grouped up at the end of the chapter with all the illustrations and funny quotes and things like that and I just have to say my editor really supported me in my quest to do this kind of different format and I think it works so well because we are on the journey together and it is an interactive experience and I think it is pretty unique but also I think it’s pretty great.
C4: I do too. Speaking of the exercises I have a couple questions about them.
Did you have a favorite when you got to the end?
And who did all these cute doodles their just so great
Felicia: Thank you! An illustrator based out in Bend Oregon, Faceout Studio, they do covers and other book designs and we enjoyed their people and their style.
If i could draw this would be the style and you know as far as the exercises go I really enjoy the ones that encourage people to be terrible at things and draw badly.
I love ones where people are supposed to tear things out of the book and I love the more thoughtful ones where you are a tree and there are some branches you can remove in order to be more creative, like so I cant pick.
There is one doodle I love the most and it this picture of a unicorn that has obviously taken too many steroids like flexing all of his muscles and it made me laugh so much and I was like “roided out unicorn” and you send this description off to the illustrator not knowing what you’re going to get back and i was like oh thank god for you thank you thank you.
C4: It was everything you could have asked for! Will we ever get to see your worst drawing of a horse in space?
Felicia: I would love to do that. I will post it the first week of the book to encourage people that HEY it doesn’t matter how bad you think you draw – I will be worse, I promise. In fact I will try to be worse because that is the point! To free you up and be terrible and finding a joy in things again.
C4: I know it was right in the beginning but it was one of my favorite things I’ve been anxiously waiting for my husband and child to read the book and do this exercise. I want them all framed.
Felicia: Oh that’s awesome. A lot of people ask me about what age/grade range and I was like you know there’s no swear words or any racy topics.
C4: No Its already on my like to buy list – my child is on a gifted program so a lot of them are gifted in ways that make them socially awkward in the best type of way. Forcing someone to fail on purpose in the face of perfectionism that’s what they need.
Felicia: Oh that is so wonderful. Like I said, I think everyone is an audience. I have a lot of teenage girl fans who talk to me and they are struggling so hard to find anyone who is a mentor in this space, but also struggling to be themselves by themselves. I think of them in particular as being vulnerable because those are the years we start to close off possibilities and give up things we like because of peer pressure and become self conscious and less creative and spontaneous and I want to talk to you guys.
If i could go back in time i would take my 14 year old self and sit down with this book and I’d be like “Hey, I know I’m an old person telling you to do things but this would be very valuable to you”.
C4: Is there something creative that you try to do every day?
Felicia: I mean I am very blessed in that my career allows me to be creative in that whether that is creating something for myself or helping other people create things as a producer. I try. I will say my most productive days are when I discipline myself to really do either, not a diary entry but maybe like typing stream of consciousness and deleting it afterwards.
I talk about it in the book like taking out the trash, you put yourself up to have these thoughts bubble up after working through what you’re anxious about and other obligations that might be on your chest. If you free yourself up to go about your day and discover the day with yourself. Get out of your way with that trash dump is very successful when I do it. I wont say I do it every day. I do it enough especially when in a crisis. I know when i get anxious that it’s my inner creator being like “knock knock knock you’re not paying attention to me” .
C4: Oh my gosh I do the same thing – my husband will banish me to the craft room to get some sewing done.
That is wonderful that you have that outlet! Some people dontt have that and its so inspiring to hear.
I have one more question and then one fun one I know we are almost out of time.
What is your piece of advice for the creative mind to try and cut that social media habit. I’ve gotten to the part in the book where you begin to touch on it how you’ve gotta shut it off especially while you’re trying to work through this book
Felicia: Um yeah it really is hard and there’s an analogy
Calliope (Felicias daughter): Mama!
Felicia: I’m so sorry. My kid is having a meltdown. Oh I don’t know what you’re talking about but just let me finish this phone call. If this is a recording “welcome to my world!”
I guess my best advice is that to take care of your inner creator you have to look at it as a hobby not a profession and i say that because we kind of if you picture your soul
Okay, imagine you have a power in your chest and it is your inner creator right? If we start creating only for external gratification like social media kinda makes us do right? We start to have that glow escape our center and exist on the surface of our skin because all we are thinking about is how people will look at our glow – not what it is inside of us. I’m just as bad as anybody else but the more you can protect where your glow is and if it gets too far away from yourself where you’re worried about your numbers and what people think of you and who approves of you you are betraying your inner self, so you kinda have to take a vacuum out and suck your glow back up and this is a terrible analogy . it needs some work.
We can shop it and we can double back. Last question and then off to bedtime routines.
C4: What are you playing right now and what are you most looking forward to?
Felecia: I’m playing Assassins Creed Origins DLC, I was always a fan of Assassins Creed but it never hooked me, but this one did because I love Roman and Greek mythology and the main character is so great so thats what i’m playing, and I also played Dicey Dungeon and I love it! It seems like a simple board game slash card game slash video game, but when you get into it there’s some neat strategy, so I want to play more of it. It is something I wanted to play for so long and I wish I had it on my phone! I hope they port it in because it would 100% be my go-to instead of twitter
C4: I will have to add that to my list! Thank you again for the time and I want to reiterate that this book is fantastic it is positively breathtaking and I haven’t even finished it yet
Felicia: Awe that’s so sweet. That makes me feel so good. When you send something out into the world you don’t know what people will do with it, and I really want people to be able to take it and create, that’s all this book is about.
Felicia Days new book, Embrace Your Weird is on shelves now. Pick up a copy and let us know what you think!
Felicia Day is a professional actress who has appeared in numerous television shows and films, including Supernatural, The Magicians, and Mystery Science Theatre 3000. However, Felicia is best known for her work in the web video world, behind and in front of the camera. She co-starred in
Joss Whedon’s Internet musical Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, which won an Emmy in 2009. She also created and starred in the seminal web series The Guild. In 2012, Felicia created a production company called Geek & Sundry that pioneered content on YouTube, Twitch and other platforms. It was sold to Legendary Entertainment. Since writing her New York Times bestselling memoir, You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost), Felicia has continued to work on her own creative projects as a producer, writer, and actor. Most recently, she is working as a producer with Freeform on Woman World, an animated TV show based on the award-winning graphic novel. Visit @feliciaday on Twitter or Instagram ,or at FeliciaDay.com.