Q. What do you think will be the most difficult part?
A. The most difficult part in any writing is staying honest. I have an M. F. A. in creative nonfiction, and the broad reading I've done reveals pretty clearly that a lot of lying goes on. But that's nothing new. A lot of lying -- whether directly or by omission -- goes on across societal lines (politics, business, the church universal). If being honest were easy, everyone would do it.
Q. Can I tell my friends about this project?
A. Yep. Send them the blog address. Link to me. Put up a billboard in the center of town. Knock yourself out; the more the merrier.
Q. Where did you get the blog title?
A. I'd been formulating the blog for several months and was ready to move on it. On the day I was set to start, though, I couldn't find my list of potential titles. The new Harper's Magazine had arrived, though, and it included an essay by Francine Prose about memoir. At a dinner party, Prose found herself wanting to say to an earnest young man, irate about writers of recent memoirs who invented dreadful childhood circumstances, "It's only a book."
Yeah, that's it, I thought. Ripping a copy (or two) into pieces... How bad can it be? It's only a book.
Q. So when are you going to start this project?
A. The moment I convince myself it's only a book and not my entire life that I'm ripping to shreds.