How to Fight Presidents

A Book by Daniel O'Brien

In stores now

Order today!

How to Fight Presidents

A Book by Daniel O'Brien

In stores now

Order today!

Update Journal » January, 2014

Motivation Through Shaming

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

 

The publisher gave me nine months to write my book How to Fight Presidents, which you can pre-order right this second. I couldn’t exactly take a sabbatical from Cracked, so I was trying to write this book while still working a full-time, often 70 hours/week job.

I understand how jobs work and I generally don’t need any motivation to work (that’s what the money is for), but spending all day researching, editing and writing nonfiction comedy only to come home to spend all night researching, editing and writing nonfiction comedy, even on weekends, gets monotonous and daunting. And everything else- hanging out with friends, going to the movies, going to a bar or the nightclub or wherever the hell social people hang out- looked so much more appealing. I wanted to motivate myself, to force myself to stay indoors and write no matter how tempting the outside world appeared.

misery
That guy in Misery wrote a whole book. Might be something to this “horribly disfigured leg thing…”

I decided to stop shaving and cutting my hair. I’ve never been able to grow a beard and generally look pretty ridiculous with any kind of hair, because I mostly look like a lego man and that’s fine. So I stopped shaving and trimming my hair and chose not to buy brushes or combs. I wanted to look so haggard that I couldn’t stomach going outside and being seen by people. Here is a picture of me running the LA marathon the week before I found out we’d sold the book:

marathon
That’s me, running the LA Marathon in first place or thereabouts.

And here is a picture of me the evening I submitted in the finished book:

face
That’s me, in a fight with a pigeon over who controls this particular street corner.

Whenever I thought “You know what? I haven’t seen my friends in a while. Maybe I’ll call up Lisa and-” I’d look in the mirror and say “No, I should probably read about Franklin Pierce for six more hours. Okay.”

 




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