Womanskills

Voyageur Press / 224 pages / $15.99 / ISBN-13: 978-0760350188
Available at Amazon

Praise for Womanskills:

  • “This is the smartest, funniest, most patient friend you can get in book form without that book actually being haunted.” —Kristin Chirico, senior editor, BuzzFeed
  • “Even though I live with a woman, and even lived inside one for a while, until recently I had no way to help them, because I’m a man. Now, however, I can just hand them a copy of the funny, thoughtful Womanskills.” – Rob Delaney
  • “This wise, irreverent compendium of life hacks finds the sweet spot between Amy Sedaris and Worst Case Survival Guides, filling in a much-needed gap in every woman’s bag of tricks. An instant classic.” – Janet Fitch, author of White Oleander and Paint It Black
  • “Erin brings her unique brand of charm, cheek, and fierceness to this much-needed how-to guide. Womanskills are human skills, but the voice speaks directly to my powerful generation of ladies. I now know that my bras don’t fit, my salary could be higher, and I totally should have proposed to my husband instead.” – Jessie Rosen, Time Top 25 Blogger, founder of 20-Nothings.com
  • “In Womanskills, La Rosa is that know-it-all friend who you don’t want to punch in the face. Because she’s hilarious and has lots of great advice for navigating that weird period when you’re supposed to be an adult but have absolutely no idea how to be.” – Lilibet Snellings, author of BOX GIRL: My Part-Time Job as an Art Installation
  • “I have come to count on Erin for her practical and hilarious wisdom. With Womanskills, you too will have access to her advice-from how to cook like a real adult person to how to survive being single again.” – Lucy Keating, author of Dreamology

4 Reasons Why You Should Pre-Order “Womanskills”

Books have all kinds of uses: a chunky square to fix a wobbly table, extra kindling for when the zombie apocalypse hits, and sometimes they’re even fun to read. Sometimes.

Which brings me to my book, Womanskills. Some of you may remember that I was “writing” something. Some of my friends may remember that over the last year I went into hiding to get it all done. And finally, FINALLY, it’s here. The book pubs on October 15, but I’m hoping you’ll go ahead and pre-order it for a few reasons. (PS— Cover is below in case you’re thinking, Her? Writing? Not possible. Well, it IS, and I DID.)

WomanskillsCover

REASON ONE: This is a book for strong, feminist women

When you see the title Womanskills, that can mean a lot of things. And some people might immediately think this is a book telling women how to behave, which sounds terrible. It’s not that. What I can tell you as a feminist and as the person who wrote this thing, is that this book addresses situations only women have to face; mansplaining, equal pay, and having certain expectations placed on you because of your gender.

Womanskills lays out these situations and provides ways to kick them to the fucking curb so you can spend more time and energy being the strong, badass woman you are. Don’t get me wrong, this also deals with basic, everyday things, like how to actually find a bra that fits, learning how to make an exceptional cup of coffee, and ways to get all of the pet hair off of your couch. OK, that pet hair one was maybe more for my benefit than anyone else, but I figured out some seriously amazing ways to make your home fuzz-free. (The secret involves cleaning gloves. It’ll change your life. I promise.)

Even if you don’t feel like a badass all the time, by the end of the book I hope you feel more empowered to take on the world and deal with the everyday things we all go through. Womanskills is all about adding to your skill set, helping you become more independent, and giving you confidence in the idea that yes, you can snake your own damn drain and negotiate a higher salary all in the same day.

REASON TWO: I wrote a book I wouldn’t hate reading

I didn’t want to pick this hefty square up in 10 years and feel like I’d made a mistake. The Internet is certainly forever, but so is a book as long as you keep it on your shelf. So, I made this fun to read. There are Oregon Trail jokes, ’90s movie references, and plenty of mentions of pizza as a lifestyle choice.

I also made sure it looked the way I wanted it to. For example, this book has some amazing designs and I worked with our illustrator, Kelsey King, to make sure we were showing diverse women — older, younger, different body shapes, sizes, colors, sexual orientations, etc. All women are queens who are too good for this earth, so you’ll definitely see that throughout the book.

Kelsey King, courtesy of Voyageur Press

Kelsey King, courtesy of Voyageur Press

REASON THREE: It’s funny! And people other than me agreed!

Just check out these actual reviews from people who read my book and tell me the lie.

  • “Even though I live with a woman, and even lived inside one for a while, until recently I had no way to help them, because I’m a man. Now, however, I can just hand them a copy of the funny, thoughtful Womanskills.” – Rob Delaney
  • “This wise, irreverent compendium of life hacks finds the sweet spot between Amy Sedaris and Worst Case Survival Guides, filling in a much-needed gap in every woman’s bag of tricks. An instant classic.” – Janet Fitch, author of White Oleander and Paint It Black
  • “This is the smartest, funniest, most patient friend you can get in book form without that book actually being haunted.” – Kristin Chirico, senior editor, BuzzFeed
  • “Erin brings her unique brand of charm, cheek, and fierceness to this much-needed how-to guide. Womanskills are human skills, but the voice speaks directly to my powerful generation of ladies. I now know that my bras don’t fit, my salary could be higher, and I totally should have proposed to my husband instead.” – Jessie Rosen, Time Top 25 Blogger, founder of 20-Nothings.com
  • “In Womanskills, La Rosa is that know-it-all friend who you don’t want to punch in the face. Because she’s hilarious and has lots of great advice for navigating that weird period when you’re supposed to be an adult but have absolutely no idea how to be.” – Lilibet Snellings, author of BOX GIRL: My Part-Time Job as an Art Installation
  • “I have come to count on Erin for her practical and hilarious wisdom. With Womanskills, you too will have access to her advice-from how to cook like a real adult person to how to survive being single again.” – Lucy Keating, author of Dreamology
REASON FOUR: If none of the above excite you, just remember that books are super easy to throw at people you hate

Just saying ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

You can pre-order Womanskills on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or at IndieBound — and then let me know you did so I can buy you a big thank you drink!

What I’ve Learned From Writing A Book

I’ve been hiding the fact that I’ve been working on a book for a long time, because I was so terrified something might go wrong, but I’m ready to talk about it. (Stay with me here.)

Writing a book

So… I’M WRITING A BOOK! I’m sure anyone who gets a book deal will say this, but I’ve always wanted to write a book, and it’s so exciting that when I think about it my throat catches and I feel like I might scream. I’M SO EXCITED.

It’s a humor how-to guide called Womanskills, and it will likely hit bookshelves next October, or so my editor tells me. (My Editor, this is such a nice thing to say.)

I’ve quietly been writing the outline, which was approved. Then I wrote the first chapter, which has now been approved. And I’ll be working on the rest of the book over the next few months. It’ll all be done by January, and because I’ve been happily thrown into this, I feel like I now have some takeaways.

  • Procrastination and writer’s block will happen. Like, you think that maybe turning on HGTV for “background noise” will help you get in the zone, and then an hour later you realize your new zone is just watching TV. Personally, I’ve tried to put a time limit on those things, so if I start procrastinating, I give myself an hour, then it’s back to writing and turning off the internet. See evidence of procrastination below:

Decided to take a selfie while working on my book, because I’ve run out of ways to procrastinate. 📖📚💻

A photo posted by Erin La Rosa (@sideofginger) on

    • It’s OK to not talk about your book until you’re really ready to do so. I took a full month to tell people. I mean, I immediately told my cat, E, my parents, my closest friends, and sometimes would just mumble it to myself, but I didn’t start conversations with it. It’s totally fine to be nervous, and to keep exciting things close to you. And yes, people will be mad that you didn’t tell them, saying things like, “Why didn’t you tell me?!” but like, pat them on the back and reassure them that your crippling anxiety really needed this secrecy.

 

  • However, at some point you should let yourself be excited and share the great news. (See this blog post, for example.)

 

 

  • Find a spot that really makes you want to write. I used to think that spot was on my couch, until I kept trying to watch TV. Then I tried my bed, and I kept napping. But the library? Yes, I work quite well in a library. Libraries are quiet and there’s no TV, which for me was basically what I needed. #librariesforever

 

 

  • And when you do something, like find your idea for a book, or finish an outline or a chapter or a whole book, celebrate by doing something you had to put off while writing. Like on Sunday I submitted my chapter, so I watched episodes of Hannibal and sat in my pajamas without typing. That was totally lovely.