her memoir "Youíre Never Weird on the Internet
(Almost)," (Touchstone: $25.99), actress Felicia
Day admits that sheís often referred to as "that
quirky chick in that one science-fiction show" or
as "usually the lone female on lists of prominent
nerds." But sheís much more than that.
she was one of the slayerettes in the last television
season of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," she had
prominent roles on fan-centric shows like
"Supernatural" and "Eureka" and she
played Penny in Joss Whedonís online musical sensation
"Dr. Horribleís Sing-a-long Blog."
the Internet is where Day found her voice. She created
and stars in the Web series "The Guild" and is
the founder of Geek & Sundry, a multiplatform media
outlet that is a hub for the geek community. She does
all of this, plus is a champion of romance novels and
board games, and she still found time to write a book.
are hard! What I wanted to do was open the door to this
new world, which is digital media, since my life is
exactly the same years as the emergence of the
Internet," Day said. "Itís like the
industrial revolution, a technological revolution, and
hopefully it opens doors for people rather than closes
them. Thatís why I wanted to have that message of
openness and creativity and expressing yourself ó the
Pollyanna view of technology."
multi-hyphenate spoke to Jacket Copy about her journey
from "weird home-schooled kid to early online
adopter to business owner and creator" and what it
took to write and publish her memoir.
What made you decide to do the book?
The book started as a speech I gave several times right
after Geek & Sundry was formed. I was asked to speak
at YouTube events, at brand seminars, at Wharton
Business School. So I had to put together a survey of my
life, which Iíve never done before, and people
responded so well to my journey from weird home-schooled
kid to early online adopter to business owner and
creator, that when the idea came to me to do a book, I
was like ĎOh, I already have an outline here.í Of
course, it changed a lot during all the iterations in
the year that I took to write it.
core of it that people tended to respond to ... was
embracing your uniqueness and being able to get your
voice out there as a unique person using opportunities
and places that did not exist before.
Although you were prepared through your speech work, was
it still a daunting task?
It was definitely daunting. I was really just using that
as a template and a starting point. But, like any
artistic venture, hopefully it morphs as you get into
it. I had to be very mathematical about it ó I have a
math degree ó if I was going to be able to achieve a
book, which is much longer than a screenplay, which I
had written before. Ö I used a program to help me
track my word count. I created a structure within the
program, called Scrivener, to sort of break up my tasks
into smaller tasks, and thatís how I was able to get
through it. I think structure always gives you a place
to wander because if you just say ĎHey, do a book,í
it looks like youíre just trying to scale Mt. Everest
A math degree ó what did you think your path was going
to be once you got that?
I always knew that I wanted to be an actor. I donít
know why. It was sort of this blind faith that I had in
myself ó that I talk about in the book ó where it
was a very big adjustment period after I got to
Hollywood. But mathematics is something that I was very
good at, and I love achieving things, and thereís a
certain sense of order that the mathematical universe
gives you in that you always have the tools to be able
to solve any problem.
wasnít really a situation where I saw a future there.
It was creating Ö the basics of a backup plan, which I
never, ever wanted to do. I tend to throw myself off
cliffs and see where I land, in every single step of my
life. As a risk-averse person, I donít know why I do
You talk about embracing your weirdness in the book. How
do you deal with the success you have now?
At the end of my book, thereís a whole chapter dealing
with depression and anxiety and really struggling with
success. I think thatís something that no one really
tells you about. When you achieve what you were aiming
for and get the recognition that you were looking for,
all of these other problems start piling on. Itís not
something that you want to complain about because you
were always driving yourself toward being recognized,
achieving a certain amount of popularity, having so many
doors open for you. But that can be almost as crushing
as no one wanting to hear you.
what I struggled dealing with. Being able to remain
myself with all of these opportunities and trying to
please a lot of people and having expectations heaped on
me that I didnít know if I could live up to. Now, Iím
definitely more able to deal with those things and see
the long term of a career versus trying to chase every
opportunity. Ö The great thing about this new digital
world is that you donít have to be one thing. Really,
as a digital person, you have to be good at many things
or you canít succeed.
Was writing your memoir cathartic? You talked a bit
about depression, and later in your book, about having a
Absolutely. Writing this book was an adventure in
self-therapy that I never thought I would explore. In
examining your life from a birdís-eye view as an
objective person, and especially when youíre trying to
look at your journey and make is useable for other
people versus self-indulgent or manipulative, that is a
very, very hard task, and also illuminating. I realized
that certain things in your life form you in a way that
is permanent. Ö To me, the thing I take away from
writing a memoir is that everyone should have a memoir
ó to be able to get that birdís-eye view of their
life and be aware of the patterns of their behavior so
that they can guide themselves versus letting the
unconscious guide them.
Thatís a lot of self-discovery. And it took a year to
About a year to write the book, and then a couple of
months of editing. The whole publishing industry is so
interesting because Iím in the world of the immediate
publishing. I have an idea, the impulse is there, I
shoot it and I post it immediately. Ö Publishing is
such a long-tail sort of business, but to see it up
close ó itís like assembling a battleship, piece by
piece over months and months, and finally you release it
into the world and you just hope that it sails.
exciting to me is that every time I had an idea that
molded my world, meaning the digital world, they were
really accepting of it. Thatís what I think old media
needs to do is embrace what new media is finding but
also keep what works in their business.