Augusten Burroughs' new book offers "Proven Aid in Overcoming Shyness, Molestation, Fatness" and moreon May 24, 2012 @ 10:00 am (Updated: 9:56 pm - 5/25/12 )
Augusten Burroughs has never read a self-help book but he's now written one with "Proven Aid in Overcoming Shyness, Molestation, Fatness, Spinsterhood, Grief, Disease" and more. (AP)
An author who managed to live through extreme circumstances involving abuse and alcoholism and then became a New York Times best-selling author, says his move into the self-help genre was an effort to do something useful.
"I've spent ten years or longer telling people everything I've gone through. And I've been told by people, readers, that this book was very helpful, or that book was very helpful, and I always kind of think in the back of my mind, 'I thank you, but I didn't write it to be helpful, and I know I can be a lot more helpful,'" said writer Augusten Burroughs in an appearance on 97.3 KIRO FM's Terry Jaymes Alive. "I've gone through a lot of stuff and I wanted to put it to use."
Burroughs' new book "This Is How: Proven Aid in Overcoming Shyness, Molestation, Fatness, Spinsterhood, Grief, Disease, Lushery, Decrepitude & More. For Young and Old Alike," offers readers familiar with his life story from his memoir writings a little insight in how he made it through.
While he didn't get it from books, his self-help knowledge seems to be plentiful.
"When you don't have parents or adults to turn to for advice, you have to solve it yourself, and the only way you're going to do that as a kid is by being completely honest with your circumstances and not lying to yourself," says Burroughs. "That's the way you solve your problems is by understanding first of all what they really are and where you really stand."
This frankness with himself he says saved him from holding on to unrealistic dreams that he believes can be a block if you don't have the stuff to make it happen.
Burroughs is a big believer in relying on your instincts and says he's found where he's happiest in a job that allows him to be himself.
He says his writing career came about kind of accidentally.
"I was a heavy drinker, an alcoholic for years and years," says Burroughs. "I started writing accidentally one day. I sat down in the midst of my alcohol poisoning and I wrote something that made me laugh, and I hadn't laughed for a long time."
Burroughs says four days into the process of writing, he stopped drinking "because it was in the way."
"On the seventh day, I finished it and I never drank again."
After writing a book in seven days, Burroughs says, "I just decided to keep doing it."
The success of his second book, he says was a shock to everyone.
"No one expected it would sell because of the subject matter, you know, you've got molestation in there, and craziness. It just was not the sort of stuff best sellers are made of, so I was still working and then it was published and it was almost overnight that it was kabooming."
Today he says he feels fortunate to be a full-time writer and wants to share with others what he can from his own experience.
"I wanted to write a book that was filled with the thinking that worked for me."
By JAMIE GRISWOLD, MyNorthwest.com Editor
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