Bye Bye Carrie Bradshaw

Writing With A Purpose

Just finished reading a fascinating piece on Poynter by Mallary Jean Tenore about how bloggers are the new chick lit heroines, a follow up to today's New Republic piece by Molly Fischer. Both have some astute observations about how writers are reflecting what it's like to be part of the "new media landscape," which involves a lot less glamour and a lot more reality. 

Long hours, the constant competition of keeping up in a 24-hour news cycle. In a nutshell: truth about working in publishing in 2013. And it's a lot different than the glory days that still remained in the '90s. Carrie Bradshaw is gone.

From Fischer's piece:

"Gone are the celebrity encounters and expensive accessories. Now there are coworkers who communicate solely by IM and smartphones that must remain perpetually aglow." And "Where chick lit once tantalized readers with romance or fancy clothes, the vicarious thrills of its new-media incarnation are more mundane and more rooted in the mechanics of actually doing a job."

The Poyter story quotes Karin Tanabe, a former Politico reporter whose book The List features a character along these lines. Tanabe says: 

"'I don’t have many girlfriends who go out for three martini lunches with their version of Mr. Big. But I do know a lot of girls who work 60+ hour weeks and just hope they don’t make a wrong move so that they can keep on trucking at that pace. And usually in flats, not Carrie’s Manolos,' Tanabe told me."

Yes, yes it's true. And while I haven't read the books in these pieces, I'm going to. To read the reflection (through the fiction lens) of a world I know well. 

As Jennifer Weiner says later in the piece about female protagonists:

“The women who had newspaper jobs in the 1990s — back when there were newspaper jobs to be had — would probably be content providers today."

Yes, yes they are. 

"The Devil Wears Prada" is done. 

There's a new genre of female protagonists. I'm learning about them. I know about them. I'm intrigued to read about these truths wrapped in fiction. 

And it's time to get to writing.