We’re all guilty. Perhaps, only differing in terms of levels: of giving in to people-pleasing tendencies, and sweating over the ‘small stuff’. International bestselling author Sarah Knight was pretty much like the rest of us, until she decided to take a detour – and step up her game and get going. Her recent read, You Do You — is a memoir on how to be who you are and use what you’ve got to get what you want. Peppered with profanity and sharp humour; Sarah’s recent read has amassed international acclaim. “I was inspired to write You Do You by my own experiences as a child, young adult, and professional woman, often feeling like an outsider among my peers,” shares Sarah, who goes on to add, “It took almost 40 years to become fully comfortable with who I am, learning how to leverage all of my strengths, and even my flaws. I wanted to show others that you don’t have to change who you are, to suit society. But, you can change the way you feel about who you are, in a positive way.”
The book introduces itself with a one pager (spanning both sides) alert — There is nothing wrong with you. And, unsurprisingly, that is exactly the message — “The crux of the book can be summed up in six words — There is nothing wrong with you,” states Knight. The book comprising 299 pages, is unabashed, real and hard-hitting. It offers hilarious and empowering advice, tips and life-changing wisdom on being yourself and doing your thing. The book aims to embed the following truth into the readers’ minds. And that is, there is absolutely nothing wrong in putting your happiness first. And, how embracing your flaws is the key to ignoring the haters and proving doubters wrong.
Given Sarah’s innate ability to rise above giving a f*ck, one is bound to think she’s never had self-esteem issues. But, turns out, Sarah grew up with her share of insecurities. Over time, Knight got better equipped dealing with criticism and shortcomings. Speaking about her evolution, she adds, “I used to not take criticism well at all — I was such a perfectionist that if someone told me I was wrong, it felt like an affront to my very soul! But over the past few years, I’ve been able to change my mindset and not care so much about what other people think, nor be so hard on myself. I call myself a “recovering perfectionist.” It helps that now, as an author, I have to take lots of criticism from my editor and use it to make my books better — and since I used to be a book editor myself, I know it’s coming from a place of mutual respect. Despite all of her previous reads falling under the genre of self-help; she grew up on a steady diet of voracious reading.
Price: Rs 499 Publisher: Hachette No of pages: 299
Speaking of which she says, “I was always a voracious reader. As a kid, I read all of the classic children’s literature, like Charlotte’s Web, the Nancy Drew mysteries, and Anne of Green Gables, and then moved on to literary fiction like Jane Austen, Vladimir Nabokov and John Irving. But I also read lots of mysteries and thrillers, because those were the books my mother liked best and I would read them after her — Mary Higgins Clark, Agatha Christie, Sue Grafton, and more. These days, I still love thrillers and psychological suspense, but I also read a lot more memoir.” On the personal front, Sarah likes to keep it low key. “I don’t really have a lot of hobbies (besides reading), but I do love to go out to eat and drink with my husband and our friends. So a typical day for me is usually having coffee while responding to emails and conducting interviews or podcasts, then I write for four to five hours — sometimes with a break to sunbathe (I guess that is another hobby!) or take a walk on the beach — and then I spend evenings enjoying a nice meal and some cocktails. A couple of years ago my husband and I moved from New York City to a small village in the Dominican Republic, to have a warmer, slow-paced life, so mostly I just like to be outside enjoying the nice weather as much as possible, day or night.”
Currently writing her fourth book, Sarah shares the inside track on what’s next on the radar. “I’m currently writing my fourth book, which is another in the No F*cks Given Guides series. It’s called Calm the F*ck Down: How to Control What You Can and Accept What You Can’t so You Can Stop Freaking Out and Get on with Your Life. It’s a practical guide to managing stress, making decisions, and solving problems large and small. It will be published in January 2019,” she signs off.