Felicia Day is my spirit animal. Before reading her memoir, I liked her, a lot. But after? She is kind of my hero. I picked up You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) expecting a lovely romp through the gamer/TV/internet world. I have seen and loved both The Guild, which Felicia created, wrote, and stars in, and Dr. Horrible’s Singalong Blog, in which she plays the love interest (and is fought over by Neil Patrick Harris and Nathan Fillion). Basically, she’s amazing.
In You’re Never Weird on the Internet, Felicia Day discusses everything from her “hippie” childhood and being a violin prodigy to her gaming addiction and how it led her to create one of the internet’s very first web series. Having watched The Guild, I knew going in to this book that it was going to be hilarious and wonderfully nerdy. But it was so much more! YNWOTI is both touching and completely laugh-out-loud funny, but it’s also one of the most honest books I’ve ever read. I loved reading about Felicia’s childhood and the homeschool education that came mostly from books and video games (why didn’t my mother let me do that?!). Her insecurities about herself as she entered college at sixteen (and – gasp! – almost got a B, which would have ruined her perfect 4.0) spoke to my inner nerd. This book made me want to start playing more video games (but also learn from Felicia’s mistakes and not start playing more video games). But, more than that, it really hit home with the message that you need to go out and get the things you want in life and take care of yourself first. My favorite part of the book was the final few chapters, in which Day discusses how the stress of running her own business took a toll on her health and personal life. It was kind of exactly what I needed to hear, because if someone as amazing as Felicia day can have the same doubts and insecurities as I do, maybe things aren’t so bad.
You made something great. And something new will come around. Or not. Either way, do the work you love. And love yourself. That’s all you can do in this world in order to be happy.
I also thought YNWOTI was wonderfully well-written (not surprising from someone who’s written a hit web series and several comics). It was distinctly Felicia’s own voice, but still read like a well-organized and thought out book. I listened to this one as an audiobook, which Felicia reads, and it felt like a fun conversation. She injects more serious topics – like Gamergate and her mental health struggles – with hilarious anecdotes – like the time she got recognized assembling a stuffed Santa in a tutu at Build-a-Bear.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book! It’s up there with my favorite memoirs, and I would even say it’s a must-read for any aspiring writers or artists. Loved it! I’m going to go rewatch The Guild now.
Because if you can’t be your own weird self on the internet, where can you be? And what would be the point?