If you’re like me, you can tell we’re already almost a quarter of the way through the year by the fading spark inside you that dies as the leaves start to turn brown. January and February are bright months! The sun’s still shining, it’s warm well into the evening, and the residual internal chill vibes from the holiday break are still powering you through your work days. But as the weather cools and the memories of lying on the beach fade, getting out of bed to drag your sorry arse to work becomes decidedly harder. Personally, I’m trying to ban the post-work, pre-dinner nap, but March, damn you, you’re making it hard.
As always, I’ve turned to books to solve my problems, in the hopes a clever author has already sorted my life out for me. Here are five beauties that might help give you the kick up the butt you need to get out of bed.
Yes Please by Amy Poehler
After Bossypants hit the shelves of aspiring writers and comedians everywhere, I was excited to see what Tina Fey’s bestie, Amy Poehler, had to say in her own memoir. To me, Yes Please was decidedly different from Bossypants. Where Fey’s autobiography was truly a retelling of her life through funny stories, Poehler’s is more of a motivational, or even self-help text. But good, and not painful or wanky. This book is absolutely chock-full of helpful lines; I re-read my favourite – “The doing is the thing” – to motivate me to get up and make shit happen.
Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Offill
To be honest, I have not stopped talking about this book since I finished it and I would have tried to shoehorn it in to whatever list I was writing, no matter what the topic. In saying that, I firmly believe this does have a place here due to the fire it lit under my arse to get back to writing. Sometimes you read a book so good it suddenly makes you feel you’ll never be able to write something that good, so you’d best give up, while also reinvigorating your passion for the form, so you go and write anyway. Also, there’s a whole chunk of the book where the author’s family is suffering under a bed bug infestation that’ll definitely get you itching to get out from under the covers.
Priestdaddy by Patricia Lockwood
If there was ever a motivator for getting out of bed and getting to work on time, it’s the raised whip of the possibility of having to move back in with one’s parents. Poet Patricia Lockwood found herself in this very position in her 20s, moving back into the rectory in which her Catholic priest father and her mother lived. While Patricia herself admits her preferred writing position is lying prone in bed with a laptop on her stomach, Priestdaddy actually takes us across America and into her family’s history and present. At the very least this book will make you giggle – and endorphins from laughing are their own kind of energy, right?
Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff
Told in two parts – Fates and Furies – Lauren Groff’s masterpiece tells the story of an intense couple, each motivated in their own way and for different reasons. It’s about love and marriage and art and the choices we make. It’s funny, sad, intense and – to me – motivating. While Lotto, the star of Fates, is undoubtedly a privileged painful prodigy, the pace of which the character churns out plays and yearns for success might get you motivated to do, like, anything. Mathilde, who we focus on in Furies, conquered her life in a very different way, which might resonate more with you. There are two choices!
The Bright Hour: A Memoir of Living and Dying by Nina Riggs
Nina Riggs was a poet. She died of breast cancer in 2017, but not before publishing her beautiful memoir in 2015. Often funny and absurd, The Bright Hour is about sitting with your own mortality, and the idea of your life coming to an end always being in the room with you. The mother of two and married to the love of her life, Nina reminds us not to waste time under the covers and instead get out there and make the most of it.