Jillian Lauren is the New York Times bestselling author of the memoirs EVERYTHING YOU EVER WANTED and, SOME GIRLS: My Life in a Harem, and the novel PRETTY.
Her writing has appeared in The Paris Review, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Vanity Fair, and Elle, among others.
She curates the Happier Hour literary salon series in Los Angeles, where she lives with her husband and two sons.
Your Personal or Professional Goals:
I aim to have a life rich in family and art and friendship, in which I am always creatively engaged.
What’s your offering to the world:
As an author who primarily writes about my life, I feel my entire existence- all of my triumphs and failures and joys and fears and accomplishments and mistakes- is an offering to the world.
Sharing about the messy stuff in a public way hasn’t always been easy, but ultimately it gives me a sense of great meaning and purpose.
Writing about the world around me gives me a compelling reason to stay conscious and present, to observe in a deep way, and to develop an understanding of how narrative functions.
I have found that profoundly empowering. Whatever may happen to us, the story is ours to tell.
Who/What Inspires You:
I’m inspired by kindness, above all. The heroes who fight for social justice in this world and their grand narratives inspire me on a macro level, but on a daily level, I’m inspired by the mom at school who takes a moment to commiserate with me or the barista who remembers my child’s name- the small courtesies that make me smile when I’m having a tough morning.
I’m also inspired by stories of failure! I know many people like to hear the overnight rags to riches story, but I’m the opposite.
I love to hear about people striving and failing and believing in themselves anyway, enough to brush off and try again.
Because that’s much more relevant to my personal story.
I want to tell tell meaningful, dramatic stories that provide points of connection and light.
Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better. –Samuel Beckett