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Writer Of The Week: Andrea Grimes

‘Sometimes I get to use writing to shape other people’s worlds, which is a tremendous privilege. Words, man. They’re a whole thing.’

Stereotypes can be (and usually are) odious, but goddamn if Andrea Grimes doesn’t feel like the very best of the Texan myths. Therein this “Texpat” lies a giant personality—a swaggering, red-lipsticked raconteur unrelenting in her ability to be seen and heard.

But more importantly, Andrea Grimes also defies one of my least favorite stereotypes on the planet—women aren’t funny.

Andrea, in fact, blows that stereotype right the fuck up like one of those circa 1945 photographs of nuclear bombs being tested in the Nevada desert; there ain’t nothing left of that bullshit by the time she is done. Nada.

Her column, “The Bad Advisor,” is funny. Really, really funny.

And you don’t have to believe me — just ask the droves of humans who clamor every Tuesday for the column, demanding, where the hell is it?! if delayed by just a few hours.

And it’s not just funny. Like the very best of satire, it’s also scathing, smart. It takes aim at our pettiness, our ignorance, our shitty, most selfish selves and wraps it all up in a glorious snark-package that will make you a better person.

It’s a kind of alchemy really.

Oh, and she’s also the executive producer of an amazing podcast—”Traitor Radio”—an aural wonderland designed to “engage entry-level social justice warriors, and to mobilize people at their points of privilege,” so we can all feel less hopeless and make our communities bigger, brighter, and more beautiful.

In short? We’re lucky as hell to have her brilliant mind-scrawlings here on The Establishment. This is what she had to say for herself.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Andrea Grimes is going to be reading at our December 14 event in San Francisco — HOLIDAZE! It’s gonna be a-m-a-z-i-n-g.

You can generally find me writing in apocalyptic despair, on a tear on Twitter, while drinking cheap whiskey.

The writers that have most influenced my life are Joan Didion, Ann M. Martin, Abigail Van Buren, Bill Bryson, David Sedaris, Mark Twain, Samantha Irby, Roxane Gay, Mallory Ortberg, and Sarah Vowell.

The TV character I most identify with is Louise Belcher.

I think “paying writers in exposure” is…The answer to this question will cost you $500.

The coolest thing I’ve bought from money made writing is my mortgage. (Runner up: groceries.)

My most listened to song of all time is “Friends in Low Places” by Garth Brooks.

If I could share one of my stories by yelling it into a megaphone in the middle of Times Square, it would be one of my Bad Advice columns, because you know there’s always some worthless ass-bag tottering around wondering if he can disown his gay son or out his trans niece or tell his boss she’s fat or buy his kid a thong and those assholes need to get a what-for, in public.

My 18-year-old self would feel very confused and conflicted about where I am today.

I like writing for The Establishment because being an advice columnist is real good but getting paid for it is better.

If I could only have one type of food for the rest of my life it would be sushi, all day, every day, please someone make this happen.

If I could give the amazing people who sponsor stories anything in the world to express my gratitude, it would be…another good-ass story. I mean that’s what they want, right?

The story I’m working on now is my NaNoWriMo project about ghosts who are fed up with ghost-hunters.

The story I want to write next is the true tale of two princesses who orchestrated a 5th-century nun revolt in France, joined up with a band of thieves, and took over their own abbey all because they thought the abbess was a complete asshole for making them make their beds and shit.

Writing means this to me: Writing is the one thing I am good at, the thing I can do almost effortlessly even when I hate it and don’t want to do it and can’t really stand to do anything. I can always write. It’s my comfort food, my therapist, my partner, my pet. It is the way I shape myself and my world. Sometimes I get to use writing to shape other people’s worlds, which is a tremendous privilege. Sometimes I just write the word “fuck” a lot and yell about shit that pisses me off. Words, man. They’re a whole thing.

If I could summarize writing in a series of three GIFs, it would be: