Busy Philipps called the experience of writing her upcoming memoir, "This Will Only Hurt a Little," "really intense," but luckily she got some advice from one of her famous friends about the writing experience.
AOL's Gibson Johns recently caught up with the "I Feel Pretty" actress to chat about her Tropicana Kids partnership in New York City, where she shared with us what "Not That Kind Of Girl" author Lena Dunham told her about how she should present her book to those closest to her.
"Lena Dunham had given me some really good advice," Philipps told us. "[Thinking about] when she wrote her book, she was like, ‘Reach out to people and say, 'This is my book, this is my story, this is my truth. I’m open and happy to discuss anything that you feel like you want to discuss.’"
And that's exactly what she did. Though her first book won't hit shelves until October, the people that have played the biggest roles in her life have already read it and shared their thoughts on it with her, which was an illuminating process for Philipps.
"I sent the book to Colin Hanks, who I dated in college and in my 20s," she explained. "Michelle [Williams] has read it, my best friend from high school has read it, my best friend from childhood and my whole life has read it, my family has read it and, you know, that was important to me to hear all of the things that they had to say."
"I sort of set up almost immediately that I think that everyone is probably their own worst witness to their history," she went on. "The truth is that this is my history as I remember it and how it has affected me as a person. My sister and I don’t have the same memories of my childhood. That was difficult in some ways for her and my parents, but it is what it is."
What made the book-writing process even more difficult for the former "Dawson's Creek" star was that it forced her to re-mine her past, including the highlights and the lowlights. Though she had come to terms with most of the events in her past, Philipps explained that there were certain things that she realized she still hadn't fully processed for herself.
"I talk about trauma in my book and [about] things that were really intense that happened to me in my life and I was processing that while writing it," she said. "Glennon Doyle wrote something at one point that I read, like, 'You can’t write about anything that you haven’t processed yet.' You have to wait and process it first. I think that for some of it I was doing it simultaneously, though I think most of it I had processed. But it was still going back and accessing those things and figuring out a way to own my own faults and mistakes and analyze my [own] person. Somebody else that I know said that writing an autobiographical book is like doing 20 years of therapy in one year. It’s really interesting. Even just, like, looking at specific patterns I’ve had in relationships when you look at it so clearly. You’re like, ‘Oh, my God! I do that? I do that. That’s what I do! Oh, f-ck.’"
Despite the emotional difficulties that came along with writing her first memoir, the actress, who has a self-proclaimed "great memory," has always been someone who has documented her life through diaries and kept on to keepsakes that helped jog her memory over the past year when she was writing her book.
"I kept everything, I kept diaries, notebooks from school -- with notes written in them -- notes passed back and forth from friends, letters I wrote to my friends at camp that they then brought back home from camp and gave back to me, letters my friends wrote me," Philipps said with a laugh. "I’ve always been recording my own history from the beginning."
"This Will Only Hurt a Little" hits shelves on October 18, 2018.