Posted on: December 4, 2022 Posted by: Glacier Staff Comments: 0

Photo by UIC Student Activities Board

By Noor Awaidah, Assistant Arts & Entertainment Editor

Jennette McCurdy doesn’t get writer’s block. How many of us wish we could confidently say the same? 

McCurdy, the former Nickoleon child star, has been traveling across the nation visiting university students to promote her new memoir, “I’m Glad My Mom Died.” On the evening of Nov. 16, she was in Chicago to talk to UIC students.

She came across as down-to-earth and conversed smoothly, charming the audience. Topics ranged from the contents of the memoir to her current favorite TV show to her writing process. 

McCurdy started acting at the ripe age of 6, later playing Sam Puckett in the hit show “iCarly.” She then went on to star in the spin-off “Sam & Cat,” with Ariana Grande as Cat. However, as she details in her memoir, acting was not her calling, and being a child star wasn’t easy.

“You’re playing an adult’s game; you’re in an adult’s world,” she told ABC News in a recent interview. “And you don’t recognize that you’re incapable of being on that level.”

If it’s not a ‘Hell, yes!’ it’s a no.”

Jennette McCurdy, Author of “I’m Glad My Mom Died”

Her mother pushed her towards acting, she says. She details her often-chaotic relationship with her mother in her memoir, describing controlling behavior that encouraged an eating disorder and led to other forms of abuse. When she escaped her mother’s reign after losing her to cancer, McCurdy was given the opportunity to pursue a career she was actually interested in. In her case, it was writing. 

In her appearance at UIC, she explained that the decision to settle on a writing career came only after a lot of internal battle. McCurdy said she spent a lot of time trying to convince herself that she was in the right career, but ultimately determined that she wasn’t happy with acting.

A piece of advice she said helped her come to this conclusion was to think in terms of, “If it’s not a ‘Hell, yes!’ it’s a no.” She wasn’t particularly enthusiastic about acting, so she dropped it. 

In applying this logic to every decision, she said, “Saying ‘No’ to so many more things put my life on a track that I became much happier.”

She found that writing made her happy and has written multiple screenplays alongside her New York Times bestselling memoir. She says she’s in the process of writing another book. 

Her writing process, she says, starts off a little messy. McCurdy is a fan of free-writing and doesn’t begin writing a piece with any direction or plan in mind. Essentially, she writes down every idea she has, then does constant revision until she’s satisfied with the final product. 

Of course, every person’s writing process is different. McCurdy found that meticulously planning out her writing resulted in writer’s block. Once she found the writing process that worked for her, writer’s block became a thing of the past.