Life Uncut's Laura and Brittany reveal 'cruel' book writing process
Yahoo Lifestyle Australia sat down with Laura Byrne and Brittany Hockley from the Life Uncut podcast to talk about their new book.
LAURA BYRNE: I've been trying to get girlfriends for Matt's brothers for, like, the last year.
BRITTANY HOCKLEY: Well, why not try and get me a boyfriend then?
LAURA BYRNE: You want to date one of Matt's brothers?
BRITTANY HOCKLEY: Where are your priorities lying?
It was a big process, and a lot bigger-- we joke about it now-- a lot bigger than we both anticipated. When-- when we signed the dotted line, we were like, cool, we can do this. We can do this. Let's give it six months. Laura had a four-week-old baby.
LAURA BYRNE: Lola was literally just born, and they were like, hey, let's go into a meeting about this book that we might do. And so I strapped her on, and I'm sitting there, like, trying to comfort her whilst I'm trying to read a contract. And I was like, "totally we can write this by June!" We did not write it by June.
BRITTANY HOCKLEY: 18 months.
LAURA BYRNE: But we-- I mean, the process was great, because we got to write. The book is broken up into essays. So it's broken up-- it's an A to Z, but each letter has its own little chapter around it. So A is adventure, but it's also attachment styles. B is boundaries.
And then there's some really, like, funny topics that we talk about, like dick pics and nudes. And there's some really lighthearted stuff like kinks, but then there's also some really deep stuff as well. And I think because of the nature and the way that it's written, Britt writes some chapters, I write some chapters, and some chapters are jointly written, it just has this really nice [INAUDIBLE].
And you don't have to read it from front to back. You can pick it up and you can go, "OK, I just want to read about this one thing." Because maybe you're going through a breakup, or maybe-- there's something in your life that you need to tap into, and there's a chapter for that.
BRITTANY HOCKLEY: There are definitely things and topics that related heavily to one of us and one of us might have had no experience in. A deep and a heavy one is M, which is miscarriage, which Laura very beautifully opens up about and--
LAURA BYRNE: I'm pretty sure it's P under pregnancy loss.
BRITTANY HOCKLEY: Sorry, P.
LAURA BYRNE: But, like, similar. It's in there, around the same-- L, M, N, O, P.
BRITTANY HOCKLEY: I haven't been through that, so it was very obvious that that's not going to be a joint chapter. That's-- Laura's going to tackle that one.
LAURA BYRNE: True.
BRITTANY HOCKLEY: And, yeah, and there are things like dating a sociopath that were me. So, like, that's my chapter.
LAURA BYRNE: Yeah. We figured out what-- what seemed more natural in terms of topics and personal life experiences. Because even though we may have both experienced something and have our own flavor for it, one of us might have felt more passionately about that topic.
BRITTANY HOCKLEY: Well, like, how many dick pics have you gotten? I've gotten a lot.
LAURA BYRNE: All right, you win. You can write that chapter. But one of the ones for me that I thought was an interesting chapter is, we've spoken a lot on the podcast about timelines before. And we've kind of spoken about it largely from Britt's perspective, or spoken on the pod about from Britt's perspective around how society has these timelines on women that you need to get married and settled down by a certain date.
BRITTANY HOCKLEY: Having kids, having a white picket fence, you know.
LAURA BYRNE: Yeah. And because we kind of had covered that on the podcast, we wrote it from a different perspective. And we wrote that from mine, which was all around the option of having children, and around what that motherhood journey looked like for me. And part of that was a conversation around abortion in my 20s, which was a really big chapter to write.
But it was more so around how timelines can look very different for different people. It doesn't have to just be this one mold of, like, well, when you're in your 30s you're supposed to get married. It could be, well, when you're in your 20s, what does that choice look like for you as well?
I think the chapter on nudes is very funny. Like, I really enjoy reading that one. I get a good giggle out of it.
BRITTANY HOCKLEY: And it does hit home. Like, I mean, I think that links back to the podcast vibe really well. I mean, the vibe for the podcast is everything-- Light and Shade, we do it all. But for that I felt like it really tickled some-- well, that was not the right thing--
LAURA BYRNE: Yeah, the nudes really tickled a few things.
BRITTANY HOCKLEY: I cannot say tickle and do this simultaneously. You know, it-- it felt like--
LAURA BYRNE: Stop it. Just stop it. And it also felt like it tickled something.
BRITTANY HOCKLEY: It felt like it was tickly. It felt like it was organic for the podcast. And yeah, that's a wrap on that interview.
LAURA BYRNE: [INAUDIBLE]
BRITTANY HOCKLEY: [? Oh, no laugh. ?]
LAURA BYRNE: When Britt started writing her chapters, she--
BRITTANY HOCKLEY: I was in love.
LAURA BYRNE: --was in a relationship, in love. And then by the time we had finished the book, they-- like, Brittany's relationship had broken up.
BRITTANY HOCKLEY: Yeah. So I started it thinking that I had, like, the love of my life and I was going to get, you know, get married and live happily ever after. And that was evident in the pages and the way that I was writing. And I was always like, a lot of, you know, I understand why everything happened to me in the past, because I've found this person and this is [? why. ?]
And then you fast forward a year to 18 months, and I was going through the breakup as I was writing. And I had to go back-- because you send the chapters off as you go, you know? I had to go back and revisit what I had written, and I had forgotten a lot of it.
And it was really tough to go back and read that at one point, not that long ago, life was very different. And you-- you try and move on, and move on with life, but you revisit that. And I had to rewrite a lot of things, because it didn't make sense anymore.
So I had to write a lot of things in past tense, and why-- how I almost found the love of my life. And it was a-- I would not say it was cathartic for me, at all. I would just say it just brought up a lot of stuff again. But it's part of life. It's part of the roller coaster.
And yeah, I guess I learnt a lot from it and I'm glad it's out there. I don't have any regrets about it. But it was definitely a very trying process, and very hard to-- you know, I was writing the breakup chapter in a breakup, so that was not expected.
That wasn't-- that was not the plan. The plan was supposed to be, "I've been through breakups in the past, but look at me now!" And now I'm like, "Uh, look at me now!" You know. So yeah, it was a--
LAURA BYRNE: But also, I think, in what Britt's saying, it-- it was kind of like a cruel process for Britt as well, in that, you know, think about-- think about being the happiest that you've ever been, and then writing that down in a diary. And then going through a breakup and being forced to go back and read every single thing that you've written about how happy you are. That's why--
BRITTANY HOCKLEY: "I'm in love"-- cross it out-- "was!" Like, you know, like--
LAURA BYRNE: And it just kind of, you know, it kind of, like, threw her back into, like, well, this is what you were happy about, but now you don't have that. And I think for me, my experience was a little bit different in terms of some of the more deep and heavy things that I've written about are from many years ago. You know, we're talking like-- well, I mean, like, my childhood stuff was almost three decades ago. So like, for me, I have very much, like, worked through my junk and it was more important to kind of like explain why things were important to me.
So that chapter around my childhood is a chapter that's around attachment styles. And I talked about, like, how understanding the theory of attachment styles as from a relationship perspective helped me to kind of go, "oh, that's why I keep dating this kind of guy who's bad for me! I get it." And it's really helped me to be appreciative of a relationship that's not volatile, that's not, like, crazy highs and super lows, and like big, explosive. It's just this stable, constant relationship that I would have in the past taken for granted.
What? We share about or talk about that we're tired. We have two kids and we don't get to have sex a lot. Like, who cares?
BRITTANY HOCKLEY: Like how much sex you don't have.
LAURA BYRNE: That's like every mom and dad who has two toddlers, you know what I mean? So I think, like, a lot of people are like, "oh, my god, they share so much. They're so exposing."
But like, we also don't. Like, we just talk about the really relatable stuff that other parents would experience. Other people who are in long-term relationships who have two babies and, like, navigating that in a relationship.
And I think, like, we have a bit of a rule in our house, and it's if it's to get a laugh, or if it's to kind of like help someone through something, win draw or lose, like, shoot your shot. So, I mean, if-- we know where each other's boundaries lie in terms of, like, what is too private to share. But like, if it's a story that we think is super funny and we know ultimately everyone's going to be laughing once they hear it, we're like, whatever, just go for it and then we'll see what happens.
BRITTANY HOCKLEY: When I broke up with Jordan, my ex, I wasn't ready to talk about that for a long time. And I knew I would talk about it one day. But that became really difficult, because people in the media found out before I had said anything. And then I got a lot of people hounding me, a lot of people writing things, speculating.
And we were still trying to work out what we were anyway. It wasn't like a hard and fast, this is what we're doing. That was a very challenging time, because I was trying to nav-- I didn't know what I was doing myself, and all these people were asking me to explain it.
And even-- even some-- it was a really strange time, because we share so much. Even some of our listeners were like, "we feel like you should be telling us what's happening." And I didn't know how to take that, because I was like, "Well, I will, one-- when I'm-- when I know and when I'm ready. But let me grieve through that and work it out before we do that."
So there was a period there of a few months that I didn't really want to talk about it. And it gets to the point where, you know, if you are in the public eye, and we do share a lot of it on the podcast. You can't escape it forever, so it was always going to be addressed. But that's probably the only time I've really, really not wanted to speak about it.
- How does that work for you and what are you most excited about?
BRITTANY HOCKLEY: Ooh, volcano.
LAURA BYRNE: Ooh, so.
We had a few problems. Some of the stuff that we thought-- the wedding is like very soon-- like, very soon. Some of the stuff that we thought was booked in isn't booked in, so we've spent the last couple of weeks organizing things like the flowers, which are critically important, and chairs--
BRITTANY HOCKLEY: Seats!
LAURA BYRNE: --for people to sit on, and buses to transport guests to the location. So things are-- I mean, we're going to get married. Is it going to be good? Who knows. Like, we don't know how the wedding's going to turn out, but like, we don't really care. So long as it's with all the people we love and it's a great party and everyone is fed and everyone has a wine, then that's what's most important.
BRITTANY HOCKLEY: We got--
LAURA BYRNE: And Matt shows up-- he doesn't, like, leave me at the altar. All important things. It's also amazing, like, what you can pull together in a very short period of time. (WHISPERS) It's just very expensive. As soon as you say "wedding," they're like, "Oh, that's an extra zero."
BRITTANY HOCKLEY: Oh, yeah, here.
LAURA BYRNE: So that's the only thing that's kind of like ooh.
If it was just that we were talking about relationships, then we probably would.
BRITTANY HOCKLEY: It's also evolved into so much more. Like, we interview some of the most incredible people all over the world, from-- from men like Mark Manson, "New York Times" bestselling authors, actresses and actors like Rebel Wilson, sex cult survivors, kidnap survivors, domestic violence, comedians-- like, you name it. If we think someone is doing something good for the world, or they're interesting, or they're going to help with the story, we interview them now. So I think that's why we love what we do so much, because it has grown into such this amazing, big, beautiful adventure.
LAURA BYRNE: For the amount of hours that we have spent researching relationships, talking about relationships, like, interviewing experts, writing books, we could have done a university degree, but we are still unqualified. We are the most qualified unqualified people you will find.
BRITTANY HOCKLEY: It's a technicality.
LAURA BYRNE: Yeah. [LAUGHS]
I've been trying to get girlfriends for Matt's brothers for, like, the last year.
BRITTANY HOCKLEY: Well, why don't you try to get me a boyfriend then?
LAURA BYRNE: [LAUGHS] You want to date one of Matt's brothers?
BRITTANY HOCKLEY: Where are your priorities lying? No, we-- we've said that. We've spoken about them before. We-- it would make so much sense for us to have a dating show. And we don't know what that would look like--
LAURA BYRNE: Yeah.
BRITTANY HOCKLEY: --but that's what we-- it's literally--
LAURA BYRNE: It would be so fun.
BRITTANY HOCKLEY: --it's what we do. And we-- we've often said-- and don't take this to offense, "The Bachelor"-- we've often said, like, oh, how great would it be if we were casting these people? Because, like, we would love to be able to go out and match people. And-- and-- you know, because we feel like we speak about it so much, and we know so many people.
And I feel like, I mean, this is going to sound-- I was going to say I'm a good judge of character. My history says otherwise, but I think it'd be fun.
LAURA BYRNE: I think the issue, though, is like, we would genuinely-- genuinely want to be casting people because they could work out.
BRITTANY HOCKLEY: That's what I mean--
LAURA BYRNE: And not all--
BRITTANY HOCKLEY: --the drama.
LAURA BYRNE: --reality TV shows are based in that. Like, you know, we know that there needs to be characters who are there just for the-- the drama, or the funny, or whatever it is, whatever role they play on that series. But obviously anybody who's watching any sort of romance reality TV knows that not every single person is cast because there's going to be a good relationship outcome.
I think it's a shame, because-- and a shame for several reasons. The big one is, if they weren't going to show it until next year, then I don't think they should have done all the pre-promotion-- which obviously wasn't a well thought out thing. I don't think they intended on pushing it back. But by doing that, by doing all the pre-promotion, by publicizing who the bachelors are going to be, by recording it this side of the year and then having them push it out to next year, it just really, really makes any successful relationships that have come off the back of that show, it makes it so challenging for them to actually work out. Because--
BRITTANY HOCKLEY: Almost--
LAURA BYRNE: --currently they have--
BRITTANY HOCKLEY: --almost impossible.
LAURA BYRNE: Yeah, they have to keep it a secret. And you know, we know long distance is hard, but doing long distance, which is completely a secret as a Bachelor couple, is incredibly hard. Because you cannot see each other. You can't just sneak over to each other's houses.
There's this huge responsibility on you to keep the secret. And I think that that has a massive toll on some relationships. So, for Matt and I it was five months that we had-- or six months that we had to keep our relationship--
BRITTANY HOCKLEY: Which is so long.
LAURA BYRNE: --private. But for these bachelors, it's going to be a year and that's, I think, is too much pressure for any relationship.
BRITTANY HOCKLEY: Have we not talked your ear off enough? [LAUGHS]
LAURA BYRNE: Oh, we're just--
BRITTANY HOCKLEY: We have a live show next week.
LAURA BYRNE: Oh, yes.
BRITTANY HOCKLEY: So it's our very first [INAUDIBLE] not being able to edit anything out. It's live. We're all there. There's no-- there's no filter. It really is raw and it's happening.
LAURA BYRNE: Which is frightening for everybody, put it that way.
- So you might have [INAUDIBLE] tickles.
BRITTANY HOCKLEY: How about some tickles?