In Selma Blair's memoir Mean Baby, the 49-year-old actress dishes on an array of devastating experiences, from her multiple sclerosis diagnosis to being sexually assaulted as a teen. The star knew the material would scare off some critics and fans, but after reading Ellen Burstyn’s Lessons in Becoming Myself, she was inspired to follow in her footsteps and tell her own story.
"I couldn't believe how real she was. She spoke of domestic violence, addictions, her life," she told Bustle of Burstyn's work. "It was the Rolodex of her memories. I couldn't believe that a public figure could be so generous."
Blair's work released last month, and she said that sharing her life with the world has actually helped her heal from some of her traumas. "It feels good to finally be unburdened by something, so that it doesn't have to take up any more space in the plasticity of your brain," the mom-of-one explained. "It can go down on the page and be transmitted — and to me that is the celebration."
The actual act of putting pen to paper was far from easy, especially since she was experiencing MS symptoms at the time.
"I never did take into account that this would be written in a time when the things I took for granted — like vision and using my hands in tandem on a computer screen — would give me a very triggering and traumatic headspace because my body was so out of sorts in that period," Blair revealed. "They were just things I didn't expect, which freed up some space when I did get to the page. Like, 'I better just really get to the heart of the matter.'"
There were some points throughout the Cruel Intentions star's writing process where she was so inspired that she would stop whatever she was doing and just start writing.
"I wrote this book in bed, in the closet, sitting on the floor in front of the fireplace. I wrote this book on my iPhone. I wrote this book on a yellow legal pad," the actress recalled. "Sometimes talking when my hands weren’t working well. But no matter how difficult it got, I would just keep going. Whether it was a doodle or words."