Zibby is joined by humor writer Anna Lind Thomas to talk about her first collection of essays, We’ll Laugh About This Someday. Anna tells Zibby about the years of work she put in honing her craft after telling her mother that she would be a published author someday, and what chance occurrences led to her going viral online. The two also talk about how Anna’s essays serve as a form of therapy for her as she works through once uncomfortable situations and the various projects she is working on now.


Zibby Owens: Welcome, Anna. Thanks so much for coming on “Moms Don’t Have Time to Read Books.” We’re discussing We’ll Laugh About This Someday and all of your other great stuff.

Anna Lind Thomas: Wonderful. I am so excited to be here. I am really liking the look of your library back there. The way you’ve color-coded is really amazing. I love it. Thank you for having me.

Zibby: Thank you. I appreciate it. Please tell listeners what your book is about.

Anna: I’m a humor writer. I wrote We’ll Laugh About This Someday. It’s basically a collection. It’s a la Samantha Irby, David Sedaris where it’s a collection of essays, but it’s not necessarily a memoir, of things in my that I took real serious, humiliating things that have happened to me, embarrassing, scary, hard, difficult things that have happened to me. I look back now, and I poke fun at it. I poke fun at the human experience of overreacting or the ridiculous ways that we can respond to life and then kind of just letting the reader know that, you know what, I survived it and I made it, and trying to encourage people, maybe we can just lighten up a little bit. I think this is a really heavy time. For sweating over the small stuff and the big stuff, that’s a lot of sweating.

Zibby: Too much sweating.

Anna: So much sweating. Then now deodorant apparently gives us cancer, so another thing we have to worry about. I like to just say that any way that we can lighten up about life and not take things so seriously, figure out the funny things that happen and find out and vet out what is humorous, what is funny, what is interesting about the stuff we go through rather than falling apart I think is a better way to go through life. At least, that’s what I try to do.

Zibby: It’s good in theory. I like the theory. The practice takes some — it depends what the thing is.

Anna: That’s right. That’s absolutely right.

Zibby: You kind of launched this humor part of your career with this one essay about this unpleasant stomach experience that you had. I read the essay. In the book, you talk about the essay and how it had really catapulted you and gotten all these views. I was like, well, I have to read this essay. The essay was very funny. You’re out on a date with the man who becomes your husband. You have this terrible stomach problem. You can’t control it in the car. It becomes something from which you have to escape. Not only that, but then he comes up to your apartment and hears all sorts of noises in the bathroom. You’re completely mortified about that. Tell me about this essay. Tell me about how you and your husband, who sounds so funny by the way, joke about what happened and how this started you off on this whole thing.

Anna: I started to build a platform to become a writer. I made a commitment that every Thursday I was going to write a funny essay. I didn’t know what I was going to write. I was talking to my mom. I was like, “Oh, I got to write something tomorrow.” She’s like, “Why don’t you write about that one time where you farted in the car with Rob?” I’m not a real potty humor person. Of course, the thing that goes viral and defines me ends up being potty humor. I’m a little bit more expansive than that. I think it’s that it’s so relatable. I just wrote the most horrifying thing that ever happened to me. Then it keeps rolling. It’s not just, it happens, but then more bad things keep happening. He follows me unintentionally into my apartment because I forgot something in his car.

Zibby: A shoe or something.

Anna: Yeah. So I wrote about it. I had very few followers at the time. Someone who happened to have a fairly good-sized audience shared it. It was insanely viral, shockingly viral. In fact, it just is going viral right now. Someone else posted it.

Zibby: Oh, no.

Anna: Three times a year, it’ll just go viral again. People like to go back and go and laugh at it again. I guess it’s just one of those stories where — people have told me that they thought they were going to pass out. They cried. They were weeping. People thought something was wrong with them. They were wheezing. It hits a particular funny bone. I think in a way, it’s also relatable. I think a lot of us have a story of something really embarrassing happening to us. I’m really glad that this really embarrassing thing that happened to me that was just so mortifying ended up being one of the best things that ever happened to me, one of the funniest things that ever happened to me. That’s kind of the theme and the premise of the book. Sometimes the things that we think are the worst thing ever can really be one of the funniest things ever.

Zibby: Take me back how this whole thing got started. You decided to build a platform to become a writer. You started doing these essays. This one went viral. Had you wanted to write before then? Did you always know you were really funny? How did this start? Then how did you get to here?

Anna: That’s a really great question. When I was a little girl, I wrote a short story in maybe the fifth grade or sixth grade. My teacher brought me up to the desk. She said, “Anna, this is really, really good.” That was all I needed. I was off to the races. I was like, well, I’m going to be a published author. I walked home. My mom’s a writer too. That part was a part of our family. I walked home. My mom was at the sink. I was like, “I’m going to be a published author someday.” I remember her turning off the tap. She was like, “Really? You are?” I was like, “Yeah, but I bet everybody feels that way.” I remember very clearly she said, “No, honey. I think, actually, very few people feel that way.” I held onto that for a long time, but life goes on. I loved all of my English classes. I was going to go to college for English, but then I was afraid if I didn’t get published I would have to be a teacher, and I didn’t want to be a teacher. I went into advertising and really went through an identity crisis because I hated it. I hated worked in advertising. I hated ad copy. I had been an RA. I actually went to work as a resident director at Chico State University in Northern California. You basically live and you work on campus. That was such a fulfilling job for me, being able to help and counsel students, that I decided to go to counseling. I got my master’s degree. I remember working on my thesis, barely sleeping. One of the directors of our department said, “Have you ever thought about just being a comedian?” I was like, what? I am writing a thesis that is going to change lives. You want me to go down to the open mic night and just give this all away?

Then that really triggered me because I was like, you know what, I have always wanted to be a writer, though, and a humor writer. At the time, personal blogs were blowing up. Everybody had one. Everybody was writing. I noticed that these women were getting a lot of attention for their blogs. I remember reading them. I can talk about this. I can do a daily diary. This ain’t hard. That’s when I started. I thought I’d go a step further. I created this funny website for women, HaHas for HooHas. Back then, I did e-cards that would get shared all the time. Then once the fart story blew up, I worked more to have the website identify as me rather than a brand so that I could get the agent and then the book deal. After it went viral, I got a lot of attention for it. I really thought that was going to be it. I was going to get an agent. I was going to get a book deal. I didn’t. I really had to work at it for probably a decade. Looking back at it now, I am so glad. I know a lot of people are going viral now, or their TikTok or this or that. They’re getting these quick book deals because they’re monopolizing on the attention, but then they fizzle out. I’m so glad that didn’t happen to me. I wasn’t ready. I wasn’t a good enough writer yet. I didn’t have the persistence. I didn’t have the discipline yet. It all happened in its due time. I spent probably eight to ten years grinding and working on becoming a writer. Then when it was time and when I felt like I was ready, I queried my agent. We got a book deal shortly after that. It all came in its due time. I know a lot of writers, especially in this time, really think it goes quickly. Sometimes it doesn’t. You go with the pace that you’re ready at. It took me a while. I got here. I’m so glad that I did.

Zibby: When you spent the eight to ten years doing all the things you needed to do to be a writer, what did that include?

Anna: I really worked on my platform. I think this fizzles a lot of people out. If you’re writing fiction, you don’t need as much of a platform as if you’re writing nonfiction. I needed an audience. I needed to prove to a publisher that I could sell to somebody. I just worked. I wrote newsletter essays. I would write posts. I would write blog posts. Mostly, I was just really practicing my craft and then giving it out to people as much as possible. Nurturing this audience who knows me, who’s known me since the fart story or they’ve known me since the HaHas for HooHas — I have some people who are like, I’m an OG. I used to share your e-cards. I have been people who’ve been around for a long time. Really, it was just spent becoming a better writer, reading as many books as possible so that I could become a better writer, and nurturing my audience. Those are the things that I focused on, is just building that and being as present as I can so that I wouldn’t be forgotten, I suppose.

Zibby: Interesting. It is one of these things about publishing today, needing a platform. This happened to me. I wanted to write this book almost four years ago now. I was like, okay, I want to write this book of essays. My agent’s like, no. Who are you? I wasn’t on social media. I didn’t have anything. You have to figure out your way. It’s really hard. It’s also very demoralizing because you’re like, why should I have to be good at this if I’m good at that? Really? I have to be good at writing and I have to be good at marketing? Can’t I just be a writer?

Anna: I can’t tell you how many pity pots I was on. I felt so sorry for myself. I was like, I can’t believe that I have to TikTok now or do this or do that. This isn’t my lane. Then I started to be jealous of the writers like David Sedaris who made it big before social media. Really, all he has to do is have an assistant throw out dates. That’s all that he has to do. As embittered as I got, it also gives you a great opportunity. I think that a lot of people get very deflated at that part where it’s like, okay, I really want to be a writer, but that part of throwing out your jewels to swine. Nobody cares. Nobody’s reading. It’s your best. The only thing that I can tell you is that I just did the work. I just did the writing. I kept going and going and going. It took me a long time to go viral again. Then Lena Dunham shared something randomly. I don’t even know where she found it. Then that hit. Then that popped. You never know what’s going to happen. I wrote for some other publications,, stuff like that. I just kept putting myself out there. You’ve got to believe that as you become a better writer, people will find you and to not make it about your ego. You really got to wrestle with your ego a lot on social media. If you can just pull away from the ego, put yourself out there, keep doing the work, I really believe stuff will happen for you.

Zibby: Did you go back to your mom at some point? Did you have a recreation moment at the sink when you were holding the book? Was there some sort of full-circle moment in the TV movie version of this?

Anna: There wasn’t. Now I’m really sad because I feel like that would’ve been amazing. I bring it up to her all the time. I honestly brought it up to her all the time crying when the book deal wasn’t happening. I just remembering crying to her. How much longer do I have to go and do this and struggle? Deep down, deep, deep, down, I knew it was going to happen. I think belief takes us a lot farther than talent. Talent needs to be there, for sure, but if you don’t believe that it’s going to happen for you, then you’ll quit because writing is really hard. It’s painful. I think people think that I’m just laughing hysterically all day — you know this — just typing away. Sometimes I got to write a paragraph and do stretches. Writing can be difficult. If you don’t believe that you have what it takes — I just had this belief. I’m going to keep going until it happens. I think that that’s one of the biggest reasons I got there.

Zibby: As someone who has had a lot of rejection too, sometimes I would be so discouraged by something not working out that I would say to myself, that’s it. I’m just not going to write anymore. Forget it. It turns out I need to do this regardless of who it’s for. I can’t just not do it, even if it’s something as simple as an Instagram post. It doesn’t have to be a novel. There’s something about people who, deep down, are writers. Writing is how we make sense of the world. It’s hard to stop because you need it.

Anna: Yes. It’s how I make sense of stress. It’s how I make sense of trauma. It’s how I make sense of everything around me, my relationships, how I make sense of interactions that bother me. It’s therapeutic for me to make fun of certain things in my life. I want to be clear too, I’m not talking about making fun of grief.

Zibby: No, of course.

Anna: Grief is a season, but teasing out those things that I want to just freak out about and poking fun at it and investigating it. When I do that and when I see myself as a story, I have such a better feeling about my life. When I feel like I am actively living out the best story ever told, I see all of my rejections and my dramas as a part of this story, a really interesting part of this story. I’m going to overcome it. What would the heroine do? She’d keep fighting. When I perceive my own life as a story and then write about it on top of it, it’s such a beautiful way for me to navigate life in a way that I can really respect it and honor it too.

Zibby: Then when did you start your podcast? How did that all get off the ground?

Anna: I started my podcast because everybody kind of needed a podcast, but I thought I’d be pretty good at it. I actually started it with humor writer Susannah Lewis for a while. We did a lot about parenting. It’s gone through a lot of ebbs and flows because I got tired of making fun of parenting. There’s so much more to me than being a parent. I had really pigeonholed myself in the motherhood space. It’s really ebb and flowed. It’s gone from life coaching-esque with a funny slant to more spiritual stuff to me just reading my essays and making people laugh again. I’m kind of doing a big loop and coming back to my writing and the humor and the funny stories of my life now. I’ve zigzagged, which is another thing too. You’re perfectly allowed to change your mind and zigzag however you want. You don’t have to be pigeonholed into anything. I just did this walking series where I’d go through the book, We’ll Laugh About This Someday. It was amazing. I love listening while I walk. I strategically made my podcast and this last walking series for people who were going on a walk. If you’re a walker and you want to and laugh hysterically while you go on a walk, “It’s Not That Serious,” my podcast, go there. You’ll see the latest series.

Zibby: Your new book is I’m Not Ready for This: Everybody Just Calm Down and Give Me a Minute, coming out in May of 2022. Tell me about that.

Anna: I’m Not Ready for This is basically a collection of essays of everything I’m not ready for. I’m literally not ready for anything. I wasn’t ready for parenting. I’m never ready to go sleepless when it’s summertime. It always takes me by shock. I can’t expose these to the world. I’m never ready for anything. I think that none of us really ever are, but when we get pushed anyway and we push ourselves or we get pushed into situations that we’re not ready for, we really find out what we’re made of. We find out that we can do it. Sometimes it’s the best training ground for the things we need to do. It’s another really funny story. Of course, I add more poignant things into my book. It’s not just all an SNL skit. It’s really stories of my life of situations where I’m not ready and how I’ve gotten through them. I’m excited about that one. My editor adores book one, but she says that book two, she loves it and thinks it’s even funnier than book one. I’m really excited for that one to launch.

Zibby: Amazing. What are you reading right now?

Anna: I am an avid David Sedaris reader. In fact, I go to him whenever I have writer’s block just to kind of get his cleanliness. That’s a weird word, but he’s so clean. Sometimes when I’m stuck, I talk too much. I have too many words. I love to go to him, just enjoy that book. Right now, I’m reading The Best of Me by David Sedaris. He has some diaries that have come out. His diaries aren’t my favorite. I just have to be honest. I’m reading The Best of Me. That’s the biggest one on my shelf right now.

Zibby: I should show you — he was on my podcast, David Sedaris.

Anna: Stop!

Zibby: Then he wrote me a postcard, and I framed it.

Anna: Oh, that might make me weep.

Zibby: Hold on, I’m showing it to you, tricky on a podcast, but this is his little postcard that he mailed me after. It says, “Dear Zibby, thanks for taking the time to talk to me the other day. As you can tell, I hadn’t done an interview in a while. God, I talked a lot. Sincerely, David Sedaris.” Isn’t that cool?

Anna: I love him, Zibby.

Zibby: Oh, I probably shouldn’t show my address. Anyway, isn’t that cool? I’m a big fan of his as well.

Anna: He’s the literal best. I can’t get enough of him. I reread everything. He’s my favorite.

Zibby: Aw. So what else? Anything else we should be on the lookout for? Where should people find you, follow you, all that good stuff?

Anna: I’ve been giving my book away as much as possible because people who really need a good laugh, I want them to get this book. Forgive my domain, it’s a game, but if you just go to, I’m giving my book away for free plus a lot of bonuses. You can get it signed. Only one per person, please, or I’ll go bankrupt or something. If you want to get a bundle for Christmas, I’m finding that a lot of people are buying multiple copies from me at all of my book signings. They’re getting six to ten because it’s a really fun gift to give. You can do that as well. It’s First, you can go to is where I am hosting the free book giveaway if you would like to get a copy for free. There’s also a chapter in there that is hysterical that got cut. I’m giving that essay away for free as well. It’s called The Marital Drawer. That’s all I’m going to say. It was when we were moving. My mom was helping us unpack. She accidentally opened up the marital drawer. It is hysterical. It is so hilarious. I’ve added that. I’m just giving away a bunch of stuff for free because I want as many people to get this in their hands as possible. If you read it, please reach out to me. You can find me very easily if you google Anna Lind Thomas on Facebook or Instagram. Message me. Let me know how you like the book. I respond. I have a phone number in the back of the book. If you text it, I will text you back. I have gotten a lot of texts. I check them.

Zibby: Wow, look at you.

Anna: I know. I check them. I text you back because it delights me to know that someone has read my book.

Zibby: Amazing. That’s really creative. I love it. Thank you, Anna. Thanks for coming on “Moms Don’t Have Time to Read Books” and chatting about what we all should laugh about someday.

Anna: It has been an absolute pleasure. Thank you so much for taking the time to talk with me today and talk about my beloved little baby book.

Zibby: You’re so welcome. Take care. Have a great day. Bye.

Anna: Thank you. Buh-bye.



Purchase your copy on Amazon or Bookshop!

Subscribe to Zibby’s weekly newsletter here.

You can also listen to this episode on:

Apple Podcasts