Jen Sincero’s ‘Badass’ Origin Story Is a Lesson in Creative Intuition
In 2013, the author Jen Sincero scored a #1 New York Times bestseller with her irreverent advice manual, You Are a Badass. Since then, the phrase has quite literally become Sincero’s trademark. So, when Forge recently chatted with Sincero about her latest book, Badass Habits, there was one question we absolutely had to ask: What’s with the ‘badass’?
What we got was a lesson in following your creative intuition.
As Sincero put it:
It’s funny. I never, ever used the word ‘badass.’ I’d never be like, ‘Oh, you’re such a badass.’ That was so not in my vernacular at all. But I had a friend who had a website called ‘Hey, Little Badass.’ I thought it was so cute. It was so funny, ‘little badass.’ So, that’s sort of how it got in my mind.
When I decided to write these books, many years later, I knew that the feel I wanted them to have was sort of rock and roll and edgy — to say: ‘you are’ something. I wanted to address the reader on a personal level. And by that time, my friend was no longer using ‘little badass.’ So, I started using [‘you are a badass’].
I used to be an advertising copywriter, and I love writing titles. Quippy short things. It’s something I’m pretty good at. But the title for You Are a Badass was such a beast. It as a breech birth all the way, a real wrestling match. Probably because ‘badass’ wasn’t really my word yet. I never really used it. So, I was like, ‘is that authentic?’ But it wouldn’t go away. So, I kept it.
And thank God.
In short: If you run into an idea that you can’t seem to shake, let yourself see where it takes you. It just might change your life.