Why I Relate To Guinevere Beck | Caroline Kepnes' 'You'

You has been given a new life recently, what with Netflix releasing it as an "original series" and completely bypassing the show airing on Lifetime back in September. For that, I am grateful, because my thoughts are once again relevant.

I read the book first, because like all great things that become movies, television shows, and Netflix "originals," You was a book first (yay, Caroline Kepnes). While I found myself eerily attracted to the idea of Joe, what struck me even more was the level I related to Beck, which is weird because personally, I think she's one of the most erratic and aloof people to ever walk the planet. I was both delighted and disgusted by this revelation. Here's why.

Beck is the world's biggest procrastinator. 

As a writer, Beck always bailed on her friends "to write." In reality, she was doing everything but. This includes, but is not limited to:  shopping, texting, tweeting, and playing hard to get with seemingly harmless men and/or old flings. Before I sat down to write this, I distracted myself with laundry, prepping my gym bag, putting away dishes, scooping the cat litter, and changing the scent on my bathroom wallflower.

So, aggressive flirting aside, I understand the desire to put off creativity. Pushing yourself to sit down and produce something people are going to want to grace their eyeballs with is hard.

Note:  I spent an unreasonable amount of time looking for a gif to accompany this point. It saddens me to say I could not find one that sat right with my spirit. 

Beck is FULL of self-doubt. 


This one hurts to admit, mostly to myself. I hated watching Beck doubt herself because it hit me right in the feels. 

For many of us, the self doubt is always there, lurking quietly. I ignore it instead of dealing with it. To lessen that doubt, I, much like Beck, will seek justification from those closest to me who I know aren't going to be like "Quit while you're ahead kid, everything you write is contrite!" 

Regardless of that need for people to tell me my work is pretty, I still try to seek critical feedback as often as possible. I give credit to Beck for sticking with her schooling and opening her writing up for critique from her pompous classmates. 

And while I don't think Beck ever really evolved to her full potential in terms of self assurance, she did serve as a reminder to annoy myself less with said doubt and work on building myself up and actually writing about what I want to instead of tearing myself down and doing absolutely nothing. 

She's intolerant of bitchy nonsense. 


In the book/show, Beck makes little time for other peoples drama, mostly because she's busy dealing with her own. Whether it's snide comments from her step-mom, harsh critiques from Blythe (an aggressively hipster classmate), or the attention-seeking acts bestie Peach exhibits, Beck gets where and when to draw the line. 

I don't know if you knew, but being self-absorbed is like, the ~thing now. It applies to the way people only pay attention to what's going on in their own little bubbles. In Beck's case, that was her writing and her relationship with Joe and what she was going to post to her Twitter to stay relevant. For me, it's my writing and my cat. 

It can be easy to let other peoples actions, opinions, and other general bullshit to mold the way I think about for the rest of the day, but when that happens, it's important to let that inner badass out to play.  

Like all of us, she's a little lost. 


Beck loses sight of herself, a common occurrence in the human species. She is torn apart by what she views as a superior writer, her relationship is on the rocks and she's fairly confused about what she really wants out of therapy, oh, and she fields sexual advances from her coveted work-study teacher. This shit-storm forces Beck to question what her goals really are. 

She's like so many adults who wake up and wonder what they'll be when they grow up (myself included). This character flaw is what drives her to find herself in other people. She turns to Peach for the validation that she's cool enough and attractive enough to get other people to like her. In Joe, she fills the void created by her constant need for attention. 

As for me, I'm constantly trying to figure out where my passions lie; what lights my soul on fire; which novel I'm going to finish first - you get it.

Today, one of my favorite writers announced that she was switching gears. I find reassurance in that. It's nice to know that, no matter how much respect or success the people I admire have attained, they're still hungry for more.