A cut chapter from my new book! "Witching Hour," Part 1
Sharing a piece that didn’t make it into my final draft of The Age of Magical Overthinking. Here’s the first chunk—stay tuned for parts 2 and 3.
This feels vulnerable. I don’t even let my mom read my manuscripts before they’re in their final publishable state, much less allow a group of strangers to glimpse my messy early drafts. It feels like letting your dinner party guests peek inside your dirty closet, where the piles of sweaty socks and ratty cat toys were shoved just before everyone arrived. But, I’m trying to get more comfortable with public vulnerability. So, welcome to my dinner party: Here’s a peek at the closet.
Today, I’m sharing a chapter I put together in the very late stages of drafting The Age of Magical Overthinking, and then promptly decided to cut. The chapter came about as my editor and I were (of course) overthinking the book’s length. It’s a bit shorter than my previous two books, and though we really loved the pace and arc of the book as it was, we wanted to make 100% sure nothing was missing. So I threw this chapter into the mix as a litmus test. I liked the chapter, but in the end, it didn’t feel as fully fleshed out or polished as the others. Plus, it didn’t really fit the book’s proper format; as you’ll see in its subtitle, this chapter explores the notion of “mind-body dualism,” which is an irrational thought pattern most humans share, but technically, it’s not classified as a cognitive bias. The whole point of The Age of Magical Overthinking is that each chapter is dedicated to a different cognitive bias, which I use as a lens to explore some mysterious irrationality from the larger zeitgeist and my own life, so with that in mind, this piece didn’t quite work.
This chapter expands on some reporting I did in 2018 for Cosmopolitan about witch influencers on Instagram. I wanted to use it to investigate a question I’d always had about my own mind: What is responsible for the fact that while I do not believe in witchcraft in the metaphysical, Halloween-y sense, I have always been obsessed with witches.
This attempt wound up on the cutting room floor, but I hope you enjoy it (and if you do, know that what actually ended up in the book is even better)! I’ll be sharing it across three parts. Here’s the first. Stay tuned for the rest!