I haven’t signed into my Twitter account since June 4. “I need to be on Twitter” is one of the stories I’m testing out during my #40StoriesProject, a yearlong attempt to learn which of the things I’m telling myself are outdated. The plan for this particular story was to stay off Twitter for three months, but having hit that milestone a few days ago, I don’t see myself going back. I was better informed when I was doomscrolling every day, but about what? If I want to know what’s happening in the world, I get the important stories elsewhere—newspapers, texts from friends, even Instagram. I don’t miss being extremely online, and my reduced exposure to, well, everything has freed up a lot of space and energy, which I’m putting toward personal projects after a lengthy creative drought during the pandemic. Even the alleged value of Twitter for someone interested in a writing career seems largely negated by how bad being on Twitter makes me feel about writers and writing.Continue reading “How to quit”
What do Garfield, The Boomtown Rats*, and I have in common?
We don’t like Mondays. (I’m unclear on The Boomtown Rats’ feelings on lasagna.)Continue reading “Rethinking Monday morning”
A few years ago I started going to therapy to figure out how to get my boyfriend to stop abusing me. I wasn’t the person in that relationship who most needed therapy, but I still needed it, and I was the person who was willing to go.
Anyway, even though my stated purpose for being in therapy was to deal with this specific situation, I found myself talking about work all the time. Good news for me: All of my issues were intertwined. I was letting a man control me through temper tantrums and gaslighting because I believed that, somewhere along the way, I had lost the right to manage my own life. And I had lost that right because, in my mind, I had become incompetent.Continue reading “Are you sending rapid-fire emails and calling it a life?”
This week, I migrated all the posts from my old blog to this one, and in the process of going through my archives to make sure nothing was amiss, I discovered that, actually, I like a lot of my old writing! So I decided to make a post of posts. It’s like a fund of funds, except I’m not going to come to your Investment Committee meeting and explain what all is in it, I’m just going to share the links below.
Here are a few of my favorite older posts that should give you a sense of whether you’re going to hate-read or love-read this blog:Continue reading “Start here ⬇️”
During the month of January, I did four things every day: studied French, studied Japanese, wrote in my journal, and did one new thing. I rewrote the beginning of a novel I started in 2018 so that I can query agents. I read (and this is embarrassing) 29 books.
I once told a friend who asked me how I get so much done that I spend half my time ripping through my to-do list and the other half drunk in a gutter. It was a joke, or at least more of one than it used to be. But I am nothing if not inconsistent. I don’t do “balance.” I’m either on the treadmill every day or “Exercise? I don’t know her.” I eat a fully vegan diet or one that is exclusively mac and cheese. I love both things and people wildly or not at all. That Carly Rae Jepsen song “Too Much”? Oh yeah, I do know her.Continue reading “The spirit, not the letter”
This week, I’m talking with director Ivy Jelisavac about intrinsic motivation, creating structure to get things done, and building community online.Continue reading “Episode 10: Creating Your Own Future with Ivy Jelisavac”
In this solo episode, I talk about taking a break to recover after being in a creative rut.Continue reading “Episode 8: Taking an Intentional Break to Get Out of a Rut”
Today I’m chatting with psychotherapist and entrepreneur Kimberly Wilson about her journey as a multipassionate entrepreneur, getting things done while preserving your energy, and making space in your life for regular creative play.Continue reading “Episode 7: Creative Tranquility with Kimberly Wilson”
I’ve spent the past few days thinking about what I’d like to accomplish in the coming year. A conversation yesterday with Kimberly Wilson, soon to be turned into a new podcast episode, helped me solidify my thinking about the coming year and finally put pen to paper on the following:
1. Do a writing residency/workshop
Over Thanksgiving, my artist Aunt Amy told me about a fellowship she’s planning to apply for at an artist colony near where she and my Uncle Paul live–AND that they also offer similar programs for writers. I’ve been wanting to do something like this for a while–and have long been promising and failing to visit Amy and Paul–so this summer I’ll be doing both by attending a memoir writing workshop.
2. Run a new marathon
I took 2019 more or less off from running after completing the New York Marathon in 2018. It wasn’t intentional; I signed up for a number of races and then ended up being too sick or injured to complete them.
My original goal was to run Chicago in 2020, but after failing to get a bib in the lottery, I’ve decided to run Detroit instead. The race is half in Canada–you have to run with your passport and talk to Border Patrol mid-run. Just the kind of weird shit I’m into, and it’s a flat course! (Props to my mom for telling me about this race!)
3. Publish 12 podcast interviews
I’m deliberately setting this goal low so that it’s achievable. I currently have two episodes recorded to publish by the end of January, along with a third in the works. My goal between now and January 1 is to start emailing the people I reached out to over the summer about interviews so I can get them on my recording calendar for Q1. I finally have energy again after a rough autumn, so I want to make the most of it before I hit another low period (ahem, February, peak SAD season).
4. Publish 20 blog posts
I started to write 24 blog posts–two per month–but something gripped in my chest that told me not to overdo it. Truly, writing five blog posts would be an accomplishment compared with this year. This goal feels like the perfect intersection of manageable and stretchy.
5. Have one essay published
I’m deliberately setting this goal to be super tiny and yet it’s the one that terrifies me the most, possibly because it’s the least within my control. I need this to be the year that I finally start writing and pitching essays (likely creative non-fiction but maybe some more straightforward stuff as well). I have a lengthy list of publications to pitch, so my hope is that one of them will be a home for something I produce in 2020.
6. Live as my alter ego
My alter ego, Élodie Clyde, is American but with the energy of the French Olympic logo:
As I wrote in a recent Instagram post:
I went to an event a few weeks ago where we created alter egos and then went out to a bar in character as them. Since that night I’ve spent so much time thinking about mine. How differently she would navigate relationships, creative practices, finances, her social life. How much less she’d care about what other people think, how she’d never take responsibility for anyone else’s feelings, how much cleaner her apartment would be, how much more comfortable she’d be with other things being messy. The books she’d read, the movies she’d watch, the eyeliner she’d wear. Her insouciance, her last-minute trips abroad, her hours-long dinner parties. A bigger life, but never suffocating.
This is what I’m using to guide my decisions in 2020.
Today I’m chatting with writer Theodora Blanchfield about the role creative work has played in her mental health journey. In this candid conversation, Theodora shares what caring for her mental health has meant for her in the aftermath of her mother’s death from cancer and while she’s navigated other challenges including career changes and breakups.Continue reading “Episode 5: Creativity as a Mental Health Practice with Theodora Blanchfield”