Lessons from Blogging Every Day in April

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I know, I know. It’s not April anymore. Why the hell am I still talking? Trust me. I’m as shocked as anybody else that I still have anything to say. If April went on for any longer, I’d be forced to write posts reviewing YouTube drag queen videos (Um that actually sounds entertaining now that I think about it). But I did want to spit out some thoughts on writing everyday this month before I binge more Hulu shows and forget what I wanted to say.

Writing every day last month was an unexpectedly informative journey. I basically decided to do it because I was bored and needed a project. I had no end game and wasn’t trying to build a fan base or rough draft a book. But those two things accidentally happend by the way!  I just knew on some level that writing everyday would be good for me. So I hopped into this whole endeavor with zero plans or expectations. To my surprise, this little 30 day exercise taught me a whole bunch about myself. Here now are a few of the lessons I learned along the way.

Marathon Not a Sprint: Fairly quickly, I dunno maybe around April 5th, I realized the breadth and scope of what I was doing. It felt overwhelming and more than that it felt like I was going to struggle to keep it fresh and entertaining for 30 days. Luckily, I didn’t think about it too much and just wrote everyday. I did make little notes on things I wanted to talk about and came up with a calendar of posts that was flexible enough if decided to write about something else. All of this helped the project feel less overwhelming and allowed me to just do what I could do everyday and that was simple: write.

Feed The Beast: Although writing as an activity happens, cue the Celine, all by myself, it very much relies on the outside world to survive. After all, you can’t write about food unless you cook all of the time. You can’t write about art unless you look at art all of the time. So for me as a writer of pop culture and recovery, I had to lap in as much of that stuff as possible. This past month, I needed every tv show I watched online, every movie, every walk with friends, every conversation, every meeting I went to and most importantly every single thing I read. Without any other stimulation, I become dry, dull and repetitive. I know for a fact if I’ve run out of things to say there’s a huge problem and usually that problem can be fixed easily with reading. Reading brilliant and funny essays by Lindy West, Melissa Broder and Phoebe Robinson helped me so much as that’s the kind of stuff I want to write. By keeping myself “well-fed” creatively, I had more inspiration and energy to continue.

Look Out Weekends: It’s always interesting to look at when my blog gets the most reads. Until April, I just assumed it happened randomly. Like people stumbled on it whenever as if it was a dollar they found in their pocket. Turns out, thanks to WordPress’ algorithm tools, there are actually times and days when more people look at my blog. Thus it would make sense to publish on those days. Duh. For me, y’all like to read me on the weekends. And I’m okay with that and being the people pleaser I am will take that into account from here on out.

Reader Knows Best: That handy-dandy data also helped me figure out what kind of posts people liked to read too. The one common thread in popularity in my posts? The truth. When I let go and let you have it, the posts did really well. The more honest the post, the more readers. Pre-calculated and overwrought pieces rarely did well. But then again, my readers also like stuff that deals with life right now. So posts about a current tv show or movie or life change did in general better than the ones that dealt with a memory. These are good things to keep in the back of my mind when developing new essays….

But Also Write Whatever The Fuck You Want: I can’t get too tripped up about what people want to read or what I think they want. Talk about exhausting. Sure, it’s helpful to see what’s trending and gained popularity on my blog but it can’t be the whole reason I write certain posts. Readers see right through that nonsense. Instead, this month taught me to go with my gut and write posts from the heart that oozed honesty. 9 times out of 10 people responded when I stayed true to my voice.

Burn Out & Breakdown: Halfway through the month, as I have discussed here and on Twitter, I had a meltdown. Not like a Mariah Carey on a 5150 type of meltdown, mind you. But after days of spilling my guts on the page, I felt raw and like an exposed nerve. I thought I was breaking down because I’d hit something really personal in my writing and unleashed a mess of emotions. This was in fact part of it but not the whole story. I was also just burnt out. I was tired and out of gas. I needed to refuel and relax. This minor bump in the road was incredibly helpful because it made me prioritize self-care(things like rest, eating well, walking) and make it work in tandem with my writing practice.

Rehash & Recycle: Another thing I learned in this process? Some days the brilliant thoughts aren’t gonna come. Some days the well is just dry. So for these days I have plenty of drafts with a couple of sentences of half-formed ideas to help form new posts. Also I have an old blog filled with hundreds of posts and some of those ideas could use a fresh take or new spin. While for April I did write each post fresh every single day, there were a couple of posts who were born from an old draft, old post or just a simmering idea I jotted down a few words about. The challenge of breathing new life into an idea that was DOA is a good one and helped a few posts turn into something cooler and bigger than I could have imagined.

Trust It: Without a desired destination or preordained specific goal in my mind when I started this project, I really had to write with a whole shit ton of faith. I had to turn fear and preconceived notions off and just keep writing. I had to be creative and simply trust that creativity was enough. Which is not at all easy. Just trusting yourself as a writer and a creative being is some ninja bad assery. Still, when I let go and trust this process that’s when magical posts appeared out of nowhere. More than that, it’s these posts that I was the most proud of and that were the most meaningful. No, I didn’t sit down in the begininng of the month wanting to write about potatoes, showers, burritos, Mavis Staples and my ass. But by trusting the process, I did write those posts and I’m really glad I did.

So would I recommend writing a blog post every day for a month? Absolutely. It’s a really great way to get your writer muscles in shape. Would I do it again? Absolutely. But not in May. I promised you guys I’d shut up for a bit. And by “a bit” I mean I’m now only publishing three times a week.

 

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You know you are officially out of blog post ideas when the first thing that hits you when you sit down to write is, “Maybe I should do a list.” Immortalized and then quickly beaten to death by Buzzfeed, lists are a blog’s way of telling you, “Look, we have to make new content everyday and you have the attention span of a crack addicted squirrel so please enjoy this list about why we are all Kelly Kapkowski from Saved by the Bell.” I’ve been paid by online publications to make lists and it always feels a little cheap and dirty. Like really, I didn’t know I was this much of an easy whore that I’d take money to make a list, but okay.  I’ve even had well-intended and constructed essays get sent back to me with the note, “Is it possible to turn this story into a list?” Which of course it is and I do, like any good whore would. Well, darlings, 15 days into this little write everyday project, I’m now rethinking my snobbish stance on lists and could be turning this entire blog into an “all lists, all of the time” format until further notice.

Okay, that’s dramatic and I enjoy talking about myself far too much to ever let that happen. But y’all. Being creative is hard. As one of my favorite poems says, Consider shy Cezanne. Withdrawn, cranky Paul Cezanne created 900 some oil paintings, 400 watercolors and thousands of drawings, not to mention dozens of incomplete works. Plus, he worked in the field as a farmer. No wonder he dropped dead at age 67. Motherfucker was tired. Cezanne is often considered “an artist’s artist” and the guy who inspired everyone who came after him. His impossible creative work ethic mixed with his hipster dislike of people make certainly him #ArtistGoals. But it is indeed work and hard work too.

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A few days ago, I stumbled on a the above tweets talking about creativity. While a lot of the time I spend on Twitter is spent trying not to hurl my phone across the room, this thread was the reminder and confirmation I needed that being creative isn’t as easy as we think it is. The creator of this thread is Nneka M. Okona who writes beautifully about travel, food and matters of the heart. Inside these tweets, something magical happened. People from all over we’re saying, “OMG. Me too.” Sounds simple but creativity and writing in particular, is more often than not solitary work. Our little one man bands run on nothing more than inspiration, our own creativity and a shitload of coffee. Tweet after tweet told my story of feeling like it’s hard not run out gas. One tweeter brilliantly described the exhaustion that comes with being creative as a “vulnerability hangover.” Perfection and it received and deserved multiple hand clapping emojis. But once, I’ve acknowledged that writing is hard work what exactly do I do to take care of myself and feed my soul?

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This week, walking, talking to friends and watching documentaries about creative people has helped immensely. My pal Claire who is also a writer (and a damn good one) has been an invaluable sounding board when it comes to talking about all things writing and she also enjoys a good walk so that kills two birds with one stone. And god bless Netflix and HBONow for currently having tons of incredible documentaries about all sorts of artists (one of which I wrote about here a few days ago). But the one that spoke to me as a writer was Everything Is Copy, currently on HBONow.

The film documents the life of writer and director Nora Ephron. The title, “Everything is copy” is an old family saying that Ephron’s mother coined meaning everything that happens in your life is just fodder for stuff to write about. Ephron herself adopted the saying and certainly used it as a career mantra. From her hilarious personal essays for Esquire to her hit book Heartburn, nothing was off-limits from Ephron’s life as long as it made for a juicy– and funny story. The concept is a good one and certainly one that between her and Carrie Fisher I have adapted in my own style. Telling the truth and laughing about it in my writing is my never-ending amends as a lifelong liar and delusional bullshit artist. The film pulls an emotional punch, however, when it comes to Nora Ephron’s death. Of all the things she talked about, death was the thing she kept to herself. Dying for months of leukemia, Ephron stayed uncharacteristically silent about what was happening. So much so that when she died those closest to hear were shocked and hurt. As it turns out, not everything was copy and some stories we need to hang onto for ourselves. It’s a fantastic watch and helped fuel me through several more posts.

Halfway through my daily blogging bonanza, I wish I could tel you something positive and inspirational about creativity and writing that would help you go write that novel you always wanted to write but I can’t. All I know is it’s a slog and it is hard work. But it starts when I sit down and just do it. And comparatively to say being an ice road trucker or washing windows on a skyscraper, it’s not that bad.  So I’m going to keep writing, one day at a time, like everything else. But tomorrow, you’re getting a list, dammit.

 

 

 

Sunday Reads

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“If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.”  – Stephen King

With two cats dozing deeply, I’m currently sipping a hot cup of coffee in my pajamas in bed. While this is all very cozy, I’m actually hard at work. I mean not “at work” like working in a salt mine or even “at work” like the band who recorded that “Down Under” song. But today, I’m taking the work of reading very seriously today, as directed by the quote at the top of the post.  By designating this morning and later this afternoon as the chunk of time where I’ll sit and read, I’m hoping that I can replenish ye olde creative well. As I whined about yesterday, I was feeling sort of drained and uninspired yesterday. My head felt fuzzy, my body was tired and all I wanted to do was watch Justice League cartoons on Netflix until I passed out. I was in need of a physical recharge, for sure. But I also needed a creative recharge too. Hence the reading situation I currently find myself in.

I’ve always been a book fanatic. I was one of those kids who’d get a book from the school book fair and have it done by the time school was over. Being in Beverly Cleary country currently is of no small significance to me as her books along with those of Judy Blume really taught me the foundations of storytelling and turned me into the book lover I am today. My mom owned a bookstore/frame shop during the late 80s thru the early 2000s which meant I could read whatever I wanted when I wanted. At the peak of my powers at age 20, I was reading like 2 books a week. It came second nature. 24 years and several thousand lost brain cells later, I am sadly not the reader I once was. I go through bursts of reading dozens of books and then dry spells that last months. I’d blame the internet but that’s bullshit.

In fact, the internet is chockfull of good things to read. I am trying to read things that like our dear Mr. King implies will help me write the sort of stuff I want to write. Therefore, I’ve been devouring all kinds of personal essays and interviews to assist me in my larger project which is compiling a book of collected essays. And so, in a clunky segue with zero chill, here are five spectacular things I’ve read recently and loved:

Jeanette Cooperman on George Hodgman:  It is impossible for me to put into words how important George Hodgman and his beautiful book Bettyville are to me. It’s a such a lovely, funny, heartbreaking book and this profile of him is literate, lovely and wise.

Claire Foster on Loving an Addict: A real life buddy and writing mentor,  Claire Foster nails the heartbreak of loving and losing someone to addiction. This piece written for The Transformation Is Real (ran by another friend and inspiration Daniel Maurer) is truly beautiful.

Betsy Andrews on Tamales and Trump: Being the foodie nerd that I am, I am a sucker for great food writing and this political and profound piece by Betsy Andrews harkens back to the Gourmet magazine pieces I used to love back in the early 2000’s.

Brandon Taylor on Stevie Nicks and Elizabeth Bishop: The always thoughtful Brandon Taylor, whom I was introduced to on Twitter, dissects the words and lyrics of two icons while artfully tackling the subject of grief. Plus anything Stevie related is always a must read for me and this is a good one.

Mark Goodson on Being Broken: Nobody writes with as much humility and compassion as my friend Mark and this piece, along with one entitled Keep Listening, is one of my favorites as of late.

As I mentioned, I’m also reading the amazing Melissa Broder and excitedly awaiting delving into How to Ruin Everything by George Watsky so I should “get back to work.” However, I need to grab more coffee first as it doesn’t look like Larry will be any help in that department.

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But do me a favor: please comment and tell what you’re reading and provide links. I know. I’m so needy. That’s me the needy reader. xo- S.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

make magic/make a mess

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Okay, terrific. I’ve decided to write every damn day in April in an as of yet untitled blogging event promoted and invented solely by myself to basically keep me busy and out of trouble. Well, that’s all peachy, my dear. But there’s one fuck up we have to deal with first: what exactly do you plan to write about for 30 days, mister smarty pants?

Insert cricket sound here. 

Oh yeeeaaaah. I should probably come up with stuff to say for the next 25 days, shouldn’t I? In my life as a social media manager and content writer, I’d tell clients in a haughty, know-it-all voice that they need to come up with an editorial calendar. You know, a list of posts they wanted to publish for the next several days. I figured I should do that for myself and set out to create a publishing calendar for the ages, filled with awe-inspiring posts and soon to be viral must-reads. Sadly, all I was able to come up with was some song lyrics and a post I wanna write about how Aaron Spelling shows turned me into a glamour junkie (Don’t worry. It’s coming.) So my rock solid advice turned out to sort of suck when applied to myself. But then it hit me: why not talk about writing and more specifically how to make something, regardless if you’re inspired or not?

Insert lightening bolt sound here. 

First off, I think the idea of one thing or one person inspiring our writing is insane to me. Like talk about a lot of pressure on that artist. Being the good addict that I am, my motto for inspiration is “more is more.” I gleefully admit to being a hoarder of inspiration. The more art I look at, the more music I listen to, the more television I binge, the more I read, the better. The flow needs to be constant. For example, I am currently bingeing Twin Peaks, Veep and The Wire. All shows I have never seen(I know, I know, I know) and all different levels of storytelling. I had to temporarily walk away from my Twin Peaks fest last night after a dream sequence made me feel like I relapsed on hallucinogens.

I chose to read instead. Currently, I’m cramming down as many essay collections I can get my hands on. The first? So Sad Today by Melissa Broder. It’s freaking beautiful, hilarious and as promised in the title, heartbreakingly sad. It’s blowing my mind open which is kind of the job of all good inspirations and is actually informing how I’ll put together my own essay collection. I have found the more channels I have open, the more new stuff will flow through. Here’s a few things currently inspiring me:

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True, it’s not foolproof. Like this morning when I first woke up and thought to myself, “For once in my life, I have nothing to say.” Yet it eventually comes.

When I am finally filled with this mystical juju called inspiration, the next thing I need to do is sit down and do the whole writing part. This is the unglamorous part for me. This is the slog. I’d rather have beautiful, witty ideas flow out of my brain which would then manifest themselves into existence, if we’re being honest here. Taking the time and doing the physical act of writing is the part I’m less thrilled about. Sure, I always feel better when I do it but the simple thought of doing it can stop me cold in my tracks. If just plop down in front of the laptop and not think too much about it, it’ll flow right out. But if I’m kicking, screaming and dragging my feet, it’ll be miserable. Also? I’ve found the just sit down and go approach works when I’m not 100% inspired either. That’s actually an exciting way to write. Feels more organic like you don’t know what the hell will wind up on the screen. Obviously much of this site is composed that way, for better or for worse. Inspired or not, for me nothing comes if I don’t give myself a break.

Which leads me to my last point: as long as I make something, it’s a success. I need to write something, create anything, just get it down, regardless of how shitty it may or may not be.  I can’t go there with how many views I’ll get, how many comments will be left or if I’m just writing something, only to have thrown it down the deep, dark internet void never to be heard from again. Sounds hard which it is. But I think, like most good things in my life, I learned it in recovery. This idea of just not drinking or using drugs and just showing up for myself was enough for a very long time. In fact, some days it’s still enough and quiet frankly a tall muthafucking order. What was happening when I did this though was I was teaching myself to stay out of the results and do what was in front of me. Turns out this way of living is applicable for everything from emptying the cat box to paying bills and to writing. Over time and on projects as varied as 2 act plays about Craigslist to press release for small businesses, the task of getting writing done gets done when I just do what’s in front of me.

The best thing about breathing and giving myself a break when I’m writing is I realize that what I have to bring to the table as a writer is enough. That my talent is enough. That my experiences are enough. That flawed, procrastinating, occasionally bitchy, old me is enough. And I hope you know that about you, too.

Insert wild applause noise here. 

 

 

What Can You Lose?

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What can happen in 30 minutes? Turns out, a lot of things. A pizza can be delivered. A commute can be completed. A sitcom can be ingested. A meal with Rachael Ray can magically come together. Some highly-touted, super efficient workout can be finished. And a brilliant blog post can appear like a glittering Pegasus from the sky. Or that’s at least what I’m hoping will happen in the next 30 minutes. It’s helpful for me to think of it like this. Like if a whole pizza can be ordered, made and delivered in 30 minutes, surely I can vomit out some thoughts on a page, no? Yet it’s funny how paralyzing just the mere thought of doing something, hell, anything, can be for me. Like, “Wash those three plates AND put them in the dishwasher? What is this? Some kind of internment camp?” The sheer force of my Jedi-strength complacency can really make the idea of doing things really sound impossible.

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But 30 puny little minutes? I can do that. And maybe that’s the secret to stuff and by ‘stuff’ I mean success. I don’t know why just writing that word, success, makes me squirm a little but yes, success. And not necessarily in a I’m totally buff and make 7 figures a year kind of way (which I’d be totally down for if I could achieve those things by eating brownies and watching Netflix) but in a I’m satisfied and happy with my life kind of way. On some cellular level, I know that this is true. I wrote two full length plays both of which enjoyed happy, packed runs and I’ve also written dozens of short plays, a slew of articles, a spattering of short stories and some other stuff. And none of it has happened in a single sitting. Thank god. Can you imagine? “Honey, I’m gonna go sit down and write a script. See you in four days.” No, all of it has been quilted together minute by minute, a page at a time and over the course of several days. I do, however, do better with deadlines, as the additional terror tends to bring out the best in me but even then I know that the bulk of the work comes together in itty, bitty chunks. The toughest part of anything that looks like work, for me, has to be conquered with my attitude before I get started. If I don’t immediately reject the thought of doing something, anything, progress might just be possible.

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I recently shared with my sponsor that I was afraid of success. He pointed out to me that I was in a happy successful relationship, that I had successfully stayed sober for the last 7 years and that I had a roof over my head and jobs which regularly paid me. He was gently trying to pound into my head that I was, in fact, already successful. Moreover, all of this success had happened in little increments. And so, why couldn’t even more success happen in the same way? There’s no reason and as usual the only getting the way was me and my old nemesis fear.

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All this brings me to the title of this post which also happens to be a Sondheim song which Madonna sings in Dick Tracy (it all always leads back to Madonna. Duh.) But yeah, what can I lose? So I lose 30 minutes writing a post that maybe no one will read? Big deal. Or I try something and it doesn’t work out? Okay. Or I submit pieces and people say, “Sorry. Not interested.” Fine. But I at least did it. If I can shut fear up and just keep moving, even for 30 minutes, who knows what can happen? This is all on my mind today because I’m toying with pitching new ideas and putting myself out there creatively in different frightening ways. I guess it’s scary but no scarier than quitting drinking or leaving a relationship or standing up for myself in professional situations– and I’ve done all of those things already. So what can you lose?  30 minutes later, I still can’t come up with anything and that might just be my answer.

 

push

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In order for it to happen, it’s all gotta be perfect. Perfect meaning the climate in my house is ideal, an absolute silence has blanketed in my entire block and the coffee is strong enough to punch me in the face. That’s when I think it’ll happen. The “it” being writing. Then and only then is what my demanding diva mind says. I will settle for nothing less, dammit! So no wonder it’s hard to even start. God forbid my house is hot. Or I’m out of coffee. Or some neighbor is sawing the world’s longest and loudest piece of wood. Or my cats have for some reason decided to practice their wrestling moves on the dining room table. One little glitch in the system can throw off the whole machine. And that’s kind of what my week has looked like. Satan is currently giving Colorado an HGTV-style makeover so running around in the heat is something I try not to do. We, the husband, the cats and myself, are primarily concerned with staying under the ceiling fan and moving as little as possible. Then there’s this whole the world is going to shit thing that is currently happening and what could I write to possibly contribute to such horrific times? Add to it a general feeling of laziness and my three times a week publishing practice has nearly flown out the window. wings

Needless to say, I woke up this morning like my bed was on fire. I didn’t know what the fuck I was going to write. I didn’t know if the conditions were perfect. I didn’t know anything other than that I had to write. See, I made that promise to myself a month ago and I took it seriously. Or at the very least I wanted to take it seriously. So here I am in my cool,quiet house with strong coffee and snoring cats writing. Being creative my entire life, I’m always shocked when I start to self-sabotage the process. I know making stuff and telling stories makes me physically and mentally feel better and therefore easier to be around, nicer and less a pain in the ass. I know this in my core but I still resist it. As an addict and alcoholic, I sort of resist anything that makes me feel better. When I admit this to other people in recovery, sometimes jaws drop open. Like now that I’m sober, I’m not supposed to admit that sometimes I suck at being a beckon of light and sometimes I don’t want to do things that make me feel better. Besides, isn’t the whole idea of feeling better subjective? I mean, I feel better than I did 8 years ago when I was waiting tables and scraping bits of cocaine out of paper packets. But feeling better in a, “Wow! That kid has his shit together!” kind of way? Uh.

And yet the evidence suggests, I am better than I was and so is my writing practice. I spent a lot of this week feeling not up to snuff. Like I wasn’t doing enough to foster creatively and that my actions were slowing down my writing process. Quite the opposite actually. The great Gwendolyn Brooks talked a lot about how a writer’s education didn’t stop inside the halls of schools. In fact, in her mind, the real work of writing was experiencing life and then coming back with something to report. Bingo. I heard live music this week that blew my mind.

I went and walked around an art museum with my husband. IMG_3330

I watched the rest of Girls. I read new posts from my brilliant writing compadres. I kept waiting for a lightening bolt to write this week or some big push. Turns out, I was already doing that. I was pushing my damn self. I just didn’t realize it until now.

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I guess what I’m getting at here is that my brain rarely tells the truth. Self doubt can slip in unannounced and wreck the whole party in mere minutes. However, I have been gifted with an emotional alarm system that now pushes me into doing things that make me feel better, even when (or especially when) I simply don’t want to do them. Being inspired at all times, as they tell us in 12 step programs, just ain’t gonna happen. This is fantastic news. This means everybody, even creative juggernauts who are so prolific it makes your head spin, get stuck and need a little push. The trick is to keep pushing. Push through sad times. Push through lazy times. Push through bad ideas, no ideas and even so good they scare you ideas.

Thus, on this Thursday in the middle of the weirdest summer of my life, I’m going to keep pushing. I hope you do too.

flight or fight (or write)

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The answer is usually right in front of my face. The answer is usually something I knew all along. The answer is usually standing in the waiting room tapping its foot and saying, “Hello? I’m over here, you big dumdum.” And this is how I’ve ended up posting endless links to new things I’ve written over the last month.

Let me explain: intuitively I knew I had to get back on a regular writing schedule. Now I’ve continued to write for clients and work but doing my own projects? Not so freaking much. After completing a script last year and battling some health nonsense, writing for me felt like something energetically I just couldn’t swing. The problem was, however, that without writing regularly, I started to feel nuts. I was explaining to another alcoholic just yesterday that I’m often jealous of people who can maintain their sanity and sobriety by just being physically sober or doing very little work. I, on the other hand, need a lot of help and from all kinds of sources. It’s like mind-blowing mole, you know that dark spicy chocolate sauce that comes from Mexico that when done right can be a religious experience.  The real deal, make-you-wanna-smack-your- mama mole requires at least 3 days and 30 ingredients to achieve poetic heights. And my sanity/spirituality/humanity is much the same. I can’t just do meetings. I can’t just exercise. I can’t just meditate. I can’t just have a digital support group. I need to be firing on all cylinders to make myself consumable for the human public. Now when an ingredient is missing, I begin to feel icky. A regular writing practice was missing so this is how I’ve ended up bothering you three times a week with new posts.

Suffice to say over the last month, my life has gradually changed and a light has gone on. I’ve written a few things that lots of people have read. I’ve written a few more that no one has read. All of this is fine. I am not doing it for internet pats on the back or sparkly comments. I’m doing it to stay alive. As I’ve mentioned, the news in June kicked my ass and made me feel devastatingly sad. Old me would have felt a blip of sadness and doused myself in alcohol or cocaine. Today, I feel all the feels as the kids say and it’s uncomfortable and real and intense. Thank god for writing. Writing helps we exorcise whatever is banging around in my head. June also saw some gnarly personal conflicts come up that previously would have resulted in neck crooking finger waving name calling confrontation better suited for Bravo than real life. I’ve somehow been able to avoid being a dick while not running away. I’ve stayed present, calm and authentic and I’ve kept writing. Who the hell knew any of this was possible? I made simple commitment to blog three times a week in addition to things I’m collaborating on and my professional stuff. That’s it.

Now, those of you who know me in real life or follow me on Twitter(which I was recently informed isn’t real life! Mind. Blown.) know how much I detest self-helpish, click baity ‘You’re living your life wrong if you don’t do this” type of posts. I hate that we’ve somehow cultivated a culture that gives the thumbs up to people who’ve stopped being an asshole for like 2 minutes and now they should be experts and tell us how to live. Eww. So in lieu of dishing out the kind of unsolicited advice that makes me gag: I’m simply offering my experience of the last month. I felt yucky and emotionally jumbled before I got back writing regularly again and now I don’t. Whoomp there it is. If there’s something that you love, something that helps you feel better, something you want to get back to (writing, knitting, walking, baking, meditating, volunteering, other positive activities that end in ‘ing’.) why not take a month and get back to them? It can’t hurt. Fuck. It might even help you. And maybe for you, like me, it’ll be the answer you’ve been looking for this whole time.

*please feel free to leave sparkly comments below.