Writing about myself

•June 22, 2014 • Leave a Comment

It’s been surprisingly easy. In fiction, I struggle with plot. But in creative non-fiction, the plot is already done. I’ve lived it! I don’t have to make it up! It’s amazing!

Instead, it’s turning out to be an issue of what to leave out. Where is the story? What is at the heart of it? It seems that my life has themes that I didn’t even know were there. 

 

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A lost interest in words

•June 16, 2014 • 1 Comment

Writing my first book felt like the most important thing in the world. I would go out to dinner (a favorite event of mine) and feel an uncomfortable urgency to get back to my desk. I needed to finish this book, and I needed to finish it immediately. It needed to be done so I could publish it and get on with my life. Not to say that I didn’t enjoy the process of writing. In fact, writing was one of the first activities that I both enjoyed the idea of and the practice of. Unlike ballet. I love ballet shoes, and the smell of their soft pink leather. I love the shoes so much more than I love dancing across a room.

I finished my book, and it didn’t work out as I’d planned. I can be a bit delusional about my prospects for immediate success. My logical self understands that first books usually don’t pan out. You can’t base a career on a first book. When you write for ego, the story will lack some heart. No, you will not write a book and then start your life. Your life has been chugging this whole time. This is your life, this not publishing a book. 

I accept that now. I think I do. I’m not as bitter towards people who’s words appear in print. Actually, I’ve probably gone in the opposite direction. Those people have a certain something I just don’t. I’m ok with mediocrity. You don’t have to be special to enjoy life.  

Part of me feels very mature for accepting this and moving on. Writing was about being special. Perhaps a compulsion to nourish my ego. I recognize this, and the end result is that I have no more stories to tell. 

But part of me feels a loss. If it is not important that I write, then what is important? Sweeping the floor so that when I walk down the hall, dirt doesn’t stick to the bottom of my feet. Making sure there’s toilet paper in the bathroom, and that the dog has had her 2.5 hours of daily requisite physical activity. Eating. Being a good friend, a good girlfriend. Not causing too much trouble. 

Wednesday: Frustration

•January 29, 2014 • Leave a Comment

It is the morning and I am feeling lost. Feeling lost usually leads to frustration, which I’m trying to avoid. Trying to avoid leads to a building up of emotions, which usually doesn’t end well.

It is time to get ready to walk dogs. My cat is meowing for food. The sky is gray, and it might rain. If it rains, my car will become muddy. Muddy and humid and hot. 

 

 

 

 

What does it take to change?

•November 21, 2013 • 2 Comments

During a yoga class I took last September, the teacher said it takes 40 days to change a habit. It was an interesting idea—one that I thought about for an hour or so. Ten years ago, I would have made a list of all the habits I wanted to change right then and outlined a 40 day program with action plans and goals and boxes to check off. But these days, that approach feels compulsive and anxiety ridden. So, I avoid lists and goals and challenges, especially those with a number attached.

But maybe I need to rethink my philosophy on this kind of thing. Perhaps a place between mania and stasis can exist.

Changing the energy

•November 6, 2013 • Leave a Comment

I’m about to move out of an apartment complex that I suspect is haunted. Not in a scary ghost kind of way. It’s more like the kind of place where people get stuck in the worst versions of themselves. People move in happy, then end up fighting and breaking up. Tenants start out as model dog owners, then eventually stop walking them, leave them on their balconies, or inside, all the time, so that they have to go to the bathroom on the carpet. (Poor Dwayne.) I’m pretty sure the girl who lives below me is possessed, judging by the screams I hear coming from downstairs. The people two doors down are in some line of drug selling or production. The one thing I can’t figure out: what’s in the paper bag hanging from the rod behind the curtain, so that it’s visible to people walking by but not to the people inside?

I tried to overcome these bad apartment complex vibes. I rearranged furniture, had the carpets cleaned. I started cooking. I scoop the litter boxes regularly and go to full moon gong savasanas. But, when I finally found a house to rent, I jumped.

floweroflife

Now I am packing, and trying to get rid of things I’ve been hanging onto out of guilt. I’m realizing that pretty much every part of my apartment makes me feel bad: my bathroom, my kitchen, my living room, and most of all, my desk. Nothing here is right, or has been for a long time, and I know that has everything to do with me and my approach.

This will be my project: to transform my living space and the way I interact with it. Maybe my next address will instead have some creepy ghosts! After living in this place, I don’t think I’d mind.

Novel on hold

•October 24, 2013 • 3 Comments

I feel a little lost in terms of how to proceed. I’ve been waiting on some agents for a couple of months now, and I have a 6 month exclusivity contract with Jukepop Serials, which means I can’t publish the novel anywhere else for that length of time. The longer I wait, the more disconnected I feel from the book I’ve written and writing in general. Perhaps this disconnect is a good thing, but it makes me feel like I’m not quite a part of things. A little bit like the world is on mute.

Monday: JukePop Serials

•September 30, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Another thing I did was submit my book to a website called JukePop Serials. You post a chapter at a time and readers vote, encouraging you to post new chapters.

jukepop_logo

I was excited to get votes and positive feedback, especially while waiting for my new set of agents to read my new draft! But now I’m wondering, how much does this hinder my ability to self-publish, if I decide to take that route? Would these people who have voted for my book have purchased a digital copy? Do I want to minimize my marketing efforts for this free version in an effort to save as much of my audience as possible for a version of my book that isn’t free?

I’m not sure that I’m looking at this in the right way. I’m probably not. I’m still learning.