A Gamble

>I stayed in last night and licked my wounds. Which means: I ate a really good home cooked dinner and took a shower so long that I literally ran out of hot water. Since I live in a house where I have my very own full size hot water heater, this is hard to do. My whole body felt relaxed and soft and warm when I finally got out so I stood by the open window and smoked a cigarette. I know it ain’t environmentally friendly (the long shower or the cigarette), but goddamn, sometimes you need to go there.

I’m thinking about committing myself to 30/30 (or NaPoWriMo) this year (it starts tomorrow!). I haven’t really tried at something since I ripped open my insides a couple of years ago doing NaNoWriMo. I’m a little freaked out and a little excited. I haven’t done very much writing at all in the last couple of years, and I think this project is a good thing to add to my list about thwarting writer shame.

I probably won’t post all of my poems here (because that would be annoying). But, definitely a few (if I actually motivate to do this thing).

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Lonely is the room, the bed is made, the window lets the rain in

>Burning in the corner is the only one who dreams he had you with him.

Songs (A List):

“Lover, you Should Have Come Over” – Jeff Buckley
“Greeting Card Isle” – Sarah Harmer
“Hold On” – Tom Waits
“Shape I Found you in” – Girlyman
“I’m on Fire” – Bruce Springsteen
“Taxi Cab” – Vampire Weekend
“Mary” – Joe Purdy
“Reconstruction Site” – The Weakerthans
“Vcrs” – The XX
“Hummingbird” – Kris Delmhorst
“Baker Lake” – Sera Cahoone
“DC Comics and a Chocolate Milkshake” – Art Brut
“The Weary Kind” – Ryan Bingham
“Us” – Regina Spektor
“Blood Bank” – Bon Iver
“Bed is for Sleeping” – Superwolf

(and there are more…so many more)

Shame(less)

>

It smells like bacon in my office. While I’m absolutely not complaining (I love bacon), I am confused about where its coming from.

I’m listening to Pandora and trying to get some work done this afternoon, but its a rough one.I went to bed at 9:30 last night, hoping (in my old man way) that this would mean I got a good nights sleep and would be bright eyed and bushy tailed today. No dice.

Today I’m thinking a lot about writing, and expectations. Meaning, I need to write and make sure my expectations are reasonable when I sit down to do it. You see, like many writers I have this thing about sitting down to the act of writing with unclear or outlandish expectations. Forcing myself into panic mode, because I am expecting to always write something perfect and amazing without any effort. Then, when a bunch of (totally reasonably mediocre) writing comes out, or worse yet, nothing at all, I feel like I’m suddenly in the middle of a big nasty fight with my writing. I want to scream, “I hate you!” at my paper (or computer screen) and cross my arms over my chest like a small insolent child. I have literally done exactly this (shh!) on occasion. When I used to teach writing, I had this whole strategy around how to avoid this pattern of expectation and shame, and now, I’m having trouble a) applying it for myself and b) remembering what those things are at all.

Herein, a list. Which is actually a strategy I frequently use to get the (creative) juices flowing.


What can I (we) do as writers to avoid feeling shamed when we are doing (writing); A list.

+ Set up a time limit for ‘going in there.’ Give myself permission to write for 20 minutes only, 10 minutes only, 5 minutes only. Especially if something I’m thinking about/feeling is heavy.

+ Commit to a schedule. An hour a day in the evening, or whatever.

+ Let myself write something completely stupid and silly and appreciate it because it gets my pen moving. Use it as an introduction into writing headier stuff.

+ Take breaks if I need them.

+ Learn how to treat myself with kid gloves when I’m working around something sensitive.

+ Keep an open dialogue with other writers/friends in my community about shame/writing.

+ Oh yeah, that community thing, where did it go? Get one of those again.

+ Stay in therapy. I feel like everyone (especially artists) should be in (some form of) therapy as much as possible.

Anyone have anything to add? Obviously this is just the beginning of the list. But, I would love to hear from anyone about things that they would add/thoughts on this subject, etc.

(Also, Apparently the bacon smell was my coworker eating a hot pocket. Who knew?)

Deep Conditioning

>Well folks, Its been awhile again.

I’m finding myself sort of easily distracted lately by different writing projects. I get excited and throw myself at something for a few days and then quickly abandon it.
I think I’m going to try to stick with this blog in particular for a bit. Mostly because I don’t think anyone reads it. Which is sort of comforting.

Also, I think a new direction here would be good. I’ve spent the majority of this project musing and slobbering about EX-LadyFriend, and its boring. I will (of course) still do it sometimes.

I’m at my new(ish) job typing this. Did I mention I was laid off last year and that it took over 6 months to find steady work? Right? Right. I spent most of that six months being really depressed, organizing and re-organizing my house, working random temporary gigs, like as a handyman, a prep cook at a vegetarian restaurant, and selling things on Craigslist. Fortunately, I was lucky to qualify for unemployment. However, between The Breakup, losing my job, and a bunch of other stress at once, I became sort of a mess.

Anyway, I (finally) have a new job and I’d like the world to know that the job and I are sort of in love. Its new, and tenuous, and it remains to be seen just how deep our relationship will grow. For now though, its hot and heavy. I’m learning new things at a hip company, with opportunities and grown up things like…stock options (gasp!). I like my coworkers a lot, and I also like that most of what I do, I can’t really talk about because it is confidential.

I also really enjoy saying “I can’t really hang out, I’ve got work in the morning.” Which I realize is sort of perverse, but sounds better than, I can’t hang out, I have to deep condition my hair.