Sunday, December 30, 2018

to go forward I must look back

I had thought about a jaunty year-in-review video for busysmartypants, much like the one I produced in 2017. I don't feel quite as accomplished twelve months hence. I certainly lack the jauntiness. It's been tough and I know I'm not alone in feeling more than ready to slam the door on 2018's sorry saggy dumpster fire of an ass.
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But, to go forward I must look back. How did I spend my creative time this past year?
  • I did create 11 videos in 12 months--find busysmartypants on Youtube!
  • I learned how to make gifs (SO. FUN.)--find busysmartypants on Giphy!
  • I checked out 76 books from the Seattle Public Library (and read nearly all of them).
  • I submitted one particular short story that I truly love 21 times. It's been flat out rejected nearly 2 dozen times so far, with a couple of non-replies and 3 "no but send us something else please" rejections, which are the very best kind of no's. I'm still revising and still sending it out. You don't get to yes without a lot of no's.
  • And I started at least 4 new story drafts, all in progress and getting better with each edit.
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As for today: I slept in. I made coffee and did some yoga and then I cleaned my apartment. I vacuumed and dusted and scrubbed. I took out the lint from the vacuum cleaner and emptied the compost and the little bathroom trash can. I mended a torn shirt and put away some random bits.
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Happy new year to everyone.
Let's make 2019 a better, kinder, more equitable place for people, animals, and the planet.
To be human is to have hope.

Monday, December 24, 2018

if I don't

If I don't publish a story in calendar year 2018, am I still a writer?
Of course yes and of course this is absurd to even ask but also of course this is the dialogue in my brain.
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Especially during the three-ay-ems, the middle-of-the-night freight train of worry that hurtles around my anxious mind.
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I've written a lot this year, new stories and refined stories, I've made videos, created gifs, taken on a professional communications gig, gotten more than a few "send us more" rejections, but no YES, no publication on my own creative merits, no whoop-de-do for busysmartypants. This is where I struggle.
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Do I stop?
Do I change things up?
Do I re-direct?
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I don't have answers.
Only questions.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

The deep deep

I don't recall ever feeling so deeply and completely tired.
I've reached exhaustion, and have gone past it.
My sleep is interrupted. Most nights I pass out and then a few hours later, awake in the dark. I get up and wrap myself in a blanket and read or do puzzles until I can rest again, even for a few minutes. The deepest sleep comes right before my alarm, when I can hardly rouse myself to slap at my phone and lie still, trying to summon up enough energy to step into the cold morning.
My days are like walking through a cold swimming pool, each step more tedious than the last.
I must keep moving or I may not ever move again.
The brain though--the brain perseveres.
Catastrophizing, imagining, worrying, spinning.
Each day, a year.
Each night, a decade.
Rest is a fruitless pursuit.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

shame

Today I'm sharing an excerpt from a post, from Ask Polly on thecut.com, which is ultimately about shame and its usefulness in art.

I read this on a lunch break earlier this week, and it was one of those moments where everything else fell away, and I felt that the writer was talking directly to me.
I've been contemplating existential questions lately. Why do I write and create? Does it matter? Why does it even matter?
This is why.
Facing shame with an open heart, on a path to art.

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