Sliver

Current safe space. Along with a space heater, some string lights, and parked on my futon, this is where I’ve been spending my days lately. (You don’t see the other half of the office that needs to be cleaned!) I know I’ve been posting a lot of pics, but I’m feeling really, really grateful for this sliver of joy and peace, this wall of books.

Robot

Oh friends, I have so far to go.

.

I just spent an hour sobbing to my therapist and saying things like “I hate being a work in progress… But that is what being a human IS!” I joke with friends and coworkers sometimes that I have a never-ending pursuit of becoming a robot, and what I mean by that is “cracking the code,” figuring out the “perfect” routine, the perfect process and schedule and even meal. It’s like I want to boil life down into “if I get up every day at this time and I eat this exact meal twice a day and I write from this time to this time and I go to sleep by midnight,” I will have figured out the secret of the universe of how to be a successful and perfect robot. I mean… Human.

.

I always say I’m a recovering perfectionist. Days like today feel like an absolute faceplant into realizing what a grip it still has on me. I don’t want to be loved by tens or hundreds. I want to be loved BY ALL.

.

Basically, I want life to not function like life does. I want myself to not function like I do. I want to be flawless, and I hate even that desire because I know in my heart how foolish it is.

.

So then I wallow in my failures. As a friend, a writer, a worker, a body. As a not-yet-robot. As someone who has stupid goals of “becoming a robot.”

.

And so, back to the drawing board, right? For me, that’s always prayer and rest and lists. Robots don’t pray or rest, so honestly, what a horrible thing to want.

.

#blog #writer #writing #writinglife #author #authorsofinstagram #writersofinstagram #courageovercomfort #courage #enneagram4 #enneagram4w3 #4w3 #cultivatewhatmatters #ambition #rebuild2021 #goals #radicalacceptance #radicalselfacceptance #bodypositivity #bodyposi #totalhonesty #vulnerability

Henry

Even though I had a sick day, it was good. I listened to my body and my limits and said, “OK, I understand.” My coworkers covered for me while I spent all day resting. Then tonight I wrote a long, rambling paragraph and figured out the name of my character.

.

It is a wild and holy thing to create characters and stories. And mine aren’t even ex nihilo, nor will they ever be as complicated as actual humans. But I get to mimic creation, and it’s so powerful, so humbling.

.

#blog #writer #writing #writinglife #author #authorsofinstagram #writersofinstagram #courageovercomfort #courage #enneagram4 #enneagram4w3 #4w3 #cultivatewhatmatters #ambition #rebuild2021 #story #goals #revisions #revising #revisionplan #firstdraft #GlassNovel

Try Softer by Aundi Kolber

This book was so meaningful and life-changing for me. I think it’s required reading for just about everybody: if you had a hard childhood, if you’ve experienced any form of trauma (little t or Big T), if stress or anxiety seem to be setting up shop in your body.

.

Unlike some other self-help books I’ve read, Try Softer really shows the science behind what is happening in the brain and body when we are outside our window of tolerance. And yet, it doesn’t feel clinical. It feels like having coffee with the wisest, gentlest mentor.

.

This book reminded me of the importance of the body and helped me love mine more. It helped me understand more about chronic illness too. And trauma.

.

It’s just a brilliant book and this review can’t come close to explain just how important this book has been to me. β™₯️

.

20/5 stars

39

Tomorrow I turn 39 (three perfect 13s, if you’re in the know) and while yesterday I reflected bitterly on the year that brought me here, today I will honor it.

.

Because while it was a year of devastating loss and grief, it was also a time of tremendous personal growth for me.

.

I revised and submitted a manuscript to my agent, and my agent submitted it to publishers. I began this story in 2013, before Truest was published, before I experienced such fear and panic and emptiness around writing that I couldn’t open up a manuscript for all of 2018 and half of 2019. To reclaim writing in such a powerful way in 2020 was like rediscovering my soul in an archelogical dig.

.

Most of my appointments with students and families were virtual, but I did my very best to listen carefully and thoughtfully to each student and see them not as recruits but complicated, multi-dimensional young people making huge life decisions. I wasted no opportunity to tell them I was proud.

.

My family gained a glorious, chatty, adorable new member in my niece Aurora/Rory Roo/The Roo. She has softened the hard edges of us all, and the joy of watching my brother and sister in law as parents, my parents as Grammy and Grumpa, and my sister as Auntie makes my heart so full. Rory is so beloved.

.

I cleaned my bedroom. Most of it. This is a bigger deal than most of you realize.

.

I viewed myself as brave. For a while there, I viewed myself as abandoned.

.

I pursued truth in all things.

.

I used my words on behalf of justice. I voted. I watched hard hearts melts and some open like flowers. It’s been the most beautiful thing.

.

I was spontaneous at least twice. Maybe even three times. Pretty sure they were all for @asherinley & the Bear.

.

I read poetry while the world lamented, which is both terribly hopeful while also joining in lamentation.

.

I wrote letters. Not a lot, but some, mostly to my beloved aunt and to @cam.kreye, and it was so good to let my heart pour out through the pen.

.

I planned. I broke plans. I did not lose hope ever. I knew and still know the light will come. Amen.

Vine

Was talking to @asherinley tonight about how long story ideas “percolate” in my mind and realized I’ve been thinking about these sisters since I was in high school, maybe even junior high. Let’s say 25 years ago.

β˜•

The idea is just a seed for the longest time. In the back of my head. With enough watering (curiosity, creativity, literature, wonder), the seed grows. After months (or years, in this case), the vines creep forward, slowly picking up details, until it is at the forefront of my mind, and those sisters have names, motivations, interests, and conflicts.

β˜•

And here I thought I couldn’t keep a plant alive!!

πŸ“Έ: @coffeewithjoshua via @unsplash

Story-Souls

I feel creative but exhausted, which means I’m spending my time being curious. For me, this means reading articles about intriguing facts, phenomena, and philosophies. I’m looking for little story-souls. Although I have lots of characters and major plot lines in my head, I need more. So I’m soul-searching in a different way.

πŸ“Έ: Christian Dubovan via @unsplash

Revision Syllabus

#BehindTheScenes of revising #YesNovel. Will I stay on track with this syllabus? Almost certainly no. πŸ˜‚ But it’s a guide, motivation, reminder, and gentle accountability. It also activates my 3 wing and moves me from my let’s-spend-ages-thinking-about-the-meaning-here 4 to my achiever 3. (#enneagram4w3 talk, if that just sounded like mumbo jumbo to you!) . . .

#blog #writer #writing #writinglife #author #authorsofinstagram #writersofinstagram #courageovercomfort #courage #enneagram4 #enneagram4w3 #4w3 #cultivatewhatmatters #ambition #rebuild2021 #story #goals #revisions #revising #revisionplan #syllabus

Behind the Scenes

I’m reading a book that says to show my life behind-the-scenes. I already try to be very real and sometimes vulnerable on social media, but here’s my recommitment to it in 2021.

🌾

So here are a few glimpses of me behind-the-scenes:

🌾

I need A LOT of rest. A lot a lot. Once or twice a month, I will stay in bed all day. (Today was one of those days… Slept till 2 pm, though sometimes it’s 4 or 5. Oh, and I sleep all night then too.)

🌾

I often have to revert to my student-brain to get work done. I make myself a syllabus for writing. I create to-do lists daily, weekly, monthly, and for most weekends.

🌾

I’d prefer to surprise people with success than to admit failure, so I sometimes downplay my opportunities or mention them only casually. For example, my novel has been in the hands of six different publishers since October. Four rejections so far. I’d rather just shut up until I have good news, but then again, I hate it when others’ social media is just a greatest hits roll.

🌾

There’s a view of the woman behind the curtain today! What questions do you have? What other behind-the-scenes things would you like me to post about?

🌾

#bts #behindthescenes #inprocess #vulnerability #bereal #life #inspiration #truth #acceptance #selfcompassion #writersofinstagram #personalgrowth #motivation #emotionalintelligence #gratitude #poetry #meditation #depression #resilience #brenebrown #honesty #growthmindset #trust #therapy #community #wellness #awareness #happiness #empathy