Dusting Blog Cobwebs

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I suppose I haven’t blogged in a while. I suppose I haven’t done a lot of other things, either….like sleep, do my laundry, eat froyo (lies…definitely got some yesterday). I accepted a job in publishing in February, and life has been pretty busy every since. I guess I should have announced that on here at some point, but writing tons of blogs and press releases every day for others sort of sucks the fun out of doing it when you get home. Is it glamorous? Nope. Pays well? No, not really. Worth it? Definitely.

The past few months have contained a lot of firsts. First apartment, first time living in New York, first time holding a full-timer in publishing, first time living with Miss T.R. Wallace, first time having an intern, first time getting yelled at in all caps via e-mail…repeatedly, first time assembling an Ikea couch….that might be the best one. Stick figure instructions? NOT HELPFUL.

However, the bottle of wine consumed during assembly did wonders…they should really include that in the box.

The fact that this blog isn’t (and was never really) anonymous encourages me to hold my tongue about a lot of things (including some great inside scoop), but there’s plenty to be shared nonetheless.

For starters, there’s a time to state your case at work, and there’s a time to roll over. Sometimes a little nugget or misread email becomes WWIII, and it’s just not worth engaging. Don’t worry…privately, you never have to relinquish the fact that you’re still right.

Enjoy the free coffee. Drinking it will save you the $15 per-week (at LEAST) you spend at Starbuck’s or that little hipster café every morning. Stop it.

Be pleasant. It always serves you well. Until you have to be a bitch…then own it.

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creative balance.

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Like stories and narrative voices, writers embody different extremes. For some, the focus is the current project and the motivator is the next deadline (or, depending on your boss, the chiding voice that accompanies error). Thankfully, I never make mistakes. Kidding…no one is perfect (coming from someone who has been referred to as “impractically imperfect,” not a misquote). Anyway, there are also many writers who do not write to make a living and write purely from the soul, and then there are writers who do not write to make a living and can’t write from the soul…writers that have no soul…you get it.

Writing and editing for a living can cause you to slide into some really intellectually lazy behavior. Personally, I find myself making excuses to avoid my own creative work in favor of the goals that my employers deem immediate and relevant…and they are so convincing!

During work hours, yes! Go above and beyond! Work late and work hard, but don’t let the stress of completing an assignment for someone else translate to the neglect of your personal goals. Balance is everything. Yesterday, this is how it went down:

“I finished that article today. That was creative. That counts.” dgo asleep in food bowl

COMMENCE NAP ———>

In a later moment of clarity, I promptly “punished” myself for self-neglect with three pages of creative work. Also interesting. Shouldn’t I be rewarding myself with creative work instead of punishing myself with it? Yes, I was creative in my work for others, but whose goals were actually fulfilled?

The creative beast is a sneaky, fat, lazy animal of the subconscious when coupled with stress and sleep depravation.

I guess what I’m getting at is that while writers earn the right to make a living at what they do, it’s important to identify those moments when you might be making excuses for yourself and deviating from the challenges and goals you’ve set for yourself in your own writing and creativity. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t (or can’t) be creative in work for others, but don’t forget yourself in what you do.

Also, do yoga. I have to say that starting up again is making my body scream, but it’s worth it for the calm, the clarity, and literal/metaphorical balance.