Thursday, 31 May 2012

Great People - Dan Jurafsky

Dan Jurafsky is awesome.  Not least of all because he is a foodie who writes about the language and  origins of food.  This is my kind of food porn.

Here's his article on ketchup in Slate.

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

That YouTube Proposal

It's a total cliche to be a poet and a romantic, so I keep my inner romantic in a closet full of frilly dresses.

However, 6 million folks can't be wrong, right?  I finally broke down and watched the YouTube marriage proposal that's causing a frenzy.

Here it is, if you missed it:

Call me an unromantic poet, but what I see here isn't "romantic" in any way we tend to define it.  What I see here is incredibly moving, but for reasons far beyond the kind of "oh what a great bf this guy is" that seems to be the tag line.

When I look at this, I see the kind of person you would want to have as a partner - someone capable of planning something complicated, someone capable of self-expression, someone who knows how to ask for help, and someone who can inspire people.

What's remarkable about this to me is that the community surrounding this couple has come out enthusiastically, even though they look sorta silly - I mean, these people put in time here - there is choreography!  This means that the couple is inspiring and that they have the full support of a community - a creative community willing to share their best selves.

We can all work on this for ourselves - being a great part of a great community doesn't need a ring on it.

Monday, 28 May 2012

Quote of the Week - Theroux

"Writing by hand is part of my creative process. The speed at which I write with a pen seems to be the speed at which my imagination finds the best forms of words."
-Paul Theroux 

Thanks to my friend Kami Rice, who tweeted the article this quote is from - Paul Theroux on writing by hand.

Often when working with clients, I strongly suggest doing journal writing and free writing by hand.  I can't supervise them when I'm not there, and I know that many of them don't do this when I'm not watching.  Yet, our internal rhythms, thought, heartbeat, logic, are what drives the words into sentences.  Each language has its own rhythm, as well.  Not everyone is a great typist - some people could not possibly ever keep up with their thoughts, while some people may type too fast for their internal voice.

The pen, the page - these are usually just right.

Anyway, don't listen to me - listen to Theroux.  He's a master.

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Borrow This Book

I kinda want everyone I know to read this book.  I want them to read it because I want them to enjoy what's in it.  I want them to read it because I want to talk to them about it.  I want them to read it cause it's so smart.  I want them to read it because so many people I know, as artists and thinkers, have ideas about how we are sick on a community level, and there are not only good assessments in this book, but ideas for real fixes.

I'm a fan of the author, and I'm enjoying every single sentence in this book.  If you don't read it, I'm liable to post each one as a tweet or a FB status, in order, until you have.  I'm only blogging this so I can stop individually telling people to read it, or posting it on their pages.

On top of the greatness of this book, is the fact that I borrowed it as an ebook from my library!

Here's the book:

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Great People - Minnie Weisz

Minnie Weisz/Camera Obscura

When you're a nomad (don't say "gypsy," it makes people nervous), you come across a lot of people.  Some of them are scary, some of them lovely, some of them inspiring, some of them lifesavers, some detours, some soul mates, some stay, some drift, but all have an impact on who you are, on your art, and your world view.

In a Facebook world, I can stay connected and at least try to keep up with what everyone is doing.  It feels like a good time to share some of their good news and accomplishments.  Maybe it's an attempt to gather everyone up in one spot where I can see them all and keep them a bit closer.

Minnie Weisz pulls triple duty as gallery owner, curator, and photographer.  The Arts Clique have done a feature on her!  Check out the video interview!

If you're in London, check out her new show!

I've realized I've not said quite how amazing she is, but hoping the work and the interview do the talking for me.

The Other 50% - More Numbers on Women Writers

Courtesy of  the Women and Hollywood blog.

And no, the numbers are not encouraging.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Writing Is Not A Mystery - That Sinking Feeling

The thing about the Titanic is... always goes down.

We know the end.  We know, but we watch.  Something about the sinking affirms us.

Cut to:

You.  Sitting at your writing spot.  Feeling...


Why are you feeling bad?  You're writing.  You're in your spot.  What's going on?  Is it not going well?  It's going, at least.

But still somewhere deep inside you have that sinking feeling.  You're tanking.  You know it.  No one else sees it, but you know it.

What is it?

It's life.  Life is coming to get you.  Your vulnerability is sneaking up on you.  Your fragility.  Your issue.

Whatever your issue is, it's wrapped itself around you and is now entwining itself into your creative process.  This is good, right?  This is what we want.

Also, but, see, it's making you uncomfortable.  And uncomfortable is bad, no?


Uncomfortable is not bad.  Bad is a judgement.  Uncomfortable is a new place.

Try again.  Bad is what doesn't work for you.  Uncomfortable is probably working for you.  Uncomfortable is probably something you chose to work on, that is in fact working on you.  So cool.

Say, for example, you have issues with your sister.  Okay, every relationship has issues.  But this one, really just digs.  Say, it turns out, funnily enough, that your story, the one you're working so hard on, is about two sisters.  One day you show up to the page - good you! - and you feel uncomfortable.  Something's not working, you don't know what it is, and you're feeling bad.  Like fragile, like weird, like vulnerable, like new.

New is good.  So is everything that came before it in the sentence above.  This is actually a good, if not the best, place to work from.

So why does it feel so bad?

Well, for one thing, you are judging it bad.  Throw that out and about 30% of the feelings straighten themselves out for you.

Could these feelings, maybe, have something to do with the fact that you are in some deep part of yourself working on this sister problem for both your story and yourself?  That's awesome.  And very uncomfortable.  

Learning something isn't bad.  New inner landscapes are not bad.  Arriving at new insights, not bad.

Prickly, maybe.  Testy.  Uncomfortable.  Needing to be broken in.  Not bad.

It's feisty, it's unpredictable, it's open.  It's leading you to a place in yourself and your art that you cannot foresee.  How cool!  How destabilizing.  How manic.

But overall, goodness.

The first thing to learn here is how to breathe.  Take the breath right through the fear and possible panic.  Look at the work you are doing - does it look interesting, does it have depth, is it demanding more of you? If so, this is the right track.

After breathing, you're going to want to have balance.  Give that up.  You're not getting it any time soon.  This could be a transitional state.  It could be a long birthing process.  Give up balance and go elemental - keep breathing.  Working.  Breathing.  Working.  If the balance wants to come, it will arrive for you.  But give yourself the option to keep moving through this phase - don't shut off the process and get re-stuck in another not fully realized you.  Move breath through you, cause that tells you that you are alive.  Write when the panic subsides.  Breathe when it shows up.

This is the bridge guarded by trolls.  You have to pay to get across.  And there could be worse things on the other side.  Keep going.  Cause whatever they are, you can get through them.  And you will have some great stories to tell when you get back out of the forest.

p.s.  You are the trolls.  And the worse things.  And the bridge.

(This blog is part of a series - you can look the others up on the side, or go to the blog search and type "writing is not a mystery" - either should work.)

Drive, She Said

I just finally watched Drive, which is just finally streaming on Netflix (streaming seems to have had a little redesign, not addressing any of the actual issues customers have, but I digress).

Wow.  It looks so simple, and is so clearly not simple.  I was fascinated and immediately looked up articles on the cinematography.  They used an Arri Alexa primarily, a camera I've not had a chance to work with yet.  They had a great gaffer to go with a great DP, and a director who let them work their magic.

This article in American Cinematographer is fantastic. The level of detail here is not for everyone, but it is indicative of a few things people seem to be forgetting.

  • You want professionals doing this.  They make it look simple when it is ridiculously complex.  (And they don't do it by trial and error, thus wasting time and money.)
  • Sure, you can shoot a movie on your iPhone.  But why would you?
  • You can micro-manage as a director, but you will never achieve anything this elegant if you get in the way of people at the height of their craft.  Just learn how to tell them what you want and step back.

I forgot I liked playing with toys and playing with people who play with toys.  Writers don't have too many toys or people around.

Monday, 21 May 2012

Quote of the Week - Chanel

The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud.

Ah....this is what we spoken word types do on a daily basis.  Maybe this is why people are so afraid of us. ; )

Sunday, 20 May 2012

The Other 50% - Zero Presence in Cannes

As a reaction to the fact that NO FILMS AT THE 2012 CANNES FILM FESTIVAL WERE DIRECTED BY WOMEN, a group of women, headed by Melissa Silverstein of Women and Hollywood have created a petition.

I would love to ask you to read and consider what the petition puts forth, and sign if you agree.

I'm not much of a signer myself, and I'm certainly not interested in filling quotas, but I have signed it.

There is a deep need to uncover the ingrained misogyny in the industry, and I think this begins to address that without asking for unreasonable actions.  Mainstream entertainment's often subliminal anti-female messaging influences society at large.  Changing what we create and who creates it, has the ability to change our world.

Friday, 18 May 2012

Make Good Art.

This address by Neil Gaiman says everything you need to know - and says it so well.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Writing Is Not A Mystery - The Art of Setting Speed Limits

The smart, cool, yet slightly generic-feeling, thriller Limitless deals with a man who embraces a drug that gives him an unlimted capacity to access his brain.  This is the dream drug.  Learn anything, master anything, remember everything.  Who doesn't want that ability?

Creative people want to work to the very edge of their gifts, and then some.  I read a New York Times article contesting the idea that willpower is limited.  It says people have as much willpower as they believe they do.  I'm not sure if that's true, but I'm willing to test the theory, cause how cool would that be?

What I believe people do not have, is unlimited focus.

And focus is the key ingredient to writing (and most other worthwhile things in life).

When I work with clients - or honestly, even with myself - I notice the tendency to beat up the self.   I didn't get as much done as I'd wanted.  It took so much longer than I planned.  I thought I'd get more accomplished.

When excuses start to show up - you can be sure you are doing a little bit of self harm.  You are venturing into fear and ego, and those are the enemy of your process.   Not working AND feeling guilty about it  - that's an unfriendly combination.  More carcinogens than a Happy Meal.  The excuses are a response to an internal pressure that has been externalized and which you are then using to crush yourself.

Wow.  We are such interesting creatures.  It's the internal pressure that needs releasing - and as long as we keep transferring it to the external, we cannot address it for what it is, we can't look at it, for we can't see it, and then we have absolutely no way to solve it.

Stay focused - absolutely. 

Stick to your plan - that's where your will comes in.

But rest.  Take time away.  This is so important.  This is what allows the work to happen.  It lets ideas percolate, and it lets your brain breathe.

Washing dishes can have therapeutic effects on the creative process.  Easy repeatable tasks are great.

So is doing nothing.  Nothing.  Stare at the sky.  Lay down on the grass.  Walk to the beach and just look at the horizon.  For as long as you want.

Clearing your head may mean meditation to you, but maybe meditation is another thing on your to-do list.

Go off list.  Just be.

When you feel the strangulation of guilt, fear, resentment, constriction, step back.

Take a look at what you have done - it's probably significant.  If you like, identify (but don't even bother to write down) two or three key problems you feel you're facing in the work at this moment:  the introduction isn't clear, the set-up doesn't work properly, one of your characters feels untruthful.  Just identify them, then take a walk, or clean something.  Let the slow and easy part of your consciousness work on this problem while you shine your favorite shoes.

You'll get lovely shoes and you'll probably get a great solution to the problem.

We all know we have to sit in the chair and do the work.  Even on a deadline, everyone needs breaks (and protein) to promote mental clarity.  I don't know how the supposedly sodden Hemingway, Fitzgerald, and Faulkner wrote what they did without it.  I know I couldn't do it.

If you're working on multiple projects requiring strict focus - be gentle.  Some projects will feel like they're fueling each other and some won't.  Find your limits - test the boundaries.  You can improve your focus over time, but I don't believe we were constructed to be engaged at this level on the regular all our waking hours.  Go ahead and downshift sometimes.  Voluntarily.  Don't wait for the adrenaline drain to hit.  Sleep 8 hours.  Each night.  Give your subconscious the time it needs to construct its particular brand of magic.

My will and my focus are my best assets, so I try to treat them well.  My insight, perspective, and even my drive are fueled by what these two things can do when I am connected to my source.  I don't like to burn out the focus, I like to stretch it, push it, exercise it and use it.  Then make sure to get my ridiculous on somehow and shake it all out.  (Oooh, that seems like a Florence and the Machine song cue!)

When you feel the focus ebbing, when you feel brick walls growing up around you, when your mental landscape starts looking like a cell block, it's time to step back.  Take a real break.  Laugh with friends.  Garden.  Stretch.  Cook.  Go to the batting cage.  Take a nap.

Change it up.

You'll return fresher, clearer, with ideas and energy to fuel the next stage in the work.

People don't come with speed limits.  You have to set your own.  It's worth taking the time to figure out what yours really is.

(This blog is part of a series - you can look the others up on the side, or go to the blog search and type "writing is not a mystery" - either should work.)

Monday, 14 May 2012

Quote of the Week - Kingsolver

The very least you can do in your life is figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope. Not admire it from a distance but live right in it, under its roof. 
- Barbara Kingsolver via Goodreads

This seems a savoury way to start a Monday.  Take this on, commit to it, and I imagine very juicy things might happen.

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Going Spiritual Shopping

Spiritual materialism irks me.  Partially, because I'm not really sure if I know precisely what it is.  I know I don't want to be it, but I find when I can't fully define things, I have a hard time recognizing when I'm doing them.  Am I clinging to some practise that doesn't serve me?  Some image or idea of spirituality that is somehow false?  Am I making a God out of a demigod, a symbol out of a human?

My worries compounded when I put the word "spiritual" together with the word "narcissism" and wondered if that was something I was experiencing in and around me.  I looked it up and people seem to use it in a way that means a kind of spiritual one-upmanship.  I mean it more in the way of putting your spiritual journey ahead of your spirit - ahead of people - community - general wellbeing.  Or a kind of dogged pursuit of some elusive enlightenment principle.

Yesterday,  I went to the food coop.  I find the Co-op to be a good place to get food with a strong life force in it.  It's a great environment for the people who work there and its a positive business for the community.

However, the parking lot is a challenge.

So there I am, patiently waiting for the next spot, watching the car pull out, with my blinker on.  There's a parking attendant (cause the lot is really that bad), I've had to wait for several other cars to go through this process just to even get out of the street.  As I'm waiting for the outgoing car to pass me, an old Jeep Cherokee slides into the parking lot from the other side and without even breathing pulls into my spot.  The parking attendant looks flummoxed, starts waving her arms, realizes she is powerless.  The driver  is gone and inside the store and as I look around,  I realize that was the last spot for a long while.

This is the moment - right here - what am I going to do?

I have been known to give up a shopping expedition altogether under such circumstances.  (But today I really want those red lentils from the bulk bin.)

I have been known to get very very angry.  (But I"m hoping that I won't start road raging today.)

I have been known to go elsewhere  out of a sense of giving up, wasting lots of time.

I have been known to park on the street, cause it's a lot easier.

Today, I pulled through the parking lot, and was kinda mad and was about to wonder about going to Whole Foods when I just went around the block, and decided to start the entire process again.  The lot was even more backed up now.  I parked at a meter really close to the lot and decided not to care about putting change in next to a free parking lot.  This seemed like a good choice.

By this time, I really had to use their bathroom.  Of course, as I went through the store, I was going against the grain of shoppers who seemed to be sightseeing.  I was beat out for the bathroom by a woman who edged in just before me.  More patience.  I decided not to give up.

As I tried to get a cart, a guy had a toolbox in a shopping cart, and that cart was blocking all the other carts.  I felt...peeved.  "Excuse me, sir?  Might this be yours?"  In my best inoffensive girl voice.

He moved it.  I took a cart.  I turned around.  Immediately the cart was too big to navigate in the store.  I turned around, almost hitting someone.  Tried to get the smaller cart, and it was blocked by the same guy and his tools.  I decided, despite toting computer bag and purse, that I would get a hand basket.  I didn't leave.

I seemed to be on crossing paths with the same two people about five times, which made me continually feel like I was going the wrong direction.  I just wanted to make red lentil soup.  Does it have to be this hard?

Sometimes I just feel like I'm on some other frequency altogether from other people.  Shopping often brings this out in me.  Did everyone else get a memo about which checkout to stand in?  Why am I the only one who doesn't seem to know that we go up the cheese aisle and down the frozen?

But you know - that's just too easy.  (And I don't like it when things are easy.)

Truth is - we are so incredibly lucky to have supermarkets to get anything we want anytime all stacked on shelves and waiting looking pretty.  We are lucky when we have cars to drive there.  We are even lucky when we feel like we're in a rush - it means we have things to do that feel important and rewarding.

I tried to take this trip as an opportunity (at the Co-oportunity) not to lose focus, control, or sight of my goals.  Cause it's just too easy.  It's easy to feel connected when you're doing your art, or performing, or in yoga class, or doing mantras.  But all that is just practise for real life situations where you are, quite frankly, supposed to be keeping it together, accomplishing something and not hurting people along the way.

Save the drama for in front of the camera.

I felt like I did alright today.  When I got to the checkout, before she finished, the lady pulled out a piece of paper  and scanned it.  I asked what is it was for - she said, "the tea - there's a coupon for it this month - you can go get more they're in the aisle."  Her mindfulness and generosity saved me $1.50.  Much more than I put in the meter.

I still don't have a really great definition of spiritual narcissism.  But I think it's alright to just tackle the whole narcissism thing first.

Currently Reading:  Religion for Atheists: A Non-Believers Guide to the Uses of Religion

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Why I Love The Voice

That moment of yes is just such a great creative moment - as an artist, as a promoter, that moment when things click and you know - that's it - thats' why we do it.

It doesn't take long to know - sometimes it's 3 lines of a poem; 30 seconds of a film.  There's a combination of exhilaration and trust that kicks in simultaneously.  It's okay to relax and be audience - this performer, filmmaker, writer is going to live up to the obligations of his or her art - and they are going to let you enjoy it, maybe even inspire you in yours.

That's what happens on The Voice when chairs turn around, and it's an amazing moment.  Artists steeped in their game, who come there to assess other's potentials, suddenly suspend judgement.  That's what's happening - they are being carried away by a singer - flown over their list of criteria and intellectual agendas into a place where they are being brought to their emotional center by the music.  The right singer and the right song defuses the mental checklist - they relax enough to hear and feel at the same time.

Moreover, turning around means they want to get together with this singer in a way that makes every body better.

This is powerful.  This is what artists do 24/7.  There's a lot of talk about "the war of art," but war is a dangerous analogy for artists.  Warriors are warriors so they don't have to fight.  Artists are warriors - but art isn't the war.  Life is the war.  Art is the playground, the sandbox, the playpen, the kitchen, the dinner table - it's festive and restive at once.  It takes preparedness, strength, action, and readiness, but not violence.

The idea of mentors on this show makes it the antithesis of other contest shows.  Watching the arc of the contestants, the improvement across the board is astonishing.  They are all excellent.  It's about matching singer, song and audience in the right way.  And it's the coaches' jobs to discern this from their knowledge of music and of the singer.  Cee Lo and Adam consistently choose exactly the right song - often out of left field - for their singers to do.  Tony Lucca doing Brittney was genius.  Juliet Simms Roxanne was indelible.

Creativity is about marriage.  About openness and trust.  About willingness and deep collaboration.  The Voice brings this process out into the open.  Cee Lo is the Buddha of music - dang if I don't want him recorded on an alarm clock I wake up to every morning telling me how it's gonna be and how I'm gonna be alright with it.   Blake is so caring and warm with his singers they just blossom into themselves. Adam is so smart about what he's hearing and has this Scooby sense about music.  You can see love between the coaches and singers and you can see how the collaboration is flowing in both directions.

The show is so much about music, and creating full expressive artists.  The atmosphere is respectful and the dance is full of mutual passion for craft.

And it shows.  The singers are better, the numbers are better, and the show is better.

I'm not even sure I wanna find out who wins.

One of my favorite performances from the season:

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Quote of the Week - Lee

"Miracles are creativity in their purest, most undeniable form." 

- Ben Lee

I only stumbled upon this from a twitter post by flea.  wow - it's taken from a blog post that you want to read.

i don't know if i'll be able to completely refrain from writing on adam yauch - i keep trying to stay out of the fray, but a lot of stuff is coming up.  yet, the eloquence of ben lee's blog, the fine reasoning and the open path of it, seems like the most important of what can be said at this time.

peace and creativity on your path this week.

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Writing Is Not A Mystery - And Not Like Your Skinny Jeans

No.  Not the hipster "skinny jeans."  (Sorry, I'm feeling anti-hipster at the moment.  It'll pass.)

Those jeans, those jeans, the ones you can't fit into anymore.

Here's a question I ask writer friends, writer clients, people who tell me they want to write:

"So - how's the writing going?"

The frequent answer:

"I need to/have to/just got to get back into it."

"Back into it."  That's the key.

Like writing is a pair of jeans you outgrew.  Your favorite jeans.  The ones you  spent too much on, but they gave you booty.  The ones that got you booty.  Those jeans.  

You just need to get back into them.


But, cause, see now, as Jaha knows, those jeans might not be all that anymore.  They might be last year's jeans, or - last decade's jeans.  

         These jeans will not ever kiss these lips or
          hug these cheeks again
     And the beauty finally
     Is that I don’t want them anymore
          They are not big enough to
               hold the woman I am today

What you are really trying to get into is

a past self.


What should we do with that?

I just have to get back into it is code for:

I'm not writing.  I'm not setting aside any time for it.

And I feel bad about it.

My rule - and I'm big on de-cluttering - is:  get rid of anything that makes you feel bad.

So - wait - get rid of writing?  

Um, not exactly.  The thing that makes you feel bad is the not writing.  Not the writing.  The absence of writing makes you feel guilty when you speak with another writer or artist or someone who believes in your gift.

So get rid of not writing. 

You can do this several ways.

First and obviously, you can write.  In an easy manageable way.  Little moments a few times a week.  One hour on a Sunday.

When you tell me you need to get back into writing, you are telling me you're neglecting self.  Because if you were taking care of self, you'd be answering that question in a different way.  You'd be telling me what your priorities actually are now and how writing might or might not be part of those.  You'd be telling me the truth.  "Getting back into it" is a deflection.  It sounds a lot like,  "I used to be someone who used to write and if I can just go back and become that person again, I could write."  Right.

Let go of the not writing means let go of trying to be who you were when you last remember writing as an urge.  While you are busy trying to recapture that feeling in order to write, you are not writing.  You are changing and growing in myriad ways that might inform the writing if you sat down to it, but you are telling yourself that it needs to fit you like that old pair of jeans or you can't do it.

Stop making yourself feel bad that you are not writing.  Stop trying to squeeze yourself into a past perception.  Just be here and go with that.

This feeling comes up a lot when dealing with unfinished projects.  Go ahead and hate everything you've written up to now when you were a different person 6 months or two years ago, and figure out what you have and want to say now.

Now is the only you.

The jeans you have on now are your jeans.  The words you write today are the ones that fit you.

Everything else is you making yourself feel bad.  Raising mismatched expectations of self and even...romanticizing writing.

Don't do it.  Back away from that precipice.  Now, please.  Steady.

"I wrote in college."  "I used to journal."  "I used to write poetry."  Wistful sigh.

It's not romantic!  How many writers do you know sitting around drinking absinthe and having sexy rendez-vous in cafes?  That's what I thought.

Romantic has a way of feeling nostalgic and, then, again, leads to something you used to do.  You pine for this thing like an unrequited love that is doomed because....well, because that feels like a good story.  Something unattainable is always a good story.  In fiction.  Go ahead and write that.  This is your life.  Life is about growth.

The writers you know sit with their laptops and their caffeine of choice and they pound it out daily.  You don't need skinny jeans for that.  You need focus.  

Get real.  Get today.  Get you.  

Get Back is a song by The Beatles.  It is not what you need to do in order to write.

Get Here is a song by Brenda Russell.  It is what you need to do in order to write.

Get it?

To recap:

Option 1:  Write.

Option 2:  Give yourself permission to be only and exactly who you are right now in order to write.

Option 3:  Give yourself permission to let go of the before - the how it used to be, or feel - thank it, and let it go. 

Why are 2 and 3 options even if they don't actually include writing?  Because writing or the lack of it isn't really the issue here (unless you're on a delivery deadline!).  The issue is the need to assimilate the changes you've made in your life and feel comfortable with them in order to enter into a safe creative zone.  Acceptance of who you are now, and what your practice may or may not be is going to be key to writing.  Guilting yourself over a project you are choosing not to finish (yes - it's a choice) is not going to get anything happening.  

Unless you are on a deadline for an article, book, thesis - you don't have to write.  You are making the choice to do so.  Holding on to the idea that you are making a choice to write, but then consistently not writing is angst-making.  Who needs more angst?  Let. It. Go.

Here's a writing exercise to start with - go ahead and write out why you think I am completely wrong and you just need to get back into writing to write.

If that leaves you high and dry, how about free-writing on  the tyranny of skinny jeans and hipsters...the Fauxtelligentsia, if you will...

(Sorry so snarky.  Hipsters got me down.)

Okay - a real writing exercise- free write on these questions:  

What self have you left behind that you really miss?

What self have you left behind that you are so happy to do without?

(This blog is part of a series - you can look the others up on the side, or go to the blog search and type "writing is not a Mystery" - either should work.)