Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Happy Birthday, Fergie & Fife

This day, exactly one year ago, I told the internet a secret. That I was going to Scotland. At various points in the process, my motivation for this move was different. To learn, to hide, to become a doctor... but I think I knew, at the end of the day, my reason for moving was the exact same reason I started this blog in the first place. 

You see, in the winter of '09-'10, I hadn't written anything in months. I couldn't even bring myself to do it. I had to start with a diary because I was so judgmental of my own-- even casual-- writing. I had to tell myself over and over again that it didn't matter what I said-- no one was going to read it. I just needed to move pen across paper. Because in my head, I could still hear the bitchy little voices of all the people on the internet and even sometimes within earshot, who rolled their eyes and said, "Oh, awful! What a mess!" 

Having your writing and, in fact, your character, slandered on the internet by people with little better to do should have rolled right off my back. But I've always been more sensitive than I appear, and in the Fall of '09, after VOTE! at Minetta Lane, I was just so tired. I've never been so tired. A sideways glance could reduce me to tears. 

But I think I knew then, and certainly believe still today, that the people who make it happen for themselves rely on very few voices but their own. Super Agent Sara Douglas once gave me the best piece of career and life advice I've even gotten: "One of the most important decisions you'll ever make is who you decide to listen to."

An un-erring belief in your own abilities no matter what anyone says. It's actually one of the core ideas of VOTE! as well. 

So I set out to hold myself accountable to my most important boss, critic and reader: me. 

There have been days-- when I was travelling or feeling lazy on a weekend-- when I thought, "Ugh, why did I make this blog daily, again?" But mostly, it provides a structure and a small victory in my writing everyday. I've written a complete thought, around an idea, and published it. Every day. 397 entries!

And when I stopped caring about what response I got, or waiting for any community or group of people at all to validate my writing, that's when I started to get better than I've ever been. I'm happier with my fiction-- I'm delving into the hard stuff. Things with VOTE! (and Nic & Alix) are going so well. It's like a new existence. And response to this blog has been moving and humbling. Some of the nicest letters I've ever gotten from friends, people I haven't heard from in years, and people I've never even met. 

And I think about the difference in people who will take time to send you a lovely letter about how what you wrote moved them vs. people who fire off insults anonymously online about people they don't know. (To those people, I'd like to say this.) Stewing in judgment-- of yourself or anyone else-- is a sure-fire way to feel miserable. Judgment kills creativity. I guess, put me in the Susan Sontag camp of "Against Interpretation" (A book I recommend everyone read for that particular essay, in addition to other gems, like "Notes on Camp.") 

I told you what my favorite entries were. What were yours? 
Finally, I leave you with an entry from one of my favorite bloggers and friends, Lamar about the NY Times Article that says blogs are dying. 

"Decide What to be and Go Be it."


  1. I love them all, but esp.the short storys and the novel chapters that left me wanting more. The music introductions, thank you for Adele, the author reccommendations but mostly the courage to write my own blog. And also the stories and pics for dinner conversarion and sharing with Hunka.xoxox

  2. You are THE BEST, Dena!! xoxoxoox


Why Stop Now?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...