A personal solo episode about losing the joy for my writing and a breakthrough I recently experienced healing issues around creativity, self-esteem, and perfectionism.
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MENTIONED ON THE SHOW
Akimbo Seth Godin's podcast
Leaders' Call to Adventure Lori Ference podcast
Silent All These Years Tori Amos
HOST LINKS - SLADE ROBERSON
BECOME A PATRON
There are a lot of you listening to this who I personally really wanted to tell this story to.
Like, not as an episode but just in my life. It's actually easier just to make it a podcast episode and tell the story at once. I've texted a few people. I've called a few people over the last week. I've called Seth and made him listen to me talk about it for an hour and a half. And then I went to text my friend Jeff last night to catch him up on what had been going on with me and I thought, 'Oh god, this is just all too much for texting.'
For some reason, it feels more self-indulgent to keep calling people individually and gushing about my creative breakthroughs and my angst and all that kind of stuff. It just seems to be more appropriate to actually do a personal podcast episode which you can fast forward or choose not to listen to.
For those of you who are choosing to listen to this, you're my friends too and you have expressed interest in my personal episodes and me sharing things from my personal life. Actual issues that I'm dealing with. It humanizes the whole thing, right? And it reminds you that I am not a guru sitting up here with a bunch of wisdom about this stuff. I am someone who is playing with all these tools and all this language, and observing, and trying to share a part of my process as a way of motivating you and bringing you along with me.
So this all goes back to all that solar eclipse madness we had in 2017.
At the time that I'm recording this, it is towards the end of August 2018, if you're listening from the future and you need some time context there. But back to the big eclipse in 2017, at the end of the summer. It was about a year ago, and the bookends for all the eclipse stuff that was going on last year was about the sign of Leo, and the opposite sign of Leo, which is Aquarius.
There was this thematic dynamic and there were sort of two questions that the eclipses were bringing up for you. And the fact that I am a Leo and Jeff, incidentally, who I wanted to tell this story to, is Leo as well. And so, one of the reasons why I felt so exhausted in trying to catch him up on this in text messages, we've been having this conversation for well over a year about both of us, and how we've been going through this. Not to mention all the clients and people I do readings for, where we've had conversations about this.
So this is just my personal experience with all this stuff.
But for all of us, there was a theme. There IS a theme with the solar eclipses that we've been through and all this retrograde stuff with an eclipse is kind of like, 'Oh, by the way, here's a bonus lesson for you. Just to make sure you got that all worked out.
The Leo is really asking us: How are you a star? What's your light? What do you have to give the world?
The Aquarius is about: Who's receiving that light? Who's observing it? Who can see it? Who is impacted by it?
I didn't make this up, by the way.
I heard something Seth Godin talking about it on his podcast Akimbo. I'll try to find the exact episode and link to it. But if you want to check out Akimbo, I think it was one of the first three episodes that he did for that whole podcast. But he had an episode about Making Things for the Weirdos. So this is the thing I didn't make up. For the edge, not the middle.
The idea of what makes something super popular, what makes something mainstream. Things were not created for the mainstream. They aren't created for the middle. If you create something that's gonna appeal to everyone, you're going to re-invent the colour beige. You're going to reconstitute oatmeal.
The way in which things become popular and mainstream is that they are picked up by the weirdos. By the fringes. By the tastemakers and the hipsters and the people who are on the edge. The Lantern-bearers who are out in the woods guiding the lost back to the light. Back to civilization. It's found on the edge in the margins.
And so, people who are early adopter of things that end up being very popular and cool are very proud of themselves for discovering something, and appreciate something that is new and difficult and hard to categorize and that not everyone gets. If you've ever had those friends who always want to be the one who finds the new band before anyone else and who always wants to listen to something that everyone else finds off-putting or reads something that's really difficult.
It's part of their ego-pride that they are able to go places the rest of us can't go. Or go there FIRST. They discover things and then they pass it to us.
The way that that life cycle works for things that become popular, that are loved by a lot of people, they start with the weirdos. So if you're trying to make something cool, according to Seth Godin's concept or theory, you start out by making things for the weirdos. Go for the fringe! Be weird, because that's where it gets picked up and that's where you're going to create something original.
With that in mind, it's been on my mind and it's a theme that plays into this episode and this personal story.
So I have two author friends, Kim and Brandon.
Brandon and I talk about a lot more than on the show because he's a science-fiction author. He does a lot of research on the topics that we're interested in. You know, the ascension of humanity, psychic information from the collective, ancient civilizations. He works a lot of this stuff into his books, and so he ends up coming up on the show sometimes because our conversations overlap.
Kim is someone who also listens to this show. Incidentally, it's really kind of cool because I went to this writer's conference. It was called the Best-Seller Summit, I think, two years ago, in Nashville. I first gravitated, the very first night, to Brandon and before I left there, I had met Kim and discovered that she was another one of these people that I'd gone on to college with, but didn't know while I was AT college. Susan Hyatt's one of those people as well.
I feel like they're special because we were just destined to find each other at some point.
It's interesting that those are the two people that I brought away from that experience. Usually when I go to any conference, I pick up one major soul family member at least. And that's one of the things that I look forward to whenever I travel. Especially if it's work-related or has a project at its centre.
Kim and Brandon, incidentally, I was telling people about my idea for this podcast as a content marketing strategy at that conference. And I was talking about this basic concept for it. And it's interesting that the two people that I connected with and became friends with there, are also very much listeners of this show. Like, they genuinely listen to this show the way all of you do, who are fans of this content, this topic.
So that's how we met.
And I have an ongoing relationship with both of them. Brandon is very much a sort-of coach to me and someone that I look up to and admire for his productivity and his work ethic. Kim is my, I call her my Author Therapist. She's the person who talks me off the ledge and who I call when I really need to be vulnerable about being a fiction author.
Listen, guys. Fiction authors - we are a neurotic bunch of cats, okay? We are tortured. And I know that sounds really ridiculous to say, but you just have to assume that I'm telling you about some part of my life that you don't see as much as this part. There's this other place where I'm this angsty artist and I'm not the only one. We're all that way for some reason. Anyway.
We do require a lot of emotional support and it's a little bit crazy because we get really, really worked up and really sometimes depressed and neurotic and all kinds of negative energy that we have to work through. And dealing with things that are entirely imaginary. So if you were to be a fly on the wall listening to us talk, and you weren't an author, I always think, 'Gawd, people would think we are NUTS!'
But anyway. There you have it.
It's a little bit of a curse and a calling. We do not feel that it's necessarily something that we chose. We feel that it's something that we have to do. It was ordained by the creative life force and intelligence in the Universe. So it's a struggle.
Something that really happened for me this year that came to a head was, you may have seen me before posting word counts on my projects as I'm working on them. I do NaNoWriMo sometimes in November every year - National Novel Writing Month. That's something that we do is we post our word counts daily to motivate each other or to hold ourselves accountable. It's something that author friends, especially on social media, do in a lot of groups and communities.
My friend Brandon was posting about how he was raising his word counts. Brandon has been on a trajectory for a couple of years of producing a lot of work really quickly. He's writing serialized science fiction and releasing a lot of books per year. There's an entire community of authors who work this way, and he's trying to learn some of those skills and apply them to increase his own productivity.
So he's posting about how he's getting higher and higher in his daily word counts. I remember a point at which he posted something about being up to 5,000 words a day. And I was comparing myself to that on a day when I literally had a word count on my novel of like, 400 words. It took me like an hour and a half to produce those 400 words. And just to give you an idea, I usually write for a two hour session, and I like to get somewhere between 1,500 and 2,000 words.
So my fiction goal per day really is a lowball 1,000 words a day.
So here's Brandon, writing about 5,000 words a day, which of course he's comparing himself to people who are writing 10, and 12,000. But I compared myself to that and I just really got down in the dumps about it. And felt like I was just crawling towards my goals and got really in my head about it.
First red flag here is comparing yourself to others, right?
I love the quote, 'Comparison is the thief of joy.' I think that is mostly attributed to Theodore Roosevelt. It's one of my mantras. At this time, unfortunately, wasn't enough to get me out of this ditch that I got into with my writing over the course of the last year or so.
So I was telling my other author friend, Kim, about this. I was talking about, 'Ohmygod, Brandon's doing so great. I'm so happy for him. But I am comparing myself to him and feeling like, just such a loser.' I was telling her, 'I'm just slowing down more and more. I'm barely getting 500 words of fiction written per day...'
Kim's listening to me and she's such a wonderful, sweet soul. She holds space so well for these hair-pulling sessions of mine. And she just asked me a really simple question. She said, 'Well, what about your non-fiction?'
I was stumped for a moment. And I thought, 'Ohmygod, I don't even COUNT non-fiction anymore.'
I've been writing non-fiction professionally every day for over a decade. For like, 13 years or something like that, if we get really technical. I do email-readings, notes for phone readings, channelling, automatic writing sessions for the readings that I do, I do posts in my Automatic Intuition community. I answer email questions. I answer questions on Quora and Facebook. I write scripts for guided meditations.
I write scripts for these podcasts. I write show notes before the shows as an outline, and then I write show notes after the shows to create the blog posts and the metadata for this podcast. I write the introductions segments pretty much word for word, the way that I perform them. The outros and the channelled messages, the Oracle segment.
I write blog posts. I've written thousands of blog posts at this point. I don't even really know exactly how big my archive is. I write email newsletters. I've been doing that for, you know, 15 years. I write transcripts sometimes. Tutorials.
I write classes on the various topics that I speak about. Intuition, connecting with your guides, the Money Shift, all that kinds of stuff. I wrote a workbook for my mentoring clients, for the Automatic Intuition professional community and that's basically like a textbook.
Every day I write morning pages. And then sometimes I write afternoon morning pages. But they're not morning pages anymore. They're associative writing exercises. They're brainstorming.
So as I'm going, all of that stuff flashed through my head when she asked, 'What about your non-fiction? What's your word count for that?'
And I thought, 'Ohmygod, I can't even put a number on that.' But as we were conversing, I just sort of grabbing handfuls of those things in my mind and I was thinking, 'Wow. Yeah. I write 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10,000 words a day sometimes. There's probably very few days of the week where I don't at least write 1,000 or 2. Whether I'm working on my novels or not.
So it was so crazy. I was like, 'Hold on a minute! THAT’S ALL THE WRITING I’M NOT COUNTING. I'm not counting it! I'm not giving myself credit for it. I don't write it down. I don't log it. I don't track it. I don't beat myself up about it. I also don't lift myself up with it. Or give myself any credit for it whatsoever.
That's really messed up, y'all!
That's crazy that I'm doing that. I'm sitting here almost in tears because I wrote a piddly 400 words on my novel, and completely discounting the other 5, 6, 7,000 words that I wrote that day. And I'm walking around telling myself, 'I'm not prolific. I'm not productive. I'm such a loser. I'm crawling. I produce hardly any work. I'm only working 2 hours a day.'
NONE of that is accurate.
It's such a loud ego-programmed radio station and I've got it on full blast. And I've become so accustomed to it that I'm not even aware that it's playing. And it was like, when Kim asked me that question, 'Well, what's the word count for all your non-fiction?'
It was like somebody just pulled the plug on the radio and it was completely quiet. I realized, 'Holy shit. How is it that I'm doing that to myself?'
Maybe we all need to write down everything we do in a day and post it so that other people can give us feedback about it. Because here's the truth you guys - we are terrible judges of our own worth! We're terrible at valuing ourselves and what we accomplish and what we do and what we contribute to other people. What we put out there and what we're good at. Awful. Take us off the panel. We are not allowed to judge ourselves. We're just completely incapable of doing it.
We really do need feedback. Constructive compassionate feedback from other people, to even get anywhere close to accurate. And all Kim did was ask me a really good question. You know? Just a really compassionate, logical, obvious question from where she was standing. That's all it took.
So I'm kind of thinking, 'If this is ringing any bells for you, maybe you need to do an exercise where you literally just make a huge list of everything that you do in a day. Everything you do.
Oprah also got in my head during this whole scenario. It was back when A Wrinkle in Time came out. She was on Van Jones with the creator and director of that movie, and they were being interviewed. She said something about how she believes that there is the purpose that you choose for yourself in life, and then there is the purpose that life chooses for you.
I started thinking about that and contemplating that.
And I thought, Okay, well maybe my Life Purpose that life has chosen FOR me is what I do for you guys. What you're listening to right now. All the stuff that I do on my 'non-fiction' side. That's kind of the purpose that was given to me. I feel DRAFTED into being a professional intuitive and talking about all this stuff. It was just supposed to be a writing project and it's turned into being a teacher and a speaker, and a counsellor and all the stuff that you know me for, right?
And so I thought, Well maybe the purpose that I choose for myself is being a fiction author, being a novelist. That's something that I've wanted to do since I was a really little kid, right? I mean, I never ever ever have strayed from that compass point, from that North Star.
And then I flashed back on an interview that I did with Lori Ference last year. And I believe it was on Lori Ference's show, not on my show. I was being interviewed for a Leaders' Call to Adventure and she referred to me as 'Prolific'. She used that word.
And I was like, 'What??' I was really embarrassed. I was like, you know, in my mind making cutting motions to her. Like, 'No! Don't say that. I'm not prolific. Don't say that to me.'
So when all that stuff came tumbling out with Kim's question, 'What's your word count for your non-fiction?' I thought, 'Oh! Okay. That's what Lori was talking about! That's what she was looking at. That's what made her thinking of the word 'Prolific'. And I was like, 'No. You can't... Please don't put that word on me. I don't deserve that word. Stephen King is prolific.'
I thought of the word 'prolific' as being what you produce on the finish end of things that everyone can see and buy on Amazon and that you're super famous for. And that's the only thing I would count as prolific. Again, the only thing that I'd give you credit for if you use that word.
Another thing that comes up for me, especially last year, right after the eclipse was What Would Tori Do? So Tori Amos exists for me as a kind of creative archetype. Like she's like a patron saint to me of creativity and how she got there is, one of the things those of us who are obsessed with Tori and love her, one of the things we love about her is that she invites us into this private interior creative landscape with an entire cosmology and a language of her own archetypes and symbols, to the point where it's super, amazingly immersed in her kind of crazy in a way.
And we love it.
It has absolutely no relationship whatsoever to anything that's going on in popular music, necessarily. Sometimes some of her songs stray over and become... You know, there have been a few, but that's not her audience. Her audience is the super passionate group of people who feel really personally connected to her and invited into her diaries.
This is someone who also knew what she wanted to be and who she wanted to be from childhood. She was a prodigy pianist at the age of two or something insane like that. Went to a music conservatory and was playing professionally and recording by the time she was 11 years old. Everyone knew that Tori would always be a musician in a major big way. She spent a lot of her early life, her teen years and her early 20s trying to figure out what that looked like for her.
Her story, her trajectory as an artist is the reason why she operates as an archetype in my kind of worldview and why I compare myself to her as a source of inspiration is because, you know, she got kicked out of classical musical school pretty much and rejected from that classical world because she was too much of a freak and an artist.
And then when she tried to kind of do the LA music scene, get a record deal, get a big label behind you, and make you a star, kind of thing, she got really chewed up by that part of the industry. They put her in this ridiculous sort of styling and tried to sort of give her a sound that was heavy metalish, because that was like what was going on in the late 80s and she ended up looking like a ridiculous extra in a white snake video. And she did this album under the name, 'Y Kant Tori Read' and it was a joke. It was an absolute flop and it was just a huge disaster.
She experienced a personal trauma in her life. She was raped around that time and she just dropped everything and just fled and went away.
As the story goes, she rented a piano, and just quietly on your own, in her own headspace, wrote the song 'Silent All These Years'. That was a moment of just claiming like... And if you listen to the song, it IS that message of just sort of letting everything go and tuning everything out and realizing that you have been suppressing your own voice. And just allowing your own voice to come through, right? It's just a basic throat chakra anthem of self-expression and claiming your voice. For women in particular and women in music, it represented a game changer.
Because like Seth Godin said, when Tori just went and created her weird little music that was straight from her heart, we all devoured it and loved it and attached to it. There wasn't a place for her in the music industry, so she created a new one. We, the fans, created a new space for these sort of 90s era women singer/songwriters. And there's so many artists that came after her that had that kind of intimacy, especially in their lyrics and their personal themes and all that, and would owe a debt of gratitude for her and would own it in a second that she was an influence.
That's how I got into thinking last year when the solar eclipse thing was going on.
Long story short, I was writing a book last year that was a sequel to a book that I've already written. And I'd gotten so in my head with everyone telling me: 'You have to write a sequel.' 'You have to write in serials.' 'You can't mark it, writing a whole bunch of individual books.' 'You've got to write one thing and then write book two and three and four and five before you move on to something else or you're never gonna make any money. You'll never build and audience.' 'People won't be interested in standalone books if you keep writing them.' 'People won't be interested in books that have children as main characters.'
Of course, along came Stranger Things and reminded us that that's bullshit.
Some of the other things that I was putting on myself was this idea that I had to write in a certain voice that was a little bit more palatable, that I tried to make myself fit into a genre more neatly so it would be easier to market. And I really just backed myself into a corner, yet I felt like I didn't have anywhere else to go.
And so I was working on this book ALL last year, asking myself the question, 'Okay, this is my light. Who am I shining it for?'
And thinking, 'Well, I'm shining it for these people who bought that other book so I've got to be beholden to them somehow and write a sequel.'
And I got to the point where I worked for 11 months on this book and I was nowhere near finished with it. And it wasn't even a long book. I mean, I was like, 150 pages into this book that I felt was going to take me another two years to write. And I was slowing down in my word counts. They were dropping from 1,000 words a day down to 500 and 400 and 300. And then I was losing my seven days a week momentum and dropping down to five days a week. And then finding reasons for it to only maybe three.
And then at the time I called Kim in a panic, I was writing twice a week and that two hour session was getting eaten up and turned into an hour. And I was writing 300 words and OH SHIT, I'm never going to finish this book and I hate it.
And the reason why I can't write it is because it's not connected to my heart.
So I just, you know... Prolific? That's not prolific.
So all of that really made me start to wonder - Where else am I not giving myself credit?
In my Automatic Intuition mentoring program, and in that community, one pattern that I notice in all of us, is that we focus on the one technique we can’t do, at the expense of owning the techniques that produce tons of information for us.
We all do this!
I can't see auras! I can't see auras! Meanwhile, you can do mediumship and bring through someone's relative that's crossed over. Who cares if you can't read auras! You're a medium. That's amazing.
But we all do this!
To make this episode about YOU as well as me, I want you to ask, where in your life are you doing this? Where are you discounting your own success? Your own productivity? Your own creativity? Where are you suppressing it and just sweeping it under the rug and acting like you suck when you don't!
I do a fitness class that's very similar to cross-fit. It's called circuit breaker. We do it on Saturday mornings and recently, we were doing this workout in honour of what we call the Fallen Five in Chattanooga. A few years ago, we had a domestic terrorism event in Chattanooga where a young guy went and shot up a naval recruiting centre and killed five people here in Chattanooga Tennessee where I live.
Which is really surreal if you've lived in one of the cities that's been the focus on the news of one of these terrorism events. One of these school shootings. All that kind of madness. It's almost like it's taking place somewhere else because you're watching it on tv and it doesn't even feel like it could be here.
That's a whole other story for another time.
But anyway, we do a workout to honour those guys every year on the anniversary of when they were killed. If you know anything about cross-fit and the cross-fit community, a lot of the workouts of the day for cross-fit are made and named after and in honour of people who have been killed in the line of duty, like active service people in the military, fire fighters, police officers. They often have these workouts created for them.
So my trainer, Lisa Blevins, wanted to make this workout for the Fallen Five the official circuit... Not, well, it is the official circuit breaker, but she wanted to get it accepted or adopted as the workout of the day for the cross-fit community at large to honour these people.
So we're outside. We're doing this workout. It's really rough. It's grueling, and of course, one of the reasons why you associate these things with those who aren't there anymore is because we CAN do these workouts. We're here and alive and physically able to do them. So that's... what you're thinking as you're suffering through the process and thinking, Ohmygod. What have I gotten myself into?
But you do it because you can. And because you're alive and you have a body that works.
So there's a group of us that, we're outside. We're trying to huddle up under a little bit of shade that's out there where we work out. And we're complaining. Huffing and puffing through the whole thing. I think there were 5 rounds in the workout and I got halfway through the 4th going into the 5th. Somewhere. I don't know. It was like, 4 out of 5. But I didn't finish. I knew I wasn't remotely going to finish.
There were a bunch of us that didn't. We literally couldn't complete it. We were kind of complaining and bitching and moaning. To my credit, I always tell people, is part of the way that I process my pain when I'm working out, and it depends on who I'm hanging out with.
So me and a couple of my friends who do tend to complain a little bit more. We happen to all be in our 40s by the way. We're out there. We're doing this workout talking about how much we suck because we didn't finish. It was like an hour and a half of tire-flipping in the sun and running 500 metres every time the whistle blows and all this kind of stuff.
And it hit me as we were talking, I said, 'You know, look around. What's crazy is there are literally only 24 people here today. Out of all the thousands of people within driving distance of this class, in our city, in our surrounding community … We are the ones here doing it. Us. Just us. No one else.'
So you know what? Even 80% of a kick ass work out like that is pretty amazing. We’re in a ridiculously small percentile. I don't even know how many 0.0s you have to go to to get to us. But there we were, in that moment, talking about how much we sucked, when we were just a tiny handful of people who had accomplished something that no one else had.
So it's a Shift in Perspective, right?
Shift your spirits.
The skew, the thing we get wrong, it's always about Self-worth. You look at all the little things and the things you take for granted. You may do something that feels mundane to you, that looks like a super power from the outside to someone who can't do it, or doesn't know how, or doesn't have the aptitude for it.
I always think about people who cook. I think people who can cook are creative geniuses. And they're like, 'Dude, calm down. It's a bowl of pasta.'
So I want you to go over your day. Maybe it was yesterday. Pull back to 30,000 feet, and then start to zoom back in slowly, and really jot everything down. And track everything down from the moment you got up until you went to bed. Really notice - What are you really accomplishing every day? What are you not giving yourself credit for?
The thief of joy - Comparison. Comparisonitis, you might hear this called.
When I started jotting down notes, actually a few months ago, for this episode, because I had a series of interviews I wanted to do and I knew at some point I wanted to do this solo episode about all this stuff. We're doing all this astrological madness this summer and thought, 'Oh yeah, this'll be a good time to talk about all the eclipses, and how they were all hitting me and what I was suffering through and angsting about.'
So a couple of months ago, I'm writing notes for the show, pretty much everything that I've just talked to you about. I still didn't feel particularly prolific. I had the title of the show, Prolific AF, because that was the word Lori awarded me, and it represented something that I felt I didn't deserve. And honestly, as I was preparing to do this episode, I still didn't remotely feel like I earned that word, or could own it.
Last week I had an energy clearing. It was a really good session. There were a lot of breakthroughs for me about the self-worth issue that I was experiencing around my writing. And it was like the block in my writing was this glue that was holding me to something that wasn't working. And it was making it really impossible for me to put it down. Maybe I just needed to give myself some kind of permission through someone else.
But like with Kim asking me, 'How many words are you not counting that you deserve credit for?'
Amanda asked me, 'If you had three months to live, is this the book that you would keep writing for those three months?'
I immediately thought, 'Oh HELL NO. Absolutely not.'
She said, 'Well, do you know what the book that you would write is?'
And I immediately knew what it was. I immediately knew. It's something that I've had on my radar, in my creative pot simmering away in the background, in the moment she asked me that. And I thought, Okay, I've got three months to leave behind something that really matters. Something that I really want to write. And I knew exactly what it was.
It was weird. It's a weird story. And there are so many reasons why I kept it on the back-burner. Because everything in marketing and publishing said: Don't write this book.
But I gotta tell you about the numbers on the project.
So the book I was struggling to write all last year, I worked on for 11 months and I got about 50,000 words done on that book. 11 months to do 50,000.
Last week, in five days, I wrote 25,000 words. So if you break that down, the project that wasn't working probably took me six months to do 25,000 words. And I just did that in five days. FIVE DAYS. That's like 90, 100 pages if it's easier for you to conceptualize.
More significantly, you know what it is? It's that 5,000 word goal that Brandon was posting about that I compared myself to and felt like I was so completely incapable of accomplishing.
I was recently reunited with my best friend from the last 30 years. Alex. Alex is one of my greatest creative mentors, truly. I collaborated with him so much and I learned so much about the way he works that I've applied to the way that I work. And the way I identify myself as a creative person come from a lot of the strengths that I borrowed from him and gleaned over the course of our friendship.
And I was texting him about this whole phenomenon last week, after I'd written all these words. After they were just spilling out of me. Like I can't write them fast enough. I said, 'I think I’m having my Silent All These Years Moment.'
I think that book that I was writing this past year was my awful 'Y Kant Tori Read'. It was me in a bad bustier with heavy metal hair, trying to be something that I'm not.
So to re-answer those questions: * What’s my light? * For whom am I shining it?
I don't know. You guys are going to have to tell me if I'm shining it for you. Because I'm just going to shine it. And it's going to be a little weird. And it's unlike anything else that I've ever written, and I'm SO freaking excited about it.
And I can see how the feelings and the application of what's different for me now could allow me to produce a whole lot of weird little books. And maybe we'll just say, 'Eff it. Let's make a new genre just for me.' Maybe it'll never fit and I'll stop trying to make them fit. And it'll just be another book by Slade. In the same way that people love Tori Amos. You know, download her album the minute it drops. We don't even have to hear it. It's more Tori - we want another dose.
Making things for the weirdos. So I'm writing a book for the weirdos! Because I AM a weirdo. And I feel very passionately connected to this project and I just finally gave myself permission to work on it. And it's crazy how much easier it is to do the thing you've been telling yourself you're not supposed to do.
What am I doing differently?
You know what? I’m not counting words for fiction anymore — I don’t count them for non-fiction. There's too many of them. It's too much work. It’s too hard to do. It’s too time-consuming. It takes too long to check that spreadsheet and evaluate that. I'm just not doing that anymore.
Why would I do it for this one writing project when I don't do it for any of my other writing projects, which are all very relaxed and very successful and you guys experience them every week. You experience at least one little bit of my writing ability and maybe you get it in three or four different formats. If you follow me online, you get some more.
So I'm spouting it out over here. So I'm just folding the fiction in along with that and not treating it as something different. Why would I make it different? It only makes it not work. All I was doing was breaking it. The whole point of the word count thing is to be motivating. And it was DE-motivating me. So why would I do that to myself?
I’m just writing the project. I'm just getting it done. Same as I do with ALL the others.
Yesterday, I wrote for 5 hours straight and I was actually bummed that I had to stop.
Today, it’s killing me that I had to really stop to record this episode. I had to make myself. I had to set a timer - not to make myself write. To make myself STOP writing.
So today, you know what? But today, I really do FEEL prolific as fuck.