In which writing is hard
What are words anyway
Roads Go Ever On 09: In which writing is hard
💻 what I'm up to 💻
Do you know when you’re aware that you have a lot going on but you don’t give yourself any grace about being tired or needing a minute?
Society puts so much pressure on measuring your life’s success by your output and productivity, and that messes with you. I’ve tried to shed some of that way of thinking, and I’ve succeeded a little in that I don’t obsess over my 9-5 job. I do my best while I’m there and I don’t look at emails/Slack/any of those things outside of work hours. The way that I’m so proud of that is an indication of how many dumb expectations jobs (especially ones that are not urgent and so many of them are not urgent) put on employees to be “available.” It’s ingrained in us from an early age. I’m grateful to be in a work environment now where that is not the case. Because I’ve definitely been in the “why didn’t you reply to my work email over the weekend?” boat in past equally not urgent jobs.
But when it comes to my personal projects and writing, I don’t give myself flexibility. I beat myself up over output, or lack of output. I get mad at myself when I’m writing slowly, which in turn makes me write more slowly. And writing books this year? It’s been hard. Pulling words from underneath my fingernails instead of them flowing outward. It happens. At least for me. These funks just come.
And practically, I can see why. My husband and I moved across the country less than a month ago. Our stuff just got here at the end of last week so it’s like phase 2 of unpacking and settling in. I’m working a Pacific time job from Eastern time and I’m having a hard time adjusting to my new swing shift schedule. Plus, you know, the world and this feeling that the pandemic will never end. And even if these reasons weren’t piling up, sometimes things are just off and that’s okay.
It’s okay. It’s okay for me and for you. So if you’re also living in the slumpiest of slumps, I understand. We’ll start the upward climb again eventually. No judgment. No sentencing. We’ll just keep trying.
📘 my book things 📘
It’s the time when I’m starting to flip into promo mode both for A Kid’s Guide to Fandom (out 5/4) and The Art of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge (out 4/27). There will be virtual events of some kind for both books and I’m hoping to sign some copies through my new local shop so you can pre-order signed books if you so choose. I will keep you posted and I’ll share some behind-the-scenes making of those books in the newsletter when their release dates are closer.
📺 what I'm watching 📺
As soon as I sent the last newsletter I thought: Wolfwalkers! I forgot to mention I watched this in early January and loved it. It’s an animated film from Cartoon Saloon and it’s based on Irish folklore. The animation style is special with layers of lines and sketches underneath the characters. It’s kind of raw, I guess? Which perfectly suits the story about finding one’s true self, even when society fights you. I have got to watch the other films from Cartoon Saloon. Find it on Apple TV+.
And last night we reached Avengers: Endgame in our MCU rewatch. This scene will never not make me feel all the emotions.
📚 what I'm reading 📚
If I Never Met You by Mhairi McFarlane
Mhairi McFarlane is one of my new favorite authors. Here, Laurie is trying to move on after her partner of 18 years (who she also works with) suddenly leaves her and acts like a tool. She fake dates a co-worker to make her ex jealous and the co-worker has his reasons too… I can’t get enough of fake dating in my romance novels. The dialogue is snappy, the relationship has all those feel good sparks. So. Good.
On that note, my friend Rosie taught me something cool about Libby. You know skip the line loans? When your library will let you borrow a book without a hold period but the lending window is shorter? (My library’s skip the line loans are 7 days instead of 21 days). You can just go to Library > Explore > Skip the Line loans to see what’s available. I’ve snagged a few romance novels this way and since they usually take less than a day to read, it’s a nice treat.
🐳 something whalesome 🐳
I like wholesome things and the whale emoji is cute so: whalesome!
Meet Glenn Cat, a cat who is an excellent sous chef. Have fun getting lost in that feed for a bit.
🍃 creativity corner 🍃
Here I’ll share tips and tricks that are helping me write, imagine, and/or stay productive.
As you might have guessed, I am having a hard time with the dreaded “productivity” lately. So here’s what I’ll say: don’t give yourself shit for not getting whatever it is done. Question the shoulds running through your mind, all the “I should do this” or “I should have had that done” thoughts. Why? Where is that should coming from? Sometimes it will be sound and yeah, you should, but so many times that should is arbitrary and coming from yourself. So shut it down.
📃 quote of the week 📃
“There is a point when the night breaks. When the darkness finally begins to weaken, and lose its hold over the sky.” - V.E. Schwab, The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue
I highlighted about a million quotes in this book. You’ll be seeing them for weeks. (I cannot recommend Addie LaRue highly enough).