Empty out the drafts
Here is some creative inspiration for you this Sunday: (I’m sort of wanting to come up with an “introduction” template for my newsletter, and this is all I’ve got so far, haha.)
Reading: I just finished reading Steven Pressfield’s memoir, Govt Cheese, and holy shit—I’m so inspired and encouraged. I’ll be honest, the title is pretty meh and the cover looks like a self-published book cover from the early 2000’s. But I think those were intentional decisions. He’s such a giant in the literary world, his book The War of Art makes him god-level to me, yet he came from super humble beginnings and actually seemed a bit reluctant to write this memoir in the first place. But I’m glad he did. I relate so much to his early years, his 20’s and 30’s. He was aimless, lived in a van, lived in weird roommate situations, moved all across the country, worked more than twenty different random jobs, quit everything, hated everything. He was tortured by his desire to write.
Until he finally started banging out novels on his typewriter. It was so fascinating to notice the slow yet palpable shift that began to occur when he finally made the decision that he was going to be a writer. I’m starting to do this as well. Shifting more and more focus to seeing myself as a writer, chipping away at the rut I’ve been stuck in, waking up each morning and deciding that I’m a writer, not letting myself give anymore energy away to anymore bullshit. It’s a process.
I like author Robert McKee’s “blurb” for the book: “In the Evolution genre the protagonist’s unrealized potential evolves over time until it reaches its full humanity. Steven Pressfield’s amazing memoir arcs this most demanding form with insight, power and beauty.”
Writing: I’ve come up with an add-on to my 2023 goals: empty out my drafts folder. Because here’s the deal: I have hundreds of drafts between WordPress and my notes app. I dash off a piece of writing, straight from the heart, lots of energy, and then get scared, feel like it needs lots of editing, and it never sees the light of day. But it’s getting to the point where I don’t care anymore. I want more raw material to work with and I want to get more of my words out there, even if they aren’t polished enough. This is how I feel about all my creative friends, who I think are so talented that I wish they would just put their rough sketches and iPhone recordings online, because even the works in progress are so amazing to me. So I want to lead by example and start first.
I wrote an essay called “Feel the rope.” A piece about learning to trust my intuition and not overthink what I’m trying to accomplish.
Watching: My boyfriend and I watched a couple cool documentaries on Netflix. One about mushrooms and the other about a filmmaker who started snorkeling every day and developed a bond with an octopus. “Fantastic Fungi” and “My Octopus Teacher” are the titles, respectively. Absolutely amazing films—I highly recommend both of them!
In both documentaries, I was struck by how incredible it is when someone gets passionate about a subject and takes that obsession to the absolute limit. They are able to make new discoveries, advancements to science and knowledge, and just bring more beauty and joy into the world.
This reminds me of one of my favorite quotes ever: “Don’t ask what the world needs, ask what makes you come alive, because the world needs people who have come alive.” —Howard Thurman (he was an author, spiritual activist, met Gandhi, and was MLK’s mentor).
As always, I’m inspired to keep working hard to close the gap between the deep desires of my heart and what I’m actually doing. I hope you’re inspired too.
Thanks for reading! ☻