Every day is the best of the year

Hi readers,

Welcome to the Ally Brennan newsletter—a weekly Sunday Monday email containing books, movies, creative inspiration, and things I’m learning + exploring. 

I’ve just now replaced my 2022 wall calendar. Actually, my mom replaced it for me. I woke up the other day to find a slim package slipped under my door, containing the 2023 version of the calendar I love: a massive poster displaying the entire year at once (thanks Mom!). The outside of the packaging says “Every day is the best of the year,” and that’s absolutely the energy I’m putting into 2023. One day at a time.

Writing: I’ve been following one of my new year’s intentions of “emptying out the drafts” by re-posting old pieces of writing. Including some poetry I wrote in 2020 + 2021. There are a lot of really good pieces I’ve written, that I took down for various reasons. Maybe I was unsure of the direction I wanted to take my writing. But I realized that as long as I’m being authentic and my writing is reflecting that, it truly doesn’t matter what direction my writing goes. It exciting seeing my website fill out a bit more. I’m reminded that I’ve been writing for quite a while now, and that’s something to be proud of.

Also. I think I’ve come up with a new publication date for my book, The Simple Path of Journaling. This has been a hell of an emotional journey, but the end is in sight. Just editing, editing, little by little. I feel like someone should write a book about how to work through the emotional issues that come up when you finally decide to pursue your dream of writing and try to finish your first book, because this has been a real doozy. Hmm . . . that gives me an idea.

Reading: I just finished Julia Cameron’s memoir, Floor Sample. It’s inspiring me just as much as Steven Pressfield’s memoir, Govt Cheese. I’m paying close attention and noticing consistent patterns. I’m seeing what happens when a person fully decides that they’re going to be a writer + creative, and then follows through on that decision. Things actually happen and work out for them. Julia Cameron, as a sober alcoholic (she had a very wild life), incorporates lots of lessons she learned from recovery into her creative work, namely the “one day at a time” concept. That’s all I do as well. I tell myself that I’m improving and progressing every single day, bit by bit. You guys are truly seeing this creative journey play out in real time.

Julia Cameron is giving a virtual talk on Friday, February 10, from 5:30-7:00 PM (PT) to discuss her brand new book, Write For Life: Creative Tools for Every Writer. It costs $35, and the price includes a hardcover copy of that book shipped out for free after the event! (Excellent marketing, imo.) I’m really excited to hear her speak, especially after having just lived inside her life story in her memoir for the past week. There are so many things I relate to her on. Strangely in love with the desert, childhood love of horses (okay . . . fine, lifelong love of horses), kind of manic about her creative work, spiritual and a little bit psychic. I felt less alone reading her words.

Watching: February 2nd marked my favorite holiday of the year: Groundhog Day! Of course I had to watch Bill Murray’s, Groundhog Day, one of the greatest films ever made. I almost got to see it in theaters on the 2nd: my boyfriend and I walked over Red Rock Casino to kill time while waiting on a tire change and I saw they were playing it later that day in the in-house theater. Unfortunately, it was playing too late for us to see it that day (we waited out the tire change with some rounds of bowling, not gambling lol), but I was stoked to see it playing there!

The reason Groundhog Day is my favorite holiday is because of the connection Austin Kleon made between it and the creative journey in his book, Keep Going:

“Now, it might seem like a stretch, but I really think the best thing you can do as an artist or a creative person is pretend you’re Phil Connors in Groundhog Day: there’s no tomorrow, there’s no chance of success, there’s no chance of failure, there’s just the day, and what you can do with it.

Building a body of work (or a life) is all about the slow accumulation of a day after day’s worth of effort over time. Writing a page each day doesn’t seem like much, but do it for 365 days and you have enough to fill a novel. You do it your whole life, and you have a career.”


Thanks for reading! ☻

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