It’s Winter, But We Can Deal

Look how optimistic that title is. I’m trying to be a little more optimistic. Just a little. Like when people ask me, how are you? I’m trying to say fine like a normal person and not always say terrible. I’m trying to eat more vegetables. Smile at strangers. Whistle. It’s not really working out.

Anyway, so this is supposed to be about winter. It’s freezing out. It’s snowing, it’s icy, it’s cold. It may make you want to die, particularly when you wake up and have to get dressed and go to work. Have no fear! There may be some good things about winter after all. Here they are:

  1. Sports

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There are some good winter sports. I just started working at a ski resort, which is fun, but you can also go sledding and sliding on the sidewalk on your way to work. Also, falling on ice always makes your day more exciting/memorable/painful. Continue reading

Gifts for the Writer and Reader on Your List

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So you have a reader or writer friend, relative, significant other, possibly coworker, maybe neighbor, or that guy you see sometimes and thought it would be nice to spread some holiday cheer towards. Well, lucky for you, dear blog reader, I have some excellent suggestions that will show your <insert relationship> feel like you think about him or her enough to get <insert name> a proper present. Or at least show that you know where cool kids shop.

P.S. I don’t know where cool kids shop. I just keep saying that I do to convince myself.

P.P.S. A good way to achieve your goal is to lie to yourself until it is real.

P.P.P.S. Results may very with that advice.

P.P.P.P.S. Yes that is a gif from Jingle All the Way Continue reading

Finding Metaphors in Everything

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Once, mere minutes before a boyfriend broke up with me, I sat outside a subway stop in the rain, waiting for him to meet me at the designated break-up time. OK, I didn’t know it was going to be a designated break-up time. I thought we were meeting for a date, possibly a riveting Scrabble game. But I remember I was running late, and lucky for me, I grabbed an express train at a crowded transfer station. When Dude finally got there, he apologized for his lateness, he said he had to take local because the stations were so crowded and the lines were apparently caught in train traffic. We realized that we were actually on the same local train at one point, but whereas I risked the swap, he decided to stay on. Later that night, when I was walking past Lincoln Center with plastic Duane Reade bags of all of my stuff — Scrabble game included — I laughed at that fateful metaphor glaring right at me. I also cried but that was about the break-up, rather than seeing the metaphor. Continue reading

Writer’s Anxiety

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Lately I’ve become one of those terrible people who constantly jiggle their foot. I cause mini-earthquakes in class, on the train, eating dinner in my living room. Its like my internal flaws have become so large and neglected they feel the need to make their presence known externally, to shout to the world: this person is not put together! She is not calm or collected, not confident or prepared. She is, like the foot she is shaking, possibly about to lose control.

In other words, I’ve been anxious. I have anxiety about lots of things, from the color of my fingernails to my inevitable death. I’ve always had it in a small way, as I think most normal, functioning humans do. I think anxiety comes with whatever the opposite of apathy is, care or passion or just trying to do things. Doing stuff causes anxiety, and I’m fine with that. I’d rather create something I’m nervous about than not creating anything at all. I guess.

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Also: writing. It seems very connected to my jiggling foot. I think writing is a very anxiety producing art, or hobby, or profession. Throwing out your thoughts for people to judge. Most harshly, yourself. I’m anxious I’ll never write what I hope to. I’m anxious when I don’t write. I’m anxious when I write badly. When I get negative feedback, I doubt myself. When I get positive feedback, I wonder if this is the best I ever will be, if I’ll ever live up to my potential, if I’ll die without ever having—you get it. I spiral.

Eventually I decide not to care. It helps the anxiety but not the writing. Of course, writing isn’t the only thing I, or any writer, gets anxious about. There’s all of life waiting for you off the page, all those other people and places and job interviews to worry about. Sigh.

But writing can help with that, when I realize that no one cares but me. And when I try to keep caring, but in a steady way that lets myself suck sometimes, and do a good job at others. It’s helped me to write stupid things, dumb letters to my friends or fake stories for my little cousins. To tell myself that there will never be a final moment, a single masterpiece, and that I will just have to keep going, living and writing, slowly and with a light tapping of my foot.

 

The September Slump: Here are some videos that will either inspire you or help you procrastinate

I always suck at doing things this time of year. Well, most times of year, but this time in particular. So I decided to sit back and let some other people do this post for me. Here are some videos which will either inspire you to do things, or help you procrastinate and not do those things. It’s your choice.

Kid President

Do I hear 2016? This kid makes me want to shoot for the moon. (And, of course, dance.)

Continue reading

The Parameters of Lending a Book

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Dear Borrower,

I’m lending you this book as an investment for our future. It means that I think we’ll see each other soon. It could also mean that my purse is full and I just finished this book and that we’re actually near The Strand of all places, and I could restock and have a lighter load than expected.

It could also mean I like you. Continue reading

Career Contessa Is the Pick Me Up for Any Job Hunter

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If you’re like me or if you are human, then you’ve felt down on your luck before when it comes to job searching. We here at Poor Writers are always down on our luck when it comes to job searching, mainly because we are a blog driven by hopes and self-pity. Continue reading

My Diary (Not really, though. You can keep reading.)

UnknownPeople always say you should keep a journal. (Yes, people. All of them, including me.)

They say you should write every day. I don’t do that. Mostly because I’m lazy, but also because I’m petrified. I’m scared of writing every day, of writing too often, of becoming really, really boring. And I know this is very stupid, and I’m about to try to talk myself out of this fear. Here goes:

Dear Devin,

Write more often. You will learn by writing. By writing boring things, or stupid things. You learn by making boring and stupid things interesting. Some of your favorite writers (David Sedaris, Haven Kimmel) can write about a dumb, five minute talk with a friend for chapters and have you rolling on the floor laughing.Write about things like that.

Continue reading

Be Nice to Your Librarian: 5 Tips on Library Etiquette


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“Having fun isn’t hard when you’ve got a library card.”

Public libraries are a valuable source for the public and especially so for poor writers. At libraries one has access to computers and databases, endless books, and knowledgable employees who can assist in research and reference questions. As a library worker, I’ve experienced the gamut of clueless people acting a fool at the library. Library etiquette may seem painfully obvious, but for many adults it isn’t. As fellow poor writer Devin says, “People are dumb, I think.” In a world where many things go horribly wrong, there are no reasons to start knife fights over twenty cent fines, no reasons to hurl paranoid accusations toward librarians, and most certainly no reasons to demand red carpet treatment for your FREE membership where you don’t pay for anything, ever. Now that the work week is over and I have had time to breathe in and out, I’ve configured a few dos and don’ts for you library goers.

Tell me more

Yes, It’s Okay if You Want to Write a Romance Novel


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I don’t know where this idea of high-brow and low-brow reader hierarchy of culture came from, but apparently I’m supposed to feel ashamed if I like romance novels or YA or chick-lit? People might scoff at my bubble gum pink book cover or YA title, but they are just scoffing at an interest or opinion that is different from their own. Because whatever they do in the privacy of their home is apparently the norm. They’re probably boring. They probably think the classics are the only proper book to read on the subway, when even those novels were scoffed at for being the reading choice for low class entertainment or (gasps!) women. Continue reading