So I Moved

So, I moved. I left New York. You might have realized from Georgette’s super nice goodbye post, or you may not have, because you don’t really care about my life. Totally understandable.

This is me and a friend on moving day. We like wearing white shirts that much our teethy smiles.

This is me and a friend on moving day. We like wearing white shirts that much our teethy smiles.

I was going to write a “goodbye to new york” post, about staying and leaving, tall buildings, good friends, bad winters, etc. I tried, I really did. But I just can’t do it. Maybe I’m not ready to say goodbye to New York, but mostly, I think I’m not ready to say goodbye to anywhere. I have no idea what I’m doing with my life. (Even after college! Weren’t they supposed to teach me that? Shall I sue?) Continue reading

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A Rambling on the YOLO Life

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So you have dreams, who doesn’t. Dreams change, they stay the same, some make it, some don’t. Some say, “Failure isn’t an option,” but life dictates another reality. There’s something to be said for those who don’t give up, but there’s also a degree of clarity for those who’ve arrived at that narrow corridor of the status quo. What’s giving up anyway? For you it might mean never having achieved New York Times best-seller status, for some it might be falling out of the routine of writing, singing, or whatever it was that moved you to pursue something greater than what was expected from you, or what you had expected of yourself.

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Writing Commandments

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As with most New Year blog posts this one will be filled with self-reflection, promise to be better, and a gif or two using fireworks. Not to get too self-congratulatory, but I felt like I worked harder this year writing-wise. It’s slightly odd to think that I started off 2014 as an intern blogger and worked my way through several websites and into freelancing. Of course, I realized that blogging was best done (for me anyway) as something I loved, rather than a profession. So I turned back to writing fiction. This resulted in submitting a piece to an online journal, writing a fanfic for a Christmas gift, and even returning to a forgotten story idea. Someone last night asked me what my resolution for this year would be, and I replied (slightly rudely, I think) that I wasn’t going to make any. Possibly because I never keep them.

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The guy I was talking to seemed surprised. I guess because I give off the excited vibes of someone who would, but I pointed out that that my self right now wasn’t going to be the same person by the end of year. I didn’t want to put responsibilities or expectations on her, but I was more than willing to see what she would get up to.

My writing professor always told us this in the same way, “You’re never the same writer you were yesterday. You’re usually better.” I nodded along, even saying the phrase to myself when I went to re-write stories. I felt it most strongly when I undertook a hard editing job this year on a story two years in the making. It felt like my younger self and my current self were working to make this story successful.

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You’re always going to covet someone’s story or style or a line that they wrote, but reading that or even analyzing a line or a book you love are the building blocks of getting you to be a better writer. Every day you keep at it makes you a better writer, whether you know it or not. So rather than a resolution this year, here’s a commandment: thou shall write whatever.

And if you need more advice, good ol’ Henry Miller’s got your back.

Guest Post: Five Ways To Cope With Being Dumped Before Christmas

We at Poor Writers commiserate with you in all things be it poor, writing, relationships, stubbed toe, and we’re always happy to have people to complain along with us — along with brown papered packages tied up with string, it’s on the top of our favorite things. So, without further ado, I bring you a guest post from Abi, a fellow poor writer and all around savvy minx.

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So you’ve been dumped before the holidays. The bright, shiny, pine-scented togetherness you were looking forward to has been buried beneath the slush of an unambiguous rejection. Your heart has been shrunk three sizes too small. How do you indulge your Grinchiness short of ruining everyone else’s good cheer? Here are some suggestions: Continue reading

Budget Friendly Skin Care Finds: Face Mask Edition

If you know me well, you’ll know I’m obsessed with all things beauty and skin care related. Being one to stick to daily regiments, having a daily beauty routine does me a world of good. Though I enjoy the wondrous glow of Sephora and department store counters, I’ve found many affordable items in my local drugstores as well. I’ll be sharing more of my favorite products in posts to come, but for now I’ll start off with my must have face masks.

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Three ways to enjoy the holiday season

Benihana Christmas One party

If you’re not interested in simply gritting your teeth and pushing through the holiday season, I have some tips to help you through the duration of December with a remnant of your sanity intact.

1) Don’t leave your house

This is probably the biggest reason you’re feeling stressed. Going out shopping and seeing people purchasing expensive items, especially with cash, is sure to make the mug you picked out for your parents look like Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree. Instead of venturing out into the wild, do your shopping at home. This way you’ll be clueless as to what everyone else is buying and be able to relish in your sensible gifting finds.

2) It’s best to avoid excess caffeine

Sure, caffeine puts a little zest in your step and it might help fight off depression, but it can also heighten feelings of anxiety and leave your body dehydrated. The last thing you’ll want to have happen, while shopping in an overcrowded and over-heated store, is to have a panic attack while feeling like a sock is stuck in your throat. Bring some water, lose the coffee, and hope for the best.

3) Set a spending limit with friends and family

Money is a huge issue this time a year. Most people feel like they don’t have enough of it. The best way to counter the inadequacy blues is to set a spending limit on gifts. This way no one has to feel guilty and everyone can better enjoy the company around them without fear of being judged for the amount they spent on a gift. With the money you save on gifts, why not donate a percentage to charity.

This year make spending time with the ones you love a priority!

The Writing on a Bus Writing Exercise

I was a commuter college student. I spent the dark hours of the morning on a bus headed into Atlanta, watching the sun rise right as my fellow passengers and I started to exit off the highway. And man did I love it. Naps, study time, reading time, and, yes, writing time. That hour was my favorite time of day, yes even if I had to study. It was the most productive time I ever spent.

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What I Think About at Work

If anyone ever tells you, “I’m completely devoted mind, body, and soul to my job while I’m at work,” this person is likely the biggest, fattest liar you know. Why? People daydream while they’re driving, while they’re having family interventions, during sex, the moment one realizes someone is staring at them in an extremely close and uncomfortable manner. We all daydream. My job is typically, almost always, quiet and most time the only way around it is to talk to my co-worker, raise some hell, or think up pleasant or horrifying scenarios in my head; my favorite on being finding a huge stash of money while I’m walking my dog, in all honesty it’s my most replayed fantasy.

Since working in a beige box doesn’t provide much of a jumping point for creative stimulation, I have reliable sources of mental inspiration. Here are some thoughts that help get me through the day.

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Is it calling it quits?

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I’ve been working for a little over a year now, trying to get into the blogging industry and semi-succeeding with the internships and freelancing opportunities I’ve had, but I realized the other day that I’m not happy. I thought that the feeling I had when I would tell people what I did was me being happy, but even though I could tell people I was writing, that I was living in New York, and that I liked the companies I worked for, I wasn’t happy or getting anywhere really.

To an extent, I can proudly say that I’ve learned a lot about an industry that I wanted to be a part of. I got clips. I got experience. I met some really cool people and filled out a resume. But when I realized that this uphill battle was getting steeper rather than leveling out, I knew that I needed to reevaluate what I was doing.

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Social Media, Get Away, Please

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Social media spells tragedy for some and fame for others. Social media wreaks of opportunity, yet leads to the subtle unravelling of social awareness and relationships… potentially. I hear from many people how much they love Facebook as it brings them closer to their friends and family, while allowing people from their pasts back into their lives and not always for the better. If you really take a second, how connected are you really?

At this point in time I recognize the bulk of my friends as tiny avatars floating the screens of both my laptop and cell phone, I know the wee bits of their lives through stylized photos on Instagram, what tidbits they scatter on Twitter, and of course by the carefully selected narratives displayed on Facebook.

The times I’m off Social Media completely, are the times I realize I have nothing useful to say to such an audience of people. I don’t know how much the quality of my breakfast means to anyone, or why it should. If something worthwhile has happened I figure, it won’t get too many likes anyway and my fingers back away from the keyboard and onto something more pressing, like a novel that I need to finish.

Is this the sum of my life, tweetable, likable material for everyone to gawk at?

Ugh, the grind of seeming like you’ve gotten your shit together. What’s the big deal about having everything figure out? How did the picture of perfection come to be a series of perfected candids and hashtags? I too have succumbed to this seduction! I used to make sure to update my profile pictures, I’d pick out just the right bands and shows so everyone would see how unlame I was. Meanwhile, I was still listening to
S Club 7, loving every minute of it.

I envy people who have jumped the social media cruise ship. While there are pluses and bonuses to everything, social media included, I resent that it’s become such a pervasive part of my life. For work I use it, at work I’m forever explaining to people how to use it, and I hear elderly people rag on my generation for using it. “These young people don’t know how to have a good time without some thingamajig in their faces.” Just leave me be, leave me be.

I miss the days of simplicity. Myspace in all of it’s customization embracing chillness. I used to scout sites for new backgrounds, make playlists, and bask at my efforts. Maybe the difference is age, maybe the difference is we mistake distance for connection. The day I’m able to reach through a computer screen to hug someone, well, that’ll be real progress.