One unexpected—and welcome—outcome of self-publishing has been how much it's curbed my shopping habit. I'm not gonna lie, self-publishing this book has been esspensive. And I don't know if I'm doing it wrong, but from all the "How much I spent self-publishing" videos on YouTube I've watched, I've definitely spent a lot more by far than any of those indie authors. But I'm okay with it because I think the book is looking siiiick so far and I've loved the artists I've chosen to work with and want them to be paid fairly.


But because I've been putting so much money into the book, I really haven't shopped much at all in the last six months? Maybe longer? It's been really nice to have something so big and important to me that I'm not even really thinking about clothes. I'm sure I will again when things open up or for when the book comes out and I want to wear something devastatingly HOT. But for now it's nice.


I think I've written about it here on the blog before, but I do still fantasize about having the perfect little author wardrobe and caring less about buying new (used) clothes all the time and just be content with what I have and put my money and my energy towards my art. And the past few months of the self-publishing process has given me a little taste of that. And it just happened so naturally. I guess that's just what happens when you're so tapped in and in a state of flow.


I have bought 3 clothing items recently:


These "Have a Nike Day" Air Force 1s I got off Poshmark that I wore for my author photoshoot.


This DKNY wool plaid mini skirt I got off Poshmark that I was planning to wear to an out-of-town live music show but I didn't end up going because I couldn't find a cat sitter and the seller hasn't even shipped it yet so...


This Burberry-esque mini skirt that's so dark academia.



And I'll be honest, I've been shopping for a lot of home stuff. But that was kind of unexpected and not really in my control. I'm moving apartments in August, which I wasn't planning on when this self-publishing process began so along with book expenses I've had to pay for a lot of unexpected moving expenses as well. But home stuff doesn't feel frivolous to me or guilt-inducing the same way my clothing purchases can. Because I am such a home body by nature and it's where I create, my space and how it makes me feel and inspires me is a big priority to me. I'm excited to be curating a new space that speaks to me and energizes me creatively.


So whatever you're buying right now, whether it's clothes, home decor, or whatever, I hope it sparks creativity!



xoxo




Frances Ha is one of my favorite movies. It’s a quiet, nothing happens story about a 27-year-old girl who wants to make it as a dancer in New York, but really isn’t trying that hard for most of the movie. I return to this movie all the time, especially when I’m feeling lost.


There’s one particular scene that I think about all the time. Frances goes to this dinner party with some couples in their 30s and 40s. She’s underdressed in her oversized aviator jacket and backpack among the well-heeled and the well-scrubbed. She talks to the guy sitting next to her:



I related to this for many years. It was during the time where I didn’t write. I wrote at my job, but I’d stopped writing creatively outside of work. So I stopped telling people I was a Writer, which is what I wanted to tell them. Instead, I just told them my professional job title.

I don’t know if it’s different now, but back then at least, if you told someone you were a writer, they’d immediately ask you if you were working on a book or ask you when you were going to writing a book. And when I was writing a lot, I was blogging on my Tumblr consistently and publishing a personal essay at least once a month.


I didn’t know how to answer the book question because I didn’t really want to write a book back then. I mean, I liked the thought of it, but I knew I didn’t have any ideas for a book at the time.


But when I finally did start writing essays again, just for fun, with no intention to even publish them on my blog, it was exciting. And the essays just kept coming and building on each other until…I had a manuscript.


As I went through the process of hiring and working with editors and now working with artists and professionals to help me publish it, it feels like how it felt to watch Frances take her dancing career into her own hands at the end of the movie, choreographing and producing her own show. It wasn’t like this huge hit or anything, but she was doing it. I guess what I’m trying to say is it feels good to be doing the thing I say I do.



xoxo


Anatomy of My Writing Nook



I wrote this blog post back in February of 2019 about missing being the creatively courageous girl I used to be and how “I want to start writing creative nonfiction essays again…”


After I wrote that, I did start writing creative nonfiction again. I wrote like three essays in the span of a month just for fun. I didn’t know what I was going to do with them, but they felt like they wanted to be written. And then I thought maybe if I keep on writing, this could be a book or something. So I kept writing. I wanted to complete a manuscript. I had a bunch of vacation time saved up from my job so I took three whole weeks off of work in November of 2019 as a staycation/writer’s retreat and I wrote around 300-500 words a day and I finished the first draft of my manuscript. It was like 66,000 words or something. I was so happy. I’d actually finished something.



This was the first draft of the manuscript I had printed from FedEx so I could hold it and read it and mark it up to revise into a second draft. I had my friend Kelsey read it and she said that she liked it. And she also had a lot of great feedback on how I could make it better. Then came the third draft. I was feeling really good about it so I took it to a manuscript consultant who I thought could help me get through one more draft and then I could send it out and find an agent. I paid her $1800 and she told me that it was too weird and that I was too close to my trauma and maybe and too young and maybe I should wait until I’m fifty to write a memoir.


The things she said really fucked me up and I didn’t touch my manuscript for months. But then I thought maybe she doesn’t know what she’s talking about and she doesn’t get what I’m trying to do so maybe I just need to make it even weirder so it was clear just what I was trying to do. So I revised it, I made it weirder. And I found a new manuscript consultant. Her name is Linda Barsi and I’d been watching her YouTube videos on writing and creative life for years and years and she had just started a business where she teaches writing and coaches writers so I reached out to her and sent her a sample of my work and she understood it and she said that I could definitely be weirder.


She is a genius and she helped me make my manuscript a lot better. She said that the mean manuscript lady was wrong and that I was a master storyteller and that I was close to my trauma in the best way and that if I could write something like that then I was not too young. She told me I could start querying today, seriously.



This week I finally sent out my first three query letters to literary agents. But this whole time I’ve been scared that no one will like it or get it or want it. And feeling sad that maybe I’ll never get published. And wondering if I should self-publish it and feeling bad and embarrassed that I might have to self-publish it because no one wanted it and maybe it would be less legitimate and no one would even read it or like it if I did.


Then one day last week I was thinking how maybe self-publishing wouldn’t be such a bad idea. Because of how close personal this book is to me, and how weird it is and how punk rock it is. And I could make it look exactly how I want it to. And collaborate with cool people to design it.


I thought about all the cool punk rock things I used to do, like blog for no reason. I started missing it, so I looked through this blog which I started a couple of years ago because I missed old school blogging. So I decided to write a blog post. And then I found that blog post I wrote from February 2019 and realized something. That full quote from earlier, it read “I want to start writing creative nonfiction essays again and self-publish them like a lo-fi ho.


I wanted to self-publish even back then, before I knew this was going to be a full-length manuscript. And now I feel validated by my old self and think that I should definitely self-publish this book.


So that’s coming. I’ll tell you all about it.


Different drafts the manuscript has gone through. And this isn’t even all the drafts!



xoxo