Stop settling for asshole coffee dates and stale candy
November 15, 2016
And by "assholes," I mean Donald Trump. And self-doubt.
Get your fingers ready. Okay. Now throw one of those puppies up for every blogger or internet personality you've seen open a post by telling you how hard it was to write or find inspiration over the past few days.
Now add one more.
because as much as I hate to beat that poor dead horse I've been keeping in the back yard, writing has been hard this week. It's been hard for a few reasons, some being more obvious than others *cough, America, cough*. I have written, re-written and edited over 4,000 words since yesterday just trying to get something on this page. Approximately zero of those words made the cut. Instead, they're now stuck in Idea Purgatory aka a running Word document full of highlighted texts and half-written blog posts that will likely be left waiting until I consume the proper amount of red wine to remind me of their existence.
Most of those words are stuck there because they felt silly in the wake of the election. Almost none had anything to do with the election and I didn't know if that was okay. I didn't know what was allowed for us writers, now. When I wrote something in response to recent events that I thought would be "appropriate" or "smart," it felt forced. But when I tried to be genuine, it felt out of place. As I began crafting the initial post I had planned for this week, I was struck with fear. Talking about mental health, eating disorders and self-empowerment is inherently pretty selfish and I was terrified that no one would want to hear it this week. Or maybe ever now?
But I don't remember inviting Donald Trump to coffee. I don't remember asking him to join me for a blogging date but it appears that my brain must have accidentally hit the "Reply All" button on the email chain of last week's stimuli and Donald jumped at the opportunity. I can't open a page draft without him peering over my shoulder, his tiny hands keep finding their way to the "DELETE" key and he's got my self-doubt on speed dial...
But the time has come to give it to him straight. On behalf of all writers and creators, we've got to stand up and tell Donald that he can't sit with us anymore. We've tried to be nice. We've tried to make room in our hearts for him and self-doubt but, if I'm being honest, they're kind-of overbearing pricks. It's just not going to work out.
Dear Donald & Co.,
it's not me, it's you.
We've got to get back to our words and our art, now more than ever. We've got to hold on to what defines us, especially if that thing is creativity. If we don't, we are taking something good and powerful and refreshing and throwing it out the window. Letting self-doubt creep into the creative process (okay, well more self-doubt than usual) opens the door to a vicious cycle that usually ends in tears, self-loathing and a pile of stale, half-eaten miniature candy bars.
And we all deserve so much better than stale candy. Oh, and this un-invitation? Itgoes far beyond this week and this election. It goes out to anyone who's been bringing self-doubt to the party. Our experiences matter and sharing them could never be the wrong choice, not once, not ever. It's a part of the bigger picture. It's one of many ways we can keep fighting and make change. Sharing, writing, creating or whatever you want to call what it is that you do, is a part of crafting a world full of uniqueness and understanding. We are each a wealth of experiences and knowledge – and someone out there needs to hear about them. They really freaking do. Trust me on this.
So let's make a pact, right now, to stop inviting assholes to coffee. And to buy some of that fancy, expensive chocolate with silver paper that's kept in the organic food isle. Because our ideas and our art are worth sharing. Always.
Psst! Hey you! Don't forget to subscribe to my mailing list. That way you can meet me here next week to find out how many of those 4,000 words we can explore. Bring chocolate.