Pleasure Principle…

It happens to us all. We run towards the things and people that hurt us, make us cry and mean us harm. But the things we know are good; good to us and good for us, we run away from like it’s Hurricane Irene.

I got invited to a writers thingy today, the kind of event where people who think like me would’ve probably been at. I need to socialize more, make more real life writing friends. But I stayed home. I did spend about eight hours at a work event this morning, but that’s not the point. I realized that just about any time I’m invited to one of these social events, a meetup, a reading or a release party, my first inclination is think of the dishes I need to wash or the laundry that needs to be put up. And the ironic thing is that I absolutely love being in this kind of environment. I am my most authentic self, I don’t have to apologize for being a well read, argumentative girl who loves the spotlight (fyi, give me a microphone and I WILL find something to say).

Sometimes I think I’m part masochist. I deprive myself of things that will make me feel good, for no reason (Coldstone Creamery on a day that’s not my birthday, or a new shirt from H&M that’s not on sale). And why do I do this? Wish I knew. Sometimes it’s the feeling of not being worthy of good things, new things, expensive things. Not sure where this mentality came from. I’ve been working it out in therapy. But today I asked myself, when will I give myself permission to accept good things. When will it stop hurting to feel good?

I’m giving myself an assignment. Everyday I’m going to give myself permission to feel good about something that would normally stir up feelings of unworthiness, guilt or shame. Today it might be a bowl of ice cream in a waffle bowl with caramel syrup (don’t judge). Tomorrow it might be going to church an catching the Holy Ghost (maybe not). But you get the point. Try to do the same. Give yourself permission to let in the good. Because if you wont, who else will?


Letting Go…

I heard someone say that the worst thing about letting go is realizing that you held on too long. I’m not ashamed to say it. I’ve held on to the idea that “I’m writing a book”, the same way women hold on to bad relationships for no reason.

I have a tendency to think too hard. I over analyze things and find ways to make everything more complex. Take writing this book. I’ve literally been working on some form of it for about five years. Does it really take that long to write a novel? Hell no. But for me it took that long to convince myself that it could be done.

See, I used to give myself all kinds of reasons why I couldn’t self publish a book; I wanted the validation of being published by a “traditional” house, it would cost too much money, or simply, I believed nobody would like my stuff.

I’ve been following some up and coming authors and I have to admit, some of their stuff is terrible. I have fourth graders that could probably write better fiction. I met a woman the other day who proclaimed herself to be a full time writer and I could barely get through the first page of her 445 page book.

While I would’ve preferred to use her book to hold up the legs of my desk, I realized that she is out here; noticeable, social and maybe even selling books. This lady with the bad grammar, misspelled words and dangling participles is living her dream. And in all actuality, she is living my dream. The difference between me and her? She stopped thinking so hard and wrote the damn book.

So, this is my attempt at not over thinking the process. I am letting go of my issues so that I can get a book in return. Good Mourning will be published in January. Whether I like it or not. I’m trying not to take myself so serious, which means digging deep but not so far that I never get the story out.

We all have to let go of something to get something. What will you let go of this week?

Public Nudity…

So recently, I’ve started getting naked in public. Ok, not really. I’ve just started sharing more of myself with the rest of the world. And for me, this used to be hard to do.

I am a home body. A loner, perfectly content being by myself, and the Investigation Discovery Channel. I don’t like crowds. Or loud places. Or dark places. But Racheal the author has to kick these anxieties in the ass and get over them. This means actually interacting with people. In real life and online. This also means sharing my writing, my inner most thoughts, with other people.

By doing this, I’ve begun making myself vulnerable, something I would never have done a year ago. I used to care too much about what other people would think. If they knew I wrote about death, dying and crazy people the way I did, maybe they’d think I was crazy. Or maybe my writing (and therefore I) was terrible and no one would like it?

But quite the opposite has happened. Releasing myself and my writing into the universe has actually given me more confidence. The feedback, the constructive criticism and the encouragement has all motivated me in a way I never imagined it would. I still care what people think about my writing. But like strolling the sands of a nudist beach, you stop thinking about your flaws when you realize everyone else has them too.

So getting naked in public has taught me that true art can only be expressed when we stop putting trying to hide it under clothes; which are our fears, anxieties, insecurities and all the other stuff that keeps us from expressing our truest self.

It feels damn good to be this free. A little scary. A little exhilarating, but good. I’m looking for some nudist beaches if anyone has some suggestions.