Category Archives: Work

If You Write It, I’ll Give You a Present

It would appear I’m not so good at following my own advice. If I were a dr. I’m pretty sure I’d smoke at least a pack a day. I’d probably have a martini glass balanced on the end of the exam table while I wrote out prescriptions for one of those cholesterol lowering meds and lectured patients about exercise and diet. I talk a lot about writing every day – in my own book, yet I haven’t been doing it lately. While I’m not planning to write a memoir (I’m not very interesting), I love writing essays, and someday I’d like to try writing a novel. But seriously, what kind of jerk tells people to write every day and then doesn’t even do it herself? Anyway, I was thinking about this while I was shopping for a birthday gift for my dad last weekend. He just turned 60, and my husband and I decided to make him his very own, customized book-of-the-month-club kind of thing. We bought a book we thought he would like for each month of the year, and wrote up a paragraph about each one. We ended up with kind of a crazy mixture. . . Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead, Sherlock Holmes, Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing (my dad used to teach fourth grade) – a reference book about weather, because my dad is OBSESSED with storms. It was quite possibly the only time I had fun shopping for a gift. It got me thinking. . if you’re totally stuck, which happens to EVERYONE, writing about gifts is a super easy way to get unstuck. There are so many instances in life where a gift has made a difference – good or bad. I mean, it’s not really about the present, it’s about the thoughts, what it meant, and the lasting memories they leave right?

What was I thinking? Why was I out smoking and drinking white russians when I should have been home working on my memoir? What a terrible mistake!

So listen. . . since I’m making a conscious effort to write more, I’m hoping you will too. I’ll send a copy of my book (and a special bonus surprise) to whoever writes the most kick-ass gift story. I don’t care how long it is or anything. . . it doesn’t matter.

Ooops. I brilliantly gave you all the wrong email address at the webinar. It’s this:

paula@morningmemoir.com

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Filed under Contests, Work, Writing

I Want a Role Model!

This fabulous woman would be a great role model. . if she were real.

I was just reading Penelope Trunk’s (aka The Brazen Careerist’s) How To Be Lost With Panache, which I stumbled upon at the perfect time, because I had just started writing a section of my book about “being stuck” and I completely understood her need to turn to soothing things. . . such as New York Magazine to get her through tough times. I’ll be the first person to admit that “being stuck” while writing a book is, in the whole scheme of things, not such a big problem. But the more I thought about it, and the further I got along in the chapter, the more I was able to see that getting stuck while writing isn’t all that different from getting stuck in real life. You can’t think, you can’t come up with any decent ideas about what to do. . going out for a simple as a cup of coffee feels like a major life decision. Should I make coffee at home? Or should I get some fresh air? Because that might be nice. Or will that take up too much time? Is it going to rain? You get the picture. But then her post mentioned something that got me off the coffee track right quick. She mentioned that Tavi Gevinson of The Style Rookie, the only just about to enter high school fashion blogger, was her role model. She’s real, she’s a dork and she’s smart. What’s not to love? I thought long and hard about who my role model would be, and I just wasn’t sure. How can I not know who my role model is? I feel I must remedy this immediately. I’d like someone who was funny, smart, successful and being Midwestern would be a bonus. Definitely something to think about, and fyi, I’m accepting suggestions!

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Filed under Work, Writing