Staying Sane in 2013

In the grand journalistic tradition of both the listicle and year-end wrap-up, I thought I’d celebrate the closing of 2013 by itemizing a few of the things that kept me going through another writing year. Not a how-to by any means, but rather a highly idiosyncratic record of one writer’s way through the great loneliness and terror:

1) Dharma talks by Tara Brach. It would be impossible to overstate how much solace Brach’s podcasts have provided, so I’ll just say that I literally can’t imagine my life without them. Priceless.

2) The Writers’ Room of Boston – still my happy place! If you have any loose change, please consider making a donation toward supporting the creation of new literature by emerging writers like me.

3) Workouts out at the crappy Planet Fitness across from the Writers’ Room. At $10/mo I really can’t complain about the facilities (but I do anyway). Also screw you Delillo for further fostering my sense of inadequacy by saying you go running between writing sessions. You and Murakami both. Like you haven’t set the bar high enough already.

4) The invaluable collection of writerly wisdom on Brain Pickings.

5) Craft conversations with my friend Memory Peebles-Reisinger, whose story “The Sugar Bowl” you should go read in the new issue of Ploughshares.

6) My new favorite book about creativity, Standing at Waters Edge: Moving Past Fear, Blocks, and Pitfalls to Discover the Power of Creative Immersion. Best model I’ve come across so far for why making is hard, and methods for overcoming its obstacles.

7) The Official Anna Kendrick tumblr, formerly called the far superior Awesomephilia. Detailing the reasons for this name change would only underline how overly invested I am in a random teenage girl’s blog, so I’ll just leave it at that.

8) My First Novel – dispatches from Rick Moody, Cheryl Strayed and others about, yes, writing their first novels.

9) Infinite cups of Yogi tea in a Rumpus “write like a motherfucker” mug.

10) Speaking of the Rumpus, Madame Clairevoyant’s wonderful literary horoscopes. Where else can you get both an astral reading and book recommendations for the coming week?

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention how any sighting of Kanye West’s crazy always makes me feel sane, if only by comparison. Guten Rutsch, everyone! Here’s to a productive new 365.

One Comment

  • Believe in your writing! We shall wait.

    I wonder if Gogol’s being a Menippean Satire has influenced you? I’m having a tough time / laughing while making one. You’re probably “finished” but if you need notes on Menippea, let me know, I’m in Cambridge.


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