Home again, after the best trip yet.
My friend Joelle and I were texting regularly all through our respective trips to Iceland and Asia, and after she got home she wrote,
I’m in that phase where it kind of feels like my trip didn’t really happen. There’s always a struggle to live just a little differently than I did before.
I’ve been turning those words over ever since. After this trip I am far less of a mystery to myself. I have finally begun to understand why I feel and react the way I do in difficult situations (and in truth, how I tend to create those difficult situations). I know I’m being vague here, but I may be remedying this soon (see next paragraph). For now, I’ll just say that Joe Dispenza’s book Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself has more than secured a place on my (not-yet-official) list of the Most Useful and Enlightening Books I Have Ever Read. I’m looking forward to writing about exactly how and why it’s helping me!
Now for Getting Specific: because Life Without Envy is on sale at the end of the month (!!), I’m doing the usual promotional thing, albeit on a scale that makes sense to me. One of LWE’s essential messages is about making oneself useful, and I’ve been pondering how to walk my talk in ways that feel authentic and effective. Admittedly, there is a part of me who would much rather hole up and get back to writing fiction, but how can I write a book like Life Without Envy and then run away from my own advice on community building and becoming as honest as possible about one’s messiest feelings?
You may recall that I posted a virtual writing workshop series on Youtube back in 2012, and I’m thinking about starting up something similar again—only with shorter (2 to 3-minute), more-to-the-point videos with frank advice on practical topics related to the book. That is one immediate way in which I can make myself useful.
I brainstormed topics. I made a list. “Success” Versus Satisfaction. Impostor Syndrome. How to Think Your Way Out of Self Loathing. (The IRONY of Self Loathing.)
Then, of course, my ego piped up. What if you post a bunch of videos and NOBODY RESPONDS, you loser? (I will say this over and over again: I wrote the book I most needed to read.)
Then I remembered something one of my new internet pals Alexis Donkin wrote in a recent newsletter.
What we say, what we write, how we act—it DOES matter. If I post a video and it turns one person’s day around, then that is mission accomplished. Nobody has to go viral on Youtube in order to make the world a little bit kinder. (I actually have a specific anecdote on this topic—about overhearing a conversation in a restaurant that helped me lift myself out of a frighteningly gloomy mood—and I will share it on video.)
So yeah. I think I’m going to start a new Youtube channel, and if you have any topics you’d like me to cover (or other tips/suggestions), please let me know!
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Now for some newsy things:
The wonderful Jamaica Plain restaurant-cum-bookstore Tres Gatos is hosting the Life Without Envy launch on Sunday, October 2nd starting at 3pm. Come early for brunch (alas, they aren’t the most vegan-friendly place in town, but what options they do have are excellent). And do please RSVP on Facebook!
I’m also giving an hourlong Life Without Envy workshop at the Boston Book Festival on Saturday, October 15th, 2016. We’ll have space for about thirty people. I can’t imagine it’ll be that crowded, but come early just in case!
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And here’s a quick link round-up, ICYMI on social media:
Immaculate Heart write-up in the Improper Bostonian
Life Without Envy in 18 Must-Read Nonfiction Books of September 2016 in Bustle
Why Having My Book Go Out of Print Was a Pretty Great Thing, After All in Publishers Weekly
My Intentional Writer interview with Alexis Donkin
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