so, you think you can write?

here's a little bit of everything.

My original intro was ‘TGIF!’ but I immediately cringed at the thought of sending that out non-ironically (sorry, Katy) and settled on a slightly less awkward greeting.

Hi, I hope your February’s treating you well!

I’ll be honest; this newsletter ended up being slightly longer than I initially anticipated, so I’ll save you a bit of time.

TL;DR? - the breakdown of this week’s newsletter by subheadings!

  • my existential crisis of the month

  • personal (mostly writing) goals for 2021

  • write like a motherf*cker - Cheryl Strayed’s best writing advice

  • a song I like to write to

  • please share your thoughts with me


HAPPY VALENTINES DAY, HERE’S AN EXISTENTIAL CRISIS, FROM ME TO YOU!
WARNING: the next sentence may contain one of the most gen z/millennial things you have ever read, but hear me out.

A few months ago, in the midst of one of my *many* existential crises, I stumbled across the most life-changing tweet (yes, a tweet) I have ever read. One that made me feel heard and safe and just a little less alone sent out by author Amber Sparks, so I’m sharing it with you:

followed by this one:

I often find myself getting overwhelmed with thoughts of five-year plans (or lack thereof) and this need to reinvent and produce regularly.

Some people have a purpose in this lifetime, and that’s great!

I, on the other hand, am not one of those people. That’s not to say I have no goals or desires because I do. I just don’t think my life was meant to be confined to a single purpose.

You’ve heard the idiom, “jack of all trades, master of none,” thrown around as an insult, well guess what? There’s nothing wrong with that.

Often when I find something I’m half-decent at, I feel this immense pressure that I need to keep producing and reinventing it, or else what’s the point? An unfortunate result of our toxic productivity culture.

The thing is, I want to do things that make me content, and I only want to continue so long as they do.

I want to spend the rest of my life trying a little bit of everything. I want to make pottery, and go scuba diving, and re-learn French; and the reality is, I’m going to be bad at most things I try, and that’s okay.

I’ll leave that rant here before it becomes nonsensical, but I wanted to share the sentiment with you because it’s an inner-conflict most of us experience at some point.


MY GOALS IN 2021

I did tell you I had some goals! (as they pertain to @tipsyloveletters):

  • continue expanding my blog, maybe finally figure out what vibe I’m going for :/ But I recently updated the look (for the fifth time this month); I think it looks much better on a desktop than on the phone. Let me know what you think (also about pages are very hard to write, haha!)

  • start submitting my writing more frequently and intentionally. I want to submit pieces I’m proud of and not just meh towards.

  • spend my free time doing things I like, i.e. participate in more webinars since c*vid is limiting my ability to experience things face-to-face.


‘WRITE LIKE A MOTHER-F*CKER’ - advice from Cheryl Strayed

Do you have any writing goals this month/year? I find myself going through a period of dissatisfaction with everything I write lately. I promised a post on writer’s block, and it’s coming, but until then, here’s some of the best writing advice I’ve ever read.

About a year ago, I saw a snippet of an article shared by Instagram poet Kayla Simon’s story. Someone had written in expressing her frustration with writer’s block, asking author Cheryl Strayed, ‘how does one become the writer she wishes to be?’

As writers, we often compare ourselves to those whose work we admire, and while we might draw inspiration from the pieces we love now and then, this makes critiquing our own work a horrible experience.

At the end of the day, we all have our own styles and tone that come across in our work, and trying to critique your work through the lens of a writer you admire is only ever a disservice to yourself. We get stuck in this slump of dissatisfaction with our own work because it doesn’t sound the way we would like to sound or the way we see ourselves.

Being a writer can often be very egotistical (but not necessarily in a bad way, before you get defensive). I’ll write more about how writing and ego go hand-in-hand soon, but it’s also something Cheryl Strayed touched on in her response when addressing how she finally put her book together.

She said the key to being the writer you want to be and are to me is humility.

Here’s my favourite chunk of her response:

I highly recommend reading the entire article. It’s one I go back to time and time again, but I won’t waste more of your time trying to paraphrase it all. If you do read it, shoot me a message and let me know what you thought!


A SONG I LISTEN TO WHILE WRITING

I listened to this one on repeat while writing a poem inspired by the prompt ‘Hanahaki Disease,’ that I shared on Instagram. If you missed it, you could read it here.


SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS

I want to curate my newsletter to best suit your needs, wants and interests. If there's anything you want to know more or less about, have any suggestions, feel free to let me know down below! I will be leaving it at the bottom of each newsletter in the future.

Please send me an anonymous note here! Or send me a DM!

Talk to you soon!

Love always,

-Todo