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Lusty Lady

BLOG OF RACHEL KRAMER BUSSEL
Watch me talk about my debut as an author, Sex & Cupcakes: A Juicy Collection of Essays, in this Q&A with my publisher Thought Catalog Books

Friday, March 18, 2011

Rinse, lather, repeat

Lately, my writing life has been pretty dead. It's been all failure, rejection, self-sabotage, rinse, lather, repeat. I'm trying to claw my way out of that hole and try to find little successes alongside the failures and envision a bigger picture, a better future where I actually produce words that people want to read. Maybe that's all in my head, only time will tell, but first I actually have to get that vision in my head. I sat in the sun today, in parks, and I knew if I felt as hollow inside watching adorable small children run around as I have all week that something has to change.

In the meantime, I may be posting some of the rejects and other random things here. Or not. We shall see. I'm fighting my impulse to hit delete on this blog, my Tumblr, my Facebook, my Twitter, all of it. Social media especially feels stupid and draining and pointless a lot of the time, and like all the other stuff I'm doing, like chats and readings and BEA, like they are just the height of vanity and hubris, a way to look "busy" when I'm the exact opposite. Yet I have committed to them and even if it's just triage, I will keep doing those things until I figure out something truly worth creating. And some of the events, the ones that are unique, like my Seattle reading, I am truly looking forward to. I have an idea for NYC as well if I can find a way to make it worthwhile, but I've got lots of catching up to do first.

I've promised myself this is the last year I will be doing readings in the same way I have been, so I'm gonna go for it where places will have me and give it my all, and hope that there is a silver lining somewhere inside. Looking for it outside has been my fatal flaw and I see that now and am starting fresh, from the beginning. I may produce nothing, and that's okay, as long as I don't give up. Trust me, I've given up a million times, it's my instinct, my m.o., often what feels more natural than anything. It's what I've often come to expect of myself.

I know it may not look like it to people who just see what I have put out--I don't deny that I have accomplished plenty--but I know in my heart, the only place it matters, that I have done the barest of minimums, have let opportunities pass me right by because I was scared or thought I didn't deserve them. I've opted, for my whole life, for the easy way out. When things got tough, I got going, not with a fast ripping of the Band-Aid, but the slowest death possible, the most agonizing long way, maybe to punish myself, or because I wanted to give myself some second or third chance in the hope that this time would produce different results. I do want to live differently, even though I doubt my ability to do so, but when things are at their bleakest, I can only know that they must get better, or I must work to make them better.

I'm grateful for the glimmers of opportunities that have come my way recently, and hope I can honor them. And I'm thankful for all the people who provide examples of everything I haven't been but hope to be. You inspire me to try, again and again, and remind me that the perfect is indeed the enemy of the good.

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