People have asked me a lot since getting laid off, "What do you want to do?" The truth is, I love all the varied parts of my work, the fun and community of cupcake blogging, the learning from interviews, the enforced deadline and honor of getting to write a sex column, the introspection and politics from personal essays, the creativity of writing short stories and, back to community, the thrill of getting to publish and pay other people and put together books that are greater than the sum of their parts. I do enjoy the mania of book promotion, the having someone design postcards and mailing giant packages of them, the posting excerpts, the making videos, though plenty of times that feels like useless awful busywork, fake work, even, like something that "real" writers don't do, but I'm trying to train myself out of that way of thinking. I'm also learning that when you hate it is the time to quit, and the best thing I did last year was end In The Flesh when it became clear that I was in way over my head. I know that's an option if things reach that point with anything else I do, but I feel that my job now is to find the time, creativity and energy to make sure I meet my goals and commitments, and keep pushing myself to actually take the next step, as petrifying as that may be.
I love getting to edit sex diaries every week and all the worlds that have opened to me since I shucked the poor fit of law school and stepped into a career, or rather, leapt without knowing a damn thing, that fits much better. At the same time, I don't romanticize brokeness. I have major debt I'm trying to dig my way out of. I want to move past the status quo and reach higher. I'm most proud of pitching and striving to break into new venues this year. I love traveling and won't always have frequent flyer miles. I said last year I wouldn't do any more readings and because I'm desperate for all the hard work that went into Best Sex Writing 2012 to pay off, literally and figuratively, I'm trying to swing as many readings in as many stores as I'm blessed enough to host me.
So...who knows where 2012 will lead? Certainly not me. But I want to approach it with a healthier attitude, not one of lamenting all I haven't done or feeling utterly overwhelmed, but welcoming each day's blank slate and blank pages, ready to be filled. I know I'm extremely lucky, and I cannot afford to waste my time here on earth, however long I'm lucky to get. So this is, as always, a very selfish post to remind me to keep on keeping on, and to love my days at Gimme Coffee as much as my days in far-away places.