I'm in the midst of lots of deadlines and reading for reviews and interviews and to do lists and generally figuring out how to prioritize my time and who I want to be, whether any of this is worth it or the ultimate vanity. Freelancing has taken over my life, and some days that feels exciting and amazing; to not have to rush back to a cubicle after BEA was something utterly new, and I am grateful for that, but at the same time, I wonder how long I can sustain this, whether it makes sense or I'm fooling myself that I can "make it," not that I even know what that means. Do I reach for the stars and pursue a nonfiction opportunity that would be lend me credibility outside the sex writing field, would give me access to people and experiences I would never have otherwise? Do I keep pecking away at the project I thought I could blaze through two weekends ago and instead have left to linger? Do I keep editing anthologies because I love it even if the sales sometimes disappoint me or throw in the towel after the latest deadlines and find something more lucrative to do with my time? (I will probably always edit anthologies, but I want to keep doing it because it's fulfilling and wise, not just because I'm so used to it I can't brainstorm anything else to do.)
I have no idea, and sometimes it feels like to take time to even think about it is blasphemous and wasteful. That's why I bought Chris Gillebeau's The Art of Non-Comformity last night at Bluestockings. I saw it sitting on a stack of books while I was feeling like a failure for hosting a reading where there were more cupcakes than attendees, and knew I needed to do something different, not make the same mistake ad infinitum. I know that there are possibilities glimmering just within reach; even when I sit on my ass, sometimes they make their way to me, as if knowing I need them, need someone to believe in me, but the truth is I need to believe in myself, to figure out what I want to do and then, well, do it. So I'm in the process of figuring that out, and trying to purge the extraneous from my life in order to get down to basics.
I often dream of escape, make plans to go somewhere--anywhere--else, to get away from it all, but all those never-attempted dreams and goals follow me wherever I go, and always will unless I pursue them. I know that it will require the fortitude to say no, to social endeavors, to professional opportunities, in order to get to that finish line, and I am so used to saying yes I have no idea if I have it in me to learn the art, the blessing, the beauty of no, but I hope I can, so that when I do say yes it's as someone who's proud of herself, not wishing for more time and berating herself for what she hasn't done. That's not a healthy way to live, and I want to be as proud of my work as I am of the people I interview and the people I'm a fan of. I'll get there, if I dedicate myself. It's damn fucking hard, that's for sure. I had a conversation with an editor this week and was glad it was by phone, so she couldn't see me practically choking on my shock that she thought I was up to the task she was suggesting I was. It's exciting but scary, but I guess that's what I get for being adrift in this world where I'm responsible for myself, where there's no paycheck safety net or set path to follow.
Here's a shot from last night's Bluestockings Suite Encounters reading. I am taking a break from events for the most part, save for a July 25th Babeland SoHo writing workshop, and a few assorted ones in other cities, to focus on writing. I hope I have good news to share on the writing front by end of summer! And if I don't, I'll just stay glued to my laptop until I do.
With Erobintica and Suleikha Snyder