It’s New Year’s and so I’ve been faffing around — we all agree that “faffing around” is the best British-ism, yes? — with New Year’s resolutions. I like to set a resolution or two but inevitably I forget them within weeks, which is fine, since it’s usually something like “Accept more social invitations” that is just not going to happen short of a brain transplant. It’s possible that my New Year’s resolution every year of my adult life has been “Accept more social invitations.”
I was thinking this year that my resolution should be something like “Be more present,” but that’s pretty easy, since I know that if I set my phone to black-and-white mode I magically stop wanting to watch Instagram Stories from my college classmates who are on Broadway now and/or Smitten Kitchen. Voila! Presence. I look forward to a more fulfilling future spent watching my friends and loved ones watch their Instagram Stories.
One could also argue that my resolution should be “Plan a wedding,” but I’m digging this concept my fiancé and I came up with (still funny that I have a fiancé; feels like the kind of thing I should say through a cigarette hanging from the corner of my mouth, wearing shoulder pads) where we rent out an Applebee’s and everyone wears sweatpants. Voila! Wedding. (Just kidding, Mom!)
Anyway, the more important thing is that they say that how you spend New Year’s Day is how you spend the year to come, and it’s nine P.M. and I haven’t left the house, so I think it’s gonna be a good one.
So. New Year’s resolutions. I’ve been feeling conflicted lately about my writing. I’ve had this blog for several years now and the essays I publish have gotten some attention here and there, but I’m beginning to realize that self-publishing on WordPress isn’t the best way to channel my creative energy. I haven’t been especially proud of anything I’ve published in the past couple of years, because I spend weeks to months noodling on genuinely good ideas and then vomit them out in the course of a weekend in a rush to publish to a relatively small audience. I feel stressed when I don’t write and inadequate when I do, with no editor to challenge and improve me and, of course, no remuneration. (Except the one zillion likes I get whenever I mention my eating disorder on Instagram, because everyone loves trauma!)
This is a solvable problem. People get paid for their writing all the time. Even bad writing! I’ve been paid for my writing! (I also had a stint as an SEO blogger for the cottage industry that’s sprung up to sue on behalf of people who had bad run-ins with vaginal mesh, but that’s not really what I’m looking for in a career as a writer.) It’s not as easy as pressing Publish on WordPress, and I’m pathologically lazy, but I’ve made exceptions in the past — twelve years of ballet come to mind — and I think I can figure it out.
At the same time, I love the instant gratification of blogging and social media, and my mission is a writer is to make people feel less alone in what they experience. This blog, and my Instagram, make great tools to achieve that mission, used in parallel as I grind out the novel that I’m finally gaining steam on and develop and pitch essays to real outlets.
I’m not saying my New Year’s resolution is to get paid for my writing, but I like an obvious inflection point, and there’s no time like today to shift this blog’s focus from sporadic, standalone, occasionally saccharine essays to more regular (and maybe more incisive?) meditations on daily life and culture.
I guess this is a public commitment to leaning into my identity as a writer. I hope that I’ll be posting here more regularly and that eventually, you’ll see the fruits what I’m laboring on in the background in a more refined format.
This is still the anti-lifestyle blog. Subscribers need not worry that I’ll start pummeling you with details of my workout regimen or photos of me wearing hats on pastel staircases in foreign countries, and friends and loved ones need not worry that I’ll air out their laundry for all the world to see. (Exes should continue to cower in fear.) I’m just excited to practice the art of writing, and to make obvious references to B-sides from lesser Taylor Swift albums, on a more regular basis.
I hope you like it.