Information overload isn’t a new issue, nor is this the first time I’ve been stuck in it’s grip. The past couple of months have been quite overwintering. In the chaos there’s one thing that’s totally been neglected, my email inbox. I’ve managed a couple of times to clear it out but it seems to fill right back up. I have over 300 unopened emails in my inbox. Plus clearing out my inbox I tend to just move emails to folders that I intend to review later. So in addition to the unopened emails I have another buttload of emails waiting to actually be read. Most days I just scroll through opening anything that might be of importance and deleting junk. Every week or so I sit down intending to really clean it out, then anxiety sets it and I give up. It’s just too much, I’ll never have the time, and even if I do it’s a waste of time. With these thoughts ringing through my head is no surprise I can’t get through it.
The easiest solution would be to just delete everything. But as I’ve said it just fills back up again, plus I get nervous about just deleting it all. Would if I miss that one important article, contest, submission deadline, etc., that changes everything. I know ridiculous right. I admit I’m a bit of an information junkie. I’m always signing up for new online courses, subscribing to newsletters, following blogs, and don’t even get me started on social media. But the problem is I just can’t keep up with it. And I honestly wonder if it’s even worth it to. A lot of the information I collect is inspiration for my writing, career and business advice, self improvement advice, and generally just anything I think might be interesting or useful.
The funniest part is it’s never going to be useful if I never actually read it. I just feel so overwhelmed it’s essentially paralyzed me, I’m not sure where to even start. I’m sure I’m not alone in this issue and I’d love to hear how other deal with it. Please comment with any ideas or advice. Or simply let me know I’m not alone or being completely crazy.
Today makes it’s exactly five months since my move. I like it so far but it’s a big adjustment. I’m still not even used to the idea of not living in New York City. I’m glad to be out but do miss it, mainly because there isn’t much to do up here. The week of Thanksgiving I visited for a couple of days, hadn’t been gone long and it felt like I’d never left. With the chaos of the move followed by the holidays I’m finding real hard get back on track. Most of my time’s been spent getting to know the area, looking for a job and just getting settled in.
I let myself take it easy, trying to get my office together and working out new plans for my blogs, newsletter and Etsy shop. I’ve been slowly forcing myself to get back to writing, but my lack of concentration has made it very difficult. I did manage to write and publish a few new blog posts, in addition to the last two months newsletters. I’ve been stuck editing (actually rewriting) my novel for a couple of months now, barely making it to chapter five. Between the frustration and lack of structure to my days, I feel like I wasted a lot of time watching TV, playing games online and basically sulking around trying to figure out what to do with myself.
I’ve been working on different strategies and practices to boost my motivation and creativity. I have small library of books on writing with prompts and exercises I’ve tried working with. Also started readingThe Artist’s Way again, before the move I got about half way through. I wasn’t really putting much effort into the exercises and tasks. I really like the advice and approach of letting yourself explore your creativity without judgement. That’s not something that comes easy to me and often beat myself up or give up when I can’t meet my standards. It’s been helpful as I start experimenting with other creative art forms.
I just hope that soon things will start falling into place. It’s no surprise that the move would cause so much disruption. I just didn’t think I’d be working at a snails pace to get back on track. At this point all I can do is keep pushing myself.
Before I even moved in September, I located the nearest public library. Luckily, it is within walking distance. It was one of my the places I visited after the move. Since I’ve gotten a card I’ve tried to visit every couple of weeks. On one of my first visits I found the book, Why You Should Read Kafka Before You Waste Your Lifeby James Hawes. I actually haven’t read much of Kafka’s writing, but Metamorphosis is one of favorite books. I found it in my high school library and loved it so much it became the topic of an English paper. For which I read The Trial and compared the two stories. I didn’t know much about Kafka or even his significance in literature at that time. It seems my ignorance might have been a blessing.
According to Hawes, much of what we think we know about Kafka is not actually true. Much of what people think they know about him is actually part of a constructed image he refers to as the K-myth. Mainly this mythology promotes the idea of a poor, lonely, writer who suffered working a bureaucratic job. It goes into greater detail about so called facts about the writer and his work. Thankfully, most of which I had never heard. Hawes alleges, the less you know the greater chance you’ll enjoy reading Kafka. Below I’ve listed a few of the ones I found most interesting.
Kafka was poor. Okay so he did work a bureaucratic job that he wanted to leave. But being poor was not the reason. The author points out he made much more money than the average worker. Not only that he lived with his middle class family most of his life, owned a business with them, and was paid for his writing.
He was ignored by contemporaries and unknown in his lifetime. It’s hard to be unknown when you are publishing stories in prestigious journals. He was also in the same social circles as his contemporaries. In fact they arraigned for him to be awarded the prize money for an award given to another writer. He may not have been world famous during his lifetime, but he was well known in his city’s cultural society.
His work is based on his experience as a Jew and Jewishness is vital to understanding his writing. I’m not sure something like this should be said of any writer ever. But the author also points out that Jewishness wasn’t actually a large part of his life. Why then would it take up so much in his writing.
Every year I make a list of goals for the year. Usually I have a list a mile long, eventually I don’t even want to think about. Basically, I just overwhelm myself so it’s almost impossible to complete anything. This year I’m going to keep the list short hopefully it will help me focus and actually accomplish them. I’ll also try out the advice I’ve read to tape it somewhere you can see it. The past couple of years I’ve written in a journal or notebook and totally forgotten about it. I’ve just included the most important five, I’ll be working on a lot this next year but these, I absolutely must work on.
Whether we’re ready or not a new year is coming. It seems to have snuck up on me, really wasn’t it just summer. All kidding aside, I guess I’m looking forward to a new year, 2016 was pretty fucked. Seriously, it’s not just me saying it, check out this clip from John Oliver.
Well hopefully that was enough dwelling on how the past year sucked. I know of at least one reason we can look forward to a new year. Starting January I will be publishing a monthly newsletter. I bet that’s as exciting for you as it is for me. (lol) Seriously, it is kind of a big deal. The sign up button below will take to a page where you can sign up to receive my monthly newsletter. As a thank you I’ll send you two exclusive coupons for my Etsy shop.
Happy New Year!!! Wishing all your new year wishes come true.
So after weeks of procrastinating and second guessing myself I got my Etsy store up and running. Clicking the image below will take you there. Only have three listing up and it needs a lot more work. But I’ve learned I can’t keep pushing things back waiting for them to be perfect. I hope you’ll check it out, let me know what you think, hey you could even buy a little something. No pressure, seriously, I’d actually love to hear what you think or even ideas for things you might like to see. (If link below doesn’t work click here)
In coordination with the opening of my online shop, I’m starting a mailing list. I promise not to abuse it, constantly nagging you to buy stuff or selling your information. I am actually in the process of planning a monthly newsletter. My plan is for it to be a way to keep you updated on my work, new projects and share some more random writings of mine. I hope you’ll sign up and keep reading as I continue along this crazy road I’m wandering. (Just hope it ends somewhere near a happy writing life.)
The past couple of months have kind of been pure insanity in my life. Last post was a short recap of the Poetry Festival. I also posted some of the leftover inventory for sale online. I figured it was worth a shot to bundle some things up to see if I could make some quick extra sales. I started working on setting up a Etsy store but in the shuffle of life didn’t really follow through. As usual life got in the way and set me back a couple of steps.
It’s a long story I wont go into, but I had to leave my apartment by September and ended up moving to Pennsylvania. I’ve wanted to get out of the city for a while, though this was not the ideal situation or where I wanted to go, it’s what life dealt me. Compared to the option both myself and John working ourselves to death for a tiny studio apartment in Brooklyn, I think this was a good decision. Because everything was very short notice, I spent the rest of the summer packing and working as many hours I could at my part-time job.
It’s been a little over a month since the move. So far it’s not bad though I can actually walk to a grocery store and the other major things I need, but yeah I think it’s finally time for me to learn how to drive. But of all things it’s quiet and I just feel calmer here. That is when I’m not having major anxiety over what the hell I’m doing here. I’m not really sure the reality of it all has hit me yet. I’ve been trying to get myself into a routine and working on…like everything. I feel somewhat setback having to give up all my writing groups, volunteer work, and even my crappy part-time job. But I’m also hoping that this new start here might be a good thing. For now it kind of feels like a new adventure.
So the poetry festival came and went, along with some stormy weather that’s sticking around. It wasn’t a complete waste though, I was able to make a few sales Saturday before the downpour that cleared out the festival. Even one after, my best customer. (Thanks again Gonzo) Sunday I waited out the rain and went late. There wasn’t much of a turnout but I enjoyed the day just hanging out, listening to performances and even won a free raffle. I just have one little issue, more left to sell than I expected. So in honor of my first poetry festival as a vendor and the opening of my online shop, coming soon, I’m having a Post Festival Sale. I threw together some packaged deals in themed bundles.
Post Poetry Festival Sale Bundles
Deluxe Festival Bundle-$40
Includes one of every item I had on sale at the poetry festival.
One copy of both Pocket Poetry books, Drunken Poems and Life & Death
One of each poetry postcard featuring “The Dream”, “Clouds”, “Enjoy the Ride”, and “Black rose”
A top, mirror and buttons featuring poem lines.
One copy of Life & Death
One copy of Drunken Poems
Drunken Poems Bundle-$10
One copy of Drunken Poems
One of each of my poetry postcards featuring “The Dream”, “Clouds”, “Enjoy the Ride”, and Black rose
Button featuring a line from “Enjoy the Ride”
Prices do not include shipping & handling fees; additional $3 for Deluxe bundle, all others $2.
Bundle prices are discounted and there’s a limited supply of some items, get them while you can. If you are interested in individual items feel free to contact me by email at email@example.com, individual photos are available in my previous post. I am in the process of setting up a full online store and should have it up and running soon.
I’ve been looking for ways to get my writing into the hands of readers. The New York City Poetry Festival sounded perfect, so I will be there as a vendor. I’ll be selling small pocketbooks of poetry, postcards, handmade bookmarks, buttons, etc. (Most items are still in production, will update with pictures as they become available.)
It takes place the last weekend of the month, July 30th & 31st, on Governors Island. I can’t wait and hope to see you all there too.