27 November 2010

13 going on 30

Okay, so, I'm at query 13 out of 30 (and working on 14 while simultanteously writing this blog). There are days when motivation is hard to come by, which is why I feel the need to make the following list of the top 10 reasons I love being a writer.

Reason #1: I can work anywhere. My office is poolside, in a coffee shop, or in my pajamas (if I so desire).

Reason #2: I don't feel like I'm working. Writing is the single most enjoyable thing I know, other than making art and running. I am never happier than when I'm putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard), crafting prose or poetry.

Reason #3: I want a life without boundaries. If I am suddenly offered a roundtrip ticket to anywhere, I want to be able to take it...and bring my work with me, if necessary.

Reason #4: Documenting my experiences gives my life meaning. Moving about from country to country has left me with an immense desire to record my rovings. I'm not sure what it is about travel that makes life seem transitory, but it certainly seems to have that effect on me.

Reason #5: At this very moment, I am perfecting my craft. That's right - blogging is an entirely appropriate way to be spending my time at work. Awesome.

Reason #6: Writing keeps me smart. I'm continually thinking, analyzing, and, most of the time, anyway, actively involved in this process called life.

Reason #7: I happily work, even when I'm not working. Because I'm doing something I love, I am constantly thinking of new ideas, new pitch angles, new ways to improve upon what's already been done.

Reason #8: Work is 63% reading, researching, and thinking, 37% writing, editing, and revising. I like that "using my time effectively" often involves reading travel publications, eating at new restaurants, or brainstorming new travel destinations.

Reason #9: I am not meant to be employed. Anyone who knows me knows this is entirely true. I've never wanted to be in the confines of an office, unless it's an office that I purposefully lease and design. I love the freedom and responsibility of self-employment. I'm even okay with the long hours, unpredictable salary, and loneliness that sometimes comes with working alone.

Reason #10: I'm doing what I'm meant to do. There's no better feeling in the entire world.

09 November 2010

30 queries in 30 days

So, I've set a new challenge for myself: I am going to send 30 query letters to magazines, trade journals, or other publications in 30 days.

Chance of rejection: High.

Chance of a feeling of accomplishment: High.

Likelihood that I'll get a positive response: 30:1.

I'll be posting my responses here when I get them, assuming they're not too painful. I'm curious as to how the SASE envelope will work since I'm overseas, but I think I've figured out a reasonable solution for now.

And, so, the waiting begins.

11 September 2010

Repost: A self-reflective blog (thoughts of a 22-year-old me)

Originally posted: November 27, 2007.

I've learned lately that human beings tend to confront their emotions in a rather passive manner - in a way that disallows pain, hurt, anger, regret - basically any normal human emotion. I've watched my friends enter and exit "relationship" after "relationship" never fully allowing themselves the capacity of feeling that they deserve to have with another person.

I tend to think that this is in part due to our own pathological need for some semblance of reciprocal "neediness" from the other person. Yet, they are human, too - and probably looking for the same vulnerability in us. Perhaps we don't allow ourselves to fully delve into something until it is too late and we are already wrapped up and consumed with it. Perhaps this is the only true way to feel.

I tend to do this with family and sometimes friends. I block them out - cut them off at the surface - with the knowledge that if I don't get close to them, they can't hurt me. The most cutting words come from the people that you love and care about, right? So - isn't it sometimes easier to just let that relationship maintain it's buoyancy? Or is that just a passive way of not allowing real relationships?

Whatever the case may be - it's a cycle that we all fall into. It's a cycle that makes you fake, surface, unable to be hurt - to hurt - to be broken apart by someone else. That unbreakable spirit can rob you of true love and connection to another human being. It can rob you of true emotion as well. Emotion - even pain - can be a healthy and healing experience. I can say that from experience.

In fact, I can say that the depths of despair, blackness, darkness, and pain can cause one of two things. Firstly, it can make you bitter, cold, uncaring. I think that we tend to let this happen at first. If that doesn't happen, it can make us weak and unable to cope in the future. I think the trick is finding the happy medium.

In the end, we will inevitably hurt. The question is whether that pain is self-defeating and self-fulfilling. In putting up our shield, are we cutting out the oxygen?

30 January 2010

Reality check.

The other day, I received this reply e-mail to an application that I sent to an international school in Turkey:


Hi Stacy,
Thank you for your application.
Quickly, a bit more details about this post- You would teach English as a second language as the schools are Turkish. All the English department staff of the schools are Qualified teachers of English from either the UK or US, Australia, New Zealand etc...
have your realised this?
Kind regards