Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Writing Begets Writing; Yes, You Can ALL Audit My Course via FFFridays; Announcing "Haute Hump Days"

This is a picture of my (3-year-old) soul flying through my nimble fingertips.
Writing is a frequent passion but sometimes burden of mine.  When inspired, my soul flies through my nimble fingertips and I feel somewhere in between witty and immortal.  When uninspired, I'd rather be shopping.  If I could write only when I felt like it, and indulge in my other passions (I do have a few more than shopping) the rest of the time, I'd feel quite fulfilled but would be entirely unemployable.  I'd also miss out on the unexpected joy and satisfaction that results from writing something inspiring, when uninspired.  This happens frequently enough to convince me that it's worthwhile to write habitually, even when I'm "not in the mood."  

So, writing habitually is exactly what I've been doing recently, but not so much for this blog.  Instead, pushing my book manuscript forward has dominated my time, focus, and energy.  After writing (or attempting to write) for hours at the office, coming home to lofty blogging goals has felt impossible and unfair to my brain.  (I am suddenly reminded of a punchline on Friends about the presumably lousy sex lives of heterosexual male gynecologists!)  

But I have good news to share.  While the book manuscript still looms, I've missed the easier idea flow of blog-writing.  I've missed the creativity, and the directness of expressing an emotion I'm currently experiencing rather than figuring out how a previously-experienced emotion might fit into a larger story arc.  I've missed the attainable-on-a-daily-basis sense of accomplishment that comes with clicking "post".

Over the past few weeks I've caught myself daydreaming about blog posts when I "should have been" plotting my plot structure or editing my edits.  I've actually told myself NOT to blog, even when feeling inspired.  I told myself that I needed to "save" my writing for the book.  This was well-intentioned, but dumb and unnecessary.  Writing begets writing.  Inspiration begets inspiration.  My different writing outlets ought not be compartmentalized.  So today I'm rebelling and it feels great.  I didn't write a word of "book" and I'm staying up past my bedtime to blog.  I'll figure out the rest tomorrow, but in the meantime, I want to share two of my blog daydreams.  You'll be seeing the fruits of these plans in the coming days and weeks.  Here goes:

1) Several weeks ago I described the course I'm teaching at UCLA, on the topic of "Gender, Appearance, and Inequality: From Evolutionary Psychology to Feminist Theory".  I'm in the midst of teaching the class right now and it's a whole-heck-of-a-lot-of-fun.  I can't get enough of the topic, and I'm inspired by how my students interpret the material and share their own experiences.  Several of you enthusiastically inquired if it would be possible to take the class online, or to audit the material.  I can't actually give an online course right now, but I can offer smidgebits of the material and themes through this blog.  Therefore, for the foreseeable future, "Fun Fact Fridays" will be structured around my course syllabus.  I'll share the syllabus itself, and as many readings as I can manage to, within copyright laws.  Knowledge is power, and should thus be shared! :)


This is my favorite image from our engagement
photo session.  I've worn this exact outfit in slightly
 different color combinations about 150 times since.

2)  I've been in a fashion slump.  I have always (okay, since the last few years) been a jeans & t-shirt + flowing cardigan kind of gal (see image on the left).  When I have a long day of writing planned, I aim to dress comfortably.  The aforementioned outfit fits the bill too a "t"(shirt), but I've basically been wearing different color combinations of the same outfit, on autopilot.  I'm not ashamed to be dressing for comfort and convenience, and I'm actually proud of my efficiency (sooo much better than obsessing!).  Yet I've missed the creativity and pride that accompanies more mindful and expressive dressing.  I truly believe that fashion can be body-positive brain-food when it captures your senses with color, texture, and pattern. To reconnect with these lost elements, I'm committing myself to "Haute Hump Days".  On Wednesdays, beginning this week, I'm going to spend a little extra time putting together an outfit that makes me happy.  I'll (gasp) share a photo of myself in said outfit, and write about it.  After a year of not looking at myself in the mirror or in photographs, it will be interesting to share up-to-date pictures of myself so publicly.  I'm not particularly interested in inviting snarky comments about my body or fashion sense, but I trust you all to keep it fun and fabulous.  Sally at www.alreadypretty.com is my inspiration here.  

Okay, that's all I've got for now.  Sleep awaits.

Have YOU ever found yourself in a fashion slump?  Did you care?  If yes, what did you do to push past the slump?

10 comments:

  1. Hurrah! Can't wait to see where you take it with Haute Hump days!

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  2. Excited to see some of the reading material for your class!! This all has become a favorite topic of mine. I've got all my granddaughters reading your blog.

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    1. I love that you've sent granddaughters to my blog - I love to think that it's accessible to all ages! Stay tuned for the course material...

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  3. Hmmm. A slump? Yes, frequently. Especially when my "can't live without" go-to outfits from last year seem lacking this year. But I do have some tricks that help. I pick one pair of bottoms. Any bottom, providing it fits, and is vaguely temperature and activity appropriate. No sweats in 90 degree heat, no silk skirt when I have to use power tools. But some bottom. Then I pick the first top I find doesn't actively clash. I accidentally discover new pairings that way. If I find that the top doesn't work, I see if there is a third item that might tie them together (belt, under-layer, sweater, etc.) If that still doesn't work, ok, move on. But I give it a really thorough attempt first. It is a bit like wardrobe roulette. The other thing I do is randomly dress up. If it is a day when I don't have to get messy, I deliberately aim for dressier sometimes, just for fun. This may include a nice dress.

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    1. I love the "wardrobe roulette" idea.. may have to try this myself!

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  4. Oh, I'm really excited to have these glimpses of your course. And I like the idea of the Wednesday features too. I know that I realized after nearly a year and a half of blogging that I was less interested in the photos of myself than I was in having relationships with other bloggers and considering meatier topics on my blog. Can't wait for the first Friday lesson.

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    1. Thanks Terri! I'm always excited to see your comments. :)

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  5. I found myself slumping, too! :) Some time last year, I decided I wanted to "tone down" my look. So I intentionally wore less (if any) make up, let my hair air dry (gasp!) and cleaned out my wardrobe with the exception of a few staples (jeans/shirts/shoes in all the basic colors). I learned how to be more comfortable in my less-made-up skin, and have since found a happy medium. I learned that I don't always have to wear a girdle or ruffles or big jewelery to feel pretty, and now it's a fun exception vs. an every day thing. Hurray for Haute Hump Days!

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    1. I love hearing from other women who have intentionally toned down their looks. I did this during my year without mirrors, and it was so eye opening to find out that people still treated me like a fun and creative person, even if I wasn't wearing "creative" clothes. I felt natural and relaxed... :)

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