Quantify it.

So I am, what now? On a scale of 1 to 10, what?

I’m a seven in prettiness,

a six in brains,

a two in articulation,

an eight in presence,

four in emotional brattiness,

five in the ability to be realistic,

three as compared to your peers,

nine when compared to my peers,

a one in confidence.

Come on. Come on, multiply me. Make me more than the sum of my parts.

Tools for damn good writing.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Angst
  • Put someone up on a pedestal. Now watch him fall off. Re-play that image in your mind as you write.
  • A bottle of cheap wine
  • Breaking (not broken) heart
  • A romantic predisposition
  • A dash of real eccentricity
  • A feeling that you don’t quite belong
  • A hesitancy to speak. A propensity to collect scaps of paper and scribble on them
  • A love/hate relationship with food. Strong opinions about flavors and textures
  • Strong tendecies toward apathy regarding politics
  • Guns N’ Roses, or if not that…Coldplay can work, but if that isn’t for you, try Getz/Gilberto
  • Feelings of inadequacy, or feelings of grandeur. Pick one
  • Did I mention angst? It’s the writer’s best friend.

Use your words.


Use your words.


Take heart, broken sad heart. Autumn is on its piper way, and with it, orange-red something somethings

no no no


(Deep breaths, girl.

Okay, try again. And a one, a two.)


Take heart, sad heart. Autumn is on its way, marching forth, and with it, fire-crossed embers that seal off pain. Isn’t that what they did? Sear the skin with molten coals to prevent bleeding? And didn’t they




Didn’t they—


Um, didn’t they used to (something poetic and profound to be written here)


(Deep breaths, honey)


Oh God. I cannot write.



Do you keep a journal, or does it keep you? I often wonder about this, the systematic recording of one’s thoughts, feelings, wishes, fears, desires, episodes, et cetera. I mean, why? Why do it?

Because it’s cathartic, it reminds us of where we’ve been, it shows us how strong we are when we see how far we’ve come.

In college, I was enchanted with author and libertine Peter McWilliams. He wrote a couple of books that were absolutely critical to me. One of them was Come Love With Me and Be My Life. In it, he records the beginning, middle, and end of a romantic love experience. It’s almost voyeuristic to read, because it’s journalistic in nature, and no doubt anyone who’s been through a heartbreak (or two) could relate. One of my favorite entries:

I write only
until I cry,
which is why
so few poems
this month
have been
It’s just