My goal is to lose 40 pounds total (so, another 23, since I’ve already lost 17) but I’m going to keep an eye on how I look and stop when I think I look how I want to look, whether that’s above or below my initial goal.
(I’m referring to my Twitter feed in order to write this because it’s weirdly the most complete record I have of my life these days)
-Got straight A’s for the first time in my university career.
-Interviewed for a dream job of mine. Didn’t get it, but I am definitely reapplying next summer because a) I wannnnt the job and b) they told me I made a great impression on them and they were sorry they could only pick one candidate.
-Started a weight loss journey on May 2nd. Have lost ~17 pounds so far.
-Saw a bunch of amazing theatre (Of Human Bondage, Angels in America, Company, Glenn).
-Recorded a Magnetic Fields cover for a lovely lady’s wedding at her request.
-Vomited on public transit for the first time, after a night of raucous lunacy (a.k.a. tequila shots and part of a weed cookie).
-Saw Tegan and Sara play three times.
-Sat on a youth advisory committee for a Planned Parenthood project about technology, youth, and sexual health. Gave a presentation at a conference with the rest of the committee.
-Sold a lot more blog ads than I ever have before. It’s now the second-highest category from which I’ve received income this year so far (the first-highest being writing gigs).
-Got an iPad. Have been using it a lot for writing, editing photos, and dumb things like Netflix and Pinterest. It’s going to be extremely helpful once I go back to school.
-Traveled to Peterborough to spend a night with friends.
-Started work on a new album, with Max as my producer.
-Reworked my personal style concept into something more grown-up, sophisticated, classic and preppy.
-Made my magazine debut with a feature story on toxic sex toys in Herizons.
-Got published on xoJane.
-Robin Williams died. I don’t really have any words for this.
-For the first time ever in my academic career, acquired my own desk/workspace. LOVING IT.
This is weird; I literally just wrote a (long-ass) email to a blogger friend yesterday when she asked me this same question. Most of my advice was specifically tailored to her, though, so I won’t copy-and-paste!
1. Do your morning pages. They’re explained in detail in The Artist’s Way if you’re interested, but basically they’re just three longhand pages of stream-of-consciousness writing done first thing in the morning when you wake up. (I usually pee and fill up my water bottle before sitting down to do my morning pages, but, y’know, close enough.) They are often really boring and whiny, but the point isn’t for them to be interesting to read; the point is to clear out your brain and jumpstart it and get your writing muscles moving. I know it sounds a bit ridiculous or unlikely but it REALLY does help with productivity and creativity. When I’m doing morning pages every day, I’m a writing MACHINE, brimming with ideas and energy to work.
2. Read a lot. You can’t be a writer if you don’t read, IMO. But don’t marry yourself to one particular writer or genre, or you’ll end up a copycat. Read a wide variety of things, including (but not limited to) the genre(s)/medium(s) you aspire to write in.
3. Work on your spelling and grammar if that’s a problem for you. Spell-check will not always save you; in fact, it will frequently fail you.
4. Keep a notebook, index card, iPhone note, or some other similar thing – anything which you can keep on your person 100% of the time – to jot down ideas when they come to you. Trust me when I say that ideas, even good ideas, can disappear off the face of the earth sometimes if you don’t make a note of them somewhere. It’s so fucking useful to have a list of blog post ideas, pitch ideas, etc. to refer to when you have the time/energy to work – it’s really a hack against writer’s block because you let the ideas in as they come and then use them as you’re able. Inspiration and energy don’t always strike at the same time so develop ways around that fact.
5. I like George Orwell’s writing tip about how you should avoid using any phrases/metaphors/figures of speech that you have ever seen in writing before (“sick as a dog,” “manicured lawns,” “crazy in love,” etc). I don’t believe you should avoid these sorts of phrases ALL the time, since they can be used to great effect on occasion – but it is usually more interesting to come up with your own way of phrasing whatever you’re trying to express. Writing feels punchier and more memorable when you use metaphors and phrases and figures of speech that the reader has never heard before, and has to really think about and process instead of just glossing over.
6. Edit. Proofread. Read your shit out loud. Read it to someone else. Look for holes in logic, missing words, unclear ideas, unexplained assumptions. Make sure everything makes sense and would still make sense if you were a reader who had never heard of whatever you’re writing about.
7. Figure out what sorts of environmental triggers help or hinder your productiveness, and set up your workspace(s) accordingly. I like soft instrumental music, a comfortable temperature, clothes I can move in, a big cup of tea or coffee and lots of water, good light (preferably natural), and minimal technological distractions. That’s the ideal; I’m not always able to achieve that, but those are the conditions under which I write best. Figure out yours and make ‘em happen. If that means you have to buy some stuff to upgrade your space (oscillating fan, looseleaf tea, new lamp, better speakers, whatevs), do it if you’re able.
8. Make your first sentence and first paragraph interesting. If they’re boring, the whole piece will fail.
9. Look carefully at your verbs and adjectives – all of them, if you have that kind of editing time – and replace the more boring/mundane/ordinary ones with snappier, punchier, more unique and interesting ones. You can convey a more specific message with more specific words. Sounds obvious but it’s true and worth considering. (It’s like that scene in Dead Poets Society… “A man is not ‘very tired,’ he is exhausted… He’s not ‘very sad,’ he’s morose.”)
10. Heed that now-somewhat-famous Ira Glass quote about how beginners in creative fields often have tastes that far exceed their talents. Your talent will catch up to your tastes. There will be a time when you like what you write, if you keep at it, even if you think you’re no good now. Get your 10,000 hours in (that’s a Malcolm Gladwellism if you feel like researching it).
It would be so great if I could walk to school and back every single day. It’s a 4.4 mile round-trip so that would be 22 miles a week, which is great exercise, AND it would save me transit fare. (Metropasses are so fucking expensive!!)
But I know I won’t have the willpower to keep up that good habit once it starts to get cold out, and dark in the mornings, and my S.A.D. creeps in for the winter.
Then again, maybe the very act of exercise helps encourage more exercise by increasing energy levels and overall happiness. And maybe the more I do it, the more physically and emotionally resilient I’ll become around things like snow and wind and ice.
The weight loss method that’s working for me, which you would probably consider “slow” (1-2 pounds a week at most), is using MyFitnessPal to stick to a daily calorie maximum that’s calculated from where I am now and where I want to be.
Healthy weight loss is slow and sustainable. Any method that lets it happen quickly will make it very easy for you to gain it all back because you won’t learn good habits during the process, not to mention fast weight loss can be very damaging to your body in lots of different ways.
I guess the second part didn't arrive!! Well, I went and read your article and I really enjoyed it! You write so well. The article was easy to read, it was friendly as though you writing to friends which I found so nice and made me want to read more. You posted here that you're an expert only on your own style which I found strange because while reading your article I found myself thinking I should explore my own style and try new things. It was inspiring. You are an awesome writer Kate!
Thank you so much, love. This is so heartening to read because I stressed SO MUCH about that piece. Like, way more than I stressed about the 2,000-word magazine feature I wrote earlier this year. Eek.
Kate, first off I wanted to let you know that I practically have an anxiety attack when I post here because you're such a good writer and express yourself so well, there is no way that I could ever express myself so eloquently and I'm afraid you're going to sit there and shake your head at my mistakes!
Oh babe! Don’t even worry about that! Thank you so much for the kind words, but seriously, when people write to me in my ask box, it’s not like I’m sitting here judging them for how they write. I view it more like a communiqué between friends, which certainly doesn’t have to be fancy.
You wrote “first off,” which makes me think that maybe there was supposed to be a second part to this, but I haven’t received one yet. I’ll keep watching my inbox, but if you don’t see me reply to the next part within a few minutes, re-send it, okay? xox
I don’t know if I’ll be writing any more fashion articles anytime soon, though, because I had several full-on anxiety attacks while trying to make the photos happen. (My solo camera setup was being uncooperative and for a short while I thought I wasn’t going to be able to enlist any of my photog friends to help me out.)
But it was fun to write about clothes (shoes)! It’s interesting that personal style is something I’ve always been intrigued by, and that’s always been a part of my life (wardrobe remix, anyone?), but that I’ve never really written about professionally. I had to do a “test task” for an internship application last year that involved writing a snappy summary of summer fashion trends for female executives, and I was really intimidated by writing about fashion for some reason.
I think I just don’t consider myself an expert on any of the traditional/conventional aspects of fashion. I’m an expert on my own personal style and what I like to wear. I don’t really keep up with trends, or if I do, I just watch them with amusement from afar.
Positive habits I hope to get into, and stay into, this semester:
-Getting my readings and homework done on time every week. But like, duh. I think having a physical to-do list all up in my face on my desk will help with this, because I am one of those people who gets immense satisfaction out of putting checkmarks in little boxes.
-Working out every Tuesday and Thursday afternoon. On Tuesdays I only have class from 9AM to 1PM and on Thursdays I don’t have any class until 6PM, so that leaves my afternoons wide open for treadmill time or yoga or whatevs. I’ve been working out semi-regularly for the past few months but always just “when I felt like it” and not on any sort of schedule. It would be nice to have it be regimented, built into my routine, so I would definitely do it.
-Some kind of Sunday ritual where I summarize the past week’s achievements for myself and map out the next week’s tasks and goals. I was reading about Sunday rituals on Cal Newport’s blog today and his suggestions are fucking raaaaad, but they are also very focused on studying and academic goals, because that’s his thing; I want my Sunday ritual to acknowledge all aspects of my life. If I fucked up in one of my relationships or ate poorly or didn’t work out or didn’t get enough sleep, I want that stuff to be acknowledged when I assess what went wrong and how to fix it.
-More pitching, more writing. Maybe part of my Sunday ritual could be generating 3-5 pitch ideas, writing them up and sending them off. My portfolio is finally big enough and prestigious enough that I feel proud to send the link to publications at the bottom of my pitches. This is exciting.
-Daily morning pages on 750words.com. Okay, this is ALWAYS one of the goals I set when starting a new chapter of life and I never seem to stick with it for some reason. Well, I know the reason: it’s that I can never be bothered to get up early enough to do it. But this semester I only have one 9AM day and the rest range from 11AM to 6PM (!) so there’s really no excuse. GET ON IT, KATE. (If you’re wondering why I pressure myself to do morning pages, the reason is that they make me hella creative and focused. They’re a tool from Julia Cameron’s amazing book The Artist’s Way and that lady knows what she’s talking about when it comes to creativity and artist output.)
-Read for pleasure if at all possible. I’ll have a lot of reading to do this semester but I want to finish my big re-read of the Harry Potter series, dammit.
-Wear jewelry from my extensive collection more often.
-Journal daily or semi-daily. More documentation all the time. Yes yes yes.
-Set aside Friday as a “work date” day. That means dragging myself to a coffee shop or library, either alone or with a friend, with my laptop and a good chunk of whatever work needs to be done for school that week. I might have Friday off or I might have a class from 10AM to 1PM – that part of my schedule isn’t solidified yet – but either way, I can find the time to get some work done on that day.
1- I am glorious above all things 2- Eat when hungry, sleep when sleepy, play when bored 3- Affection is given and received on my terms and only mine 4- Show displeasure clearly. 5- NO 6- Demand the things you want. If they aren’t given, demand them again, but louder this time. 7- If you are touched when you don’t want to be, say so. If they continue to touch you, make them bleed.
You know what’s weird is that for some reason I never see people saying that closeted gay people have ‘straight passing privilege’ it is almost like people can recognize that being denied an essential part of your identity is not actually a great thing unless that identity is ‘bisexual’ wow weird I wonder why that is
ugh, I had such a sexy dream where I was making a movie with Josh Radnor and we had to make out in one of the scenes and afterward I was like “uhh I actually felt those feelings for real, I was enjoying that” and he was like “me too” and we made out some more.
I actually don’t even consider Josh Radnor one of my big celebrity crushes but for some reason almost all of my sexy dreams lately have been about him. I suppose this probably means something and indicates something about what I think his personality is like and what kind of person I am finding myself attracted to at this time in my life.
I don’t know man, I just want to make out with Josh fuckin’ Radnor
Why is it that people are willing to spend $20 on a bowl of pasta with sauce that they might actually be able to replicate pretty faithfully at home, yet they balk at the notion of a white-table cloth Thai restaurant, or a tacos that cost more than $3 each? Even in a city as “cosmopolitan” as New York, restaurant openings like Tamarind Tribeca (Indian) and Lotus of Siam (Thai) always seem to elicit this knee-jerk reaction from some diners who have decided that certain countries produce food that belongs in the “cheap eats” category—and it’s not allowed out. (Side note: How often do magazine lists of “cheap eats” double as rundowns of outer-borough ethnic foods?)
Yelp, Chowhound, and other restaurant sites are littered with comments like, “$5 for dumplings?? I’ll go to Flushing, thanks!” or “When I was backpacking in India this dish cost like five cents, only an idiot would pay that much!” Yet you never see complaints about the prices at Western restaurants framed in these terms, because it’s ingrained in people’s heads that these foods are somehow “worth” more. If we’re talking foie gras or chateaubriand, fair enough. But be real: You know damn well that rigatoni sorrentino is no more expensive to produce than a plate of duck laab, so to decry a pricey version as a ripoff is disingenuous. This question of perceived value is becoming increasingly troublesome as more non-native (read: white) chefs take on “ethnic” cuisines, and suddenly it’s okay to charge $14 for shu mai because hey, the chef is ELEVATING the cuisine.
-buy yourself a new lipstick (the code TXT will get you free shipping from the MAC website)
-close your bedroom door and curl up under the covers with a good book for a few hours
-draw a hot bath, dump some Epsom salts in there, and put some jazz on
-look up what movies are playing and go see one; eat as much or as little popcorn as your heart is calling for
-discover a new way to masturbate
-turn off all your electronics and find a more nourishing way to spend your day than looking at screens
-go for a brisk walk and don’t stop until you feel you’ve pushed yourself at least a little
-stretch for 5+ minutes
-make a big bowl of oatmeal with cinnamon and fruit of your choice
-get a rolling pin from a thrift store and reappropriate it as a foot massager
-soak your hair in coconut oil for an hour or more before your next shampoo
-moisturize your entire body
-turn off your phone and take a nap
also could the world quit telling bisexual people that theyre pansexual okay if a person identifies as bisexual theyre fuckin bisexual, if a person identifies as pansexual then theyre fuckin pansexual youre not the fuckin orientation police
Just a reminder that there is nothing wrong with wanting attention from people and seeking it out. We all do it but it’s so often condemned as a bad behavior, especially in women, even though it’s an incredibly natural and normal thing to do.
If someone doesn’t like the way you live your life, it’s their responsibility to put their attention elsewhere - not your responsibility to make your presence more bearable to them.
Don’t tell a young bisexual who just became open and comfortable with herself that she’s a closet lesbian. If you feel the need to, superglue is sold at most grocery stores and works wonders on keeping your fucking mouth shut.
the US is unreal like girls cant wear shorts to school, you can literally lose your job for being gay, and unarmed black children are brutally murdered on the regular but old white ppl r still like “what a beautiful country. i can freely carry a gun for no reason and some of our mountains look like presidents. god bless”
“Man goes to doctor. Says he’s depressed. Says life seems harsh and cruel. Says he feels all alone in a threatening world where what lies ahead is vague and uncertain. Doctor says, “Treatment is simple. Great clown Pagliacci is in town tonight. Go and see him. That should pick you up.” Man bursts into tears. Says, “But doctor…I am Pagliacci.””—
in movies, whenever a hot guy fake-flirts with an “ugly” girl and she gets all flustered, it’s intended to be a funny joke and make u think the girl is pathetic for believing such an attractive man could be interested in her. ur supposed to hate the girl.
but whenever a hot girl fake-flirts with an ugly guy and he gets all flustered, it’s intended to make u feel bad for the guy and think the girl is a Bitch. ur supposed to hate the girl.