2012.

I am welcoming the new year by Skyping with one of my best friends and giving myself permission to ditch the usual format because otherwise I will not post before midnight. I can do that, because guess what? Here, I am self employed. Happy New Year, loves; may it be good to you.

Obligation.

I didn’t have anything to say today, because I was struggling with some pretty intense personal shit and wanted to tell the world to fuck off. From oversleeping this morning to physical ailments to having to follow through on social commitments I wished I’d not agreed to, blogging was just not something I was gonna fit in, and so what if I didn’t.

But I know that if I skip a day, I can justify skipping another. So, I’m writing. Because I said I would write something here each day – I never said it would be worth reading.

Today’s lead: The Forecaster. Don’t know much about it yet except that it’s been around for a while and covers all of southern Maine.

Today’s home office prep step: I brought in the rest of the crap I bought that will make rearranging my bedroom a little bit fun and not just a chore. This is pertinent because my home office is in my bedroom.

Today’s brainstorm: I bought my membership to the Barefoot Writers club. Gonna spend some time this weekend reading the introductory reports and taking notes.

So there.

Retail Therapy

Today and tonight don’t allow for much face time with my computer, so I’m just hitting the daily bullet points.

Today’s lead: Portland Monthly Magazine. I know they have actively solicited articles from people I know not to be writers, and offered to work closely with them to produce a great end result.

Today’s office prep step: I’m not going to go wild, but I am going to do some shopping tonight. I need some good pens, a couple of storage containers for various publications, and a new file box and tabbed folders. I saw this really fun use of magazine holders on Pinterest and am considering something like this in the recessed corner of my living room:

Source: flickr.com via aglaia531 on Pinterest


Today’s brainstorm: I’m going to use the Evernote app on my phone to scan in resource pages from freelancing and writing books I own so they’re accessible across my devices and I don’t have to carry the physical books around if I work outside the home.

Poetry.

So I was all excited about signing up for a daily writing prompt, and I was super gung-ho to open the email this morning, and then I did, and the prompt is to write a poem, and I sort of sagged in my seat, instantly deflated. Of course the first freaking day would address my written word Achilles’ Heel, my nemesis, my personal hell. So, instead of writing a poem, which I cannot do, I will write about why I can’t write poetry. Or won’t, as I’m sure my rabid fans will remind me is the literal truth. Yes, I could write poetry, but it would be absolute drivel and I refuse to subject even myself to reading what would result.

I don’t understand poetry. I can never be certain that I am understanding it the way the author meant it, there’s no context from which I can glean motivation or intent. I don’t know why it is, but a metaphor that is structured in a paragraph, spoken by a character in a novel, makes perfect sense to me. That same metaphor, written into a stanza of a poem, may as well be in Sanskrit. Either the meaning seems too obvious, and so I’m certain I’m missing the deeper, more profound connection, or I quite honestly cannot understand the words the way the author has put them together. It’s a serious mental block, and one I’ve yet to even begin to dismantle.

I think the root of my problem is that I’ve primarily encountered poetry in a classroom setting, and there is no worse feeling for me than the humiliation of being wrong – or not being entirely right – in front of someone, even one person, let alone a professor and a cadre of fellow students. Poetry is so open to interpretation, so mutable, so… punishing of the perfectionist! I want to be able to comprehend the full meaning of what I’ve read without question, without fear that I am just not smart enough to pick up what the author is putting down. Intellectually, I know that poetry, more than prose, allows for our self – our personality, our current position in our world, our past – to shape how we interpret the piece. I understand that that’s part of the beauty of poetry, the fact that understanding does not only have one form. In my fearful little heart, though, I am terrified that my interpretation will be the only one in the world that is just wrong, wrong, wrong.

Maybe writing it wouldn’t be so scary, because I’d know what it meant. I guess I’ll have to think on that.

Moving on to the fun stuff!

Today’s lead: Salacious Magazine. This isn’t a new one, per se, but it’s at the front of my mind because I submitted a couple of pieces for consideration for their next issue. I haven’t told many people because I don’t want to have to share the news of my rejection if it comes to that, but it’s my first attempt at publication, so I’m not going to be completely devastated if it does. I just might cry a little bit, that’s all. :)

Today’s office prep step: I came up with a design idea for my new logo! That gets me one step closer to business cards, a header for this page, and all kinds of fun swag.

Today’s brainstorm: I’m fleshing out an article idea I had while working on a friend’s resume, and taking a tip from the AWAI “The Writer’s Life” newsletter.

Welcome!

Life has a certain flavor for those who have fought and risked all that the sheltered and protected can never experience. ~ John Stuart Mill

Welcome to FemmeFlavor.com!

Home to my pet projects, FolioFiles, which has gotten the most attention (though in fits and starts), and The Frugal Femme, my initial product review adventure which hasn’t been updated in quite some time, Femme Flavor itself has never had an identity of its own. Until now.

It’s time to get back to writing, kids, and this time, I’m not messing around. I am going to begin dedicating a set amount of time each day, greater on the weekends, to building a freelance writing business. I have spent enough years trying to turn jobs into careers, working hours that don’t fit my life, and letting my fear of failure keep me from pursuing such a risky move. Because it is a risk. I know that. I know that even if I can generate enough income to leave the 9-5 world, there are no guarantees, no benefits, and no one to hold me accountable but me. But you know what? I think I got this.

So, I’m going to write something – anything – here every day, and share one lead I’ve discovered, one step I’ve taken toward creating a viable home office, and one original idea – a possible article topic, potential title for a piece, a new way to build my social network, etc. I’m giving myself this last week of 2011 to redesign the page so I have a fresh, clean look to start with, and to set some goals so I’m ready to jump right in with the start of the new year. Here’s to new beginnings, and to a successful 2012!

Today’s lead: The Bollard. Launched online in 2005, and then in print in 2008, I’d not picked one of these up until just last week. I really enjoyed this month’s cover story, and look forward to poring over its neat and well-bound pages. I’m paying particular attention to the advertisers in these publications, as I believe that to be a good place to find businesses with a marketing budget (potential clients!) and also to determine the “slant” of the readership. It’s never foolproof, of course, but it’s worth checking out.

Today’s office prep step: I’m actually cheating and using last night’s – I cleaned off my desk. Mostly. I’ll finish it tonight, maybe even go so far as to put the paperwork in a filing cabinet, and the DVDs away instead of just in a neat pile. :)

Today’s brainstorm: Create a formula for culling and creating one’s library – then actually go through with it myself!