How to read more.

As I worked on my 2019 fave books post, I realized I'm reading way, way more than I was four years ago. I've nearly tripled the number of books I finish in a year, which made me wonder what has changed.  

I now quit books I don't love. This helps in two ways: I don't spend that precious limited reading time on bad books, but I also don't lose reading momentum. Before, even a mediocre book would be so discouraging that it would suck up weeks of bedtime reading as I read a page or two at a time. Life is too short for mediocre books.

Year Seven.

Woof. I'm writing from the dining room of our new house, still 90% boxes, over-caffeinated because we got too excited to try the builtin coffee maker. I can't find my notes. So let's do this.

After seven years of my new employment life, here's what's going on in my head:

Join me on Patreon!

You might have noticed a link added to the menu recently:

https://patreon.com/taraking

I've started a new endeavor over at Patreon, which is a service that supports independent artists. I'm super excited to be there, where I'll be sharing new poems, behind-the-scenes looks at what I'm working on, writing prompts, and more. I'll still be posting here on occasion, but Patreon is where most of my stuff is being shared.

My 2018, as a writer

I've noticed a pattern of forgetfulness around writing--I forget how many poems I've written, so when I set out to write 100, I write 104 instead. The bio in my second book of poems said it was my first book of poems.  When people ask me what I've been writing, I just flat can't remember. And so the void becomes the story.  

I don't like that story, so I'm rewriting it.

On fiction and poetry.

I want to write a lot of poetry and I want to write novels. It feels like a problem, a conundrum. The ghost of Malcolm Gladwell (someone pls exorcise me) whispers in one ear about how it takes so much focus to get truly good at something.  But that part feels scared, angry, threatening instead of supporting.  In the other ear, a friendlier ghost says it all matters. All of it folds in together into the same life; nothing is wasted. That voice feels gentle, loving, supportive. And so....I choose that voice. I don't have a problem; I have an opportunity.

YEAR SIX

Last year I re-defined this post as: It's my annual holiday to celebrate my badass self, doing the work I want to do.

When I think of my badass self, doing the work I want to do, I think of:

  • writing a lot
  • having a positive impact on the world
  • being a good, happy person.

This year I mostly want to talk about writing. I've had a big year in my professional life, but I'm on the downhill slope of a job search and I want to let things settle.

Year five.

It's time for the fifth annual Big Shit Tara Learned This Year post.

Which means, YIKES, it's been five years! That's longer than I was in college.

  1. Having a job is okay.
  2. The fact of having a job has made this anniversary feel fraught in a strange way. *Why am I marking this anniversary if it's not about self-employment? Did I really hate my old job so much?*

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