Refilling the well

bed, sweet bed

This post is #27 in a series of 50 dedicated to the art and life of writing, in support of the 50 for 50 Project to benefit WriteGirl. If you like it, or if you think it could have been improved by a better writing education for its author, please give generously. And pass it on.

We passed the halfway point in the campaign yesterday, quietly, without fanfare.

The achievements thus far have been remarkable. Raising $50,000 in 50 days during summer break in a crap economy is no mean feat; getting $4,000 ahead by the halfway point, in the middle of what everyone has told me was the inevitable dip, is beyond amazing. I’m grateful to everyone who has been pitching in so hard, both behind the scenes and out on the front lines of social media, just as I’m grateful to my own body for allowing me to push it so hard for this past month and change.

I can see the signs of exhaustion now better than I could seven years ago, the last time I attempted anything close to this magnitude. Back then, it was a show, hour-long, with music, that was a monster to get up on its feet. At one point during the process, I had a hysterical freakout/breakdown, after which my wonderful co-writer/producer stepped in and relieved me of some of the too-many duties I’d taken on. So far this time, the only crying I’ve done has been tears of joy over the insane goodness of everyone, and I find those tears both refreshing and restorative.

Still, it’s hard. And my tendency when things are hard is to push more, even though I have my choice of proofs, both personal and familial, that this is a losing game. I also know that without physically removing myself from my own premises, it’s really hard for me to not do just one more thing. Post one more something, email one more request.

I had grand ambitions for the 50 posts here on communicatrix during this campaign. I was going to have all sorts of interesting pieces about my writing life growing up, and lengthy, thoughtful essays on vanity, on aging, and other things that are almost inconceivably difficult for me to even think about attempting. Still hoping to get a hair piece up there before the shaving, but who knows? It’s already a bad sign that I’m punning without intent, and leaving the damn stuff up there.

So here is my gigantically huge thought for the day: you are not a machine. Neither am I. The good news is that this means that we can’t be replaced. The bad news is this means we cannot run nonstop. (Although really, can a machine run nonstop?)

Read. Putter. Go out and hang with friends. Take a walk or a little drive. Nap.

I’m saying that to myself as much as to you, and as much for the sake of my writing as the sake of my health.

And yes, I’ll see you again tomorrow. Duh. What else?



  1. What you have done, are doing is beautiful, selfless and miles of awesome whether you make the goal or not, whether you write the hair piece or not.
    Taking care of self has to come before awesome work can continue, and continue it will. Go be with friends or take that nap, and have a laugh at my expense.
    I shaved my head, sort of, just over a year ago. Reminds me I could do an update post.


    1. I laughed when I read your post, Gwyn. For about two years in NYC, when I got sick of paying so much for haircuts I hated and when my hair was still very short, I just started cutting it myself. When it would get too long, I’d lop off a chunk. SO liberating!

      We’ll see how much patience I have with this once I’m in the growout phase.

      And I reserve the right to go nutty with the colors for at least a while, while it’s short enough to not be a real commitment. I’m thinking “Susan Powter,” circa 1985.

  2. I read this in bed in a hotel room! Granted I’m here in the suburban wastelands for a soccer tourney with my girl but I am resting, badly needed, too. I have decided to start a new series on my blog about ordinary Sheros and you will be the first one.

    1. Haha. Isn’t “suburban wastelands” redundant?

      I think your new series should be a new movement. I want someplace to go where I see good things and great people and NO FUCKING ADS and horseshit. I grow weary, I grow weary….

  3. I’ve been pushing hard for nearly a month (after launching my baby biz I feel like if I wander off, people will wander away), and I’m starting to feel the strain. I know exactly what you mean about feeling like you have to kick your own ass out of your own house to avoid fusing with the computer. I’ve decided to take a week off in September to refill the well. Maybe you and I can vacation somewhere with a spa and a beach with frilly girly drinks.

    1. Take off the week before my birthday week! You can send a loving thoughts about the IndieGoGo well filling up with dollars from your resting perch. Given all that good juju, we will certainly meet our goal.

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