This is me, telling you, I am open for business. This is me, feeling super-inspired to sit down and write after spending an hour on ZOOM today with the iconic Anne Lamott. This quote about being “open for business” and making sure the universe knows it was just one of the important messages handed to me from Anne today. That fear of not being perfect needs to stop blocking me being open for business as a writer.
First of all, HOW LUCKY AM I that I got to spend an hour listening to words of wisdom from an all-time favorite writer of mine? Getting a surprise email evite to this zoom as a prelude to the in-person HEAL+CREATE Writers’ Retreat she’s headlining in a few weeks was literally a gift from above.
It would be so disrespectful to the gift-giver if I didn’t heed Anne’s advice and sit my ass down for an hour a day and WRITE. I AM a writer after all. I have a journalism degree from the Newhouse School at SU. I have this Medium blog going on 8+ years now. I ran a high-end travel magazine and wrote for dozens of others. Oh, and I have a published book to my name (Why Not Me?!?: 12 Lessons a Year on an Island Taught Me About Living My Dreams, and How You Can Live Yours Too: Small, Stacy Hope, Levin, Nancy: 9781982221706: Amazon.com: Books). Also, I am very “pregnant with the sequel” to use a term I picked up from another favorite writer Marianne Williamson. So, as Anne reminded me, “If you’re writing, you are a writer. As soon as you stop NOT writing, you are a writer.”
Okay! So, I am writing. And I am taking Anne’s guidance to spend an hour per day doing so because it’s something I truly enjoy. Writing makes me feel good. I have been writing stories down since age 4 (!). I have meaningful messages and stories to share. I no longer worry about what others will think when I share the truth, because as Anne’s favorite quote of mine says: “You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.”
Timing is perfect because a few days ago, on Yom Kippur, I stepped fully away from daily engagement on Facebook and Instagram. What a relief. Giving up these social media platforms feels like a harder habit to break than booze. On day 693 of not touching alcohol, the clarity of what I need to delete from my life is brighter than ever.
I realized how much time I’d spend daily scrolling and sharing and responding to thousands of people. There are better ways to utilize this time. I will be writing more, reading more, walking more and thus, social-media’ing less as I approach my 53rd birthday.
It’s not lost on me the timing of Anne Lamott showing up front and center in my life. The writer’s retreat which is being held five minutes from my new Marin, CA abode is a few days before my birthday. And a few days after my birthday, I’m attending a dinner with my former coach Nancy Levin — another inspiring writer who will serendipitously be the guest of honor at a “Happy Women’s Dinner” in the Bay Area. It’s obvious to me how obviously I am here on a mission to write and to share what I have learned on my spiritual journey that’s been filled with love and loss and grief and goodness.
Thank you, Anne, for another wonderful quote reminding me that HOPE isn’t just my middle name. “Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show u and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work: you don’t give up.” And as you told us today, JUST KEEP GOING.”
Thanks for reading my return to writing. More soon, like tomorrow, I promise! — Stacy Hope Small, Oct, 7, 2022