I had a tiny, seemingly very self-contained petite crise de santé mentale two weekends ago and in its aftermath I decided that the only thing that might help me to feel better -- or at least, not worse -- was taking time off of Twitter. Now, the really amazing flex would be to get off Twitter without announcing you are getting off Twitter OR writing about getting/being off of Twitter but unfortunately I don't have that kind of superhuman ego strength.
The past 10 (but who's counting) days have been a trip, and not the blissful peaced-out kind. I plumbed the depths of my other capacities for procrastination, like:
answering ancient emails that could easily have gone forever forgotten
getting upset about things that have nothing to do with me or my life or anyone I care about.
scrolling to the very end of Instagram and watching everyone's stories and reply-guying semi-strangers
fllipping through Met ball slideshows that looked like this - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - (+ more so) and mustering strong opinions about the outfits of TikTok stars.
reading four books but don't be impressed because they were all written at a 7th grade reading level and were about, like, whether a long marriage would continue to be great, despite the characters having had a disagreement.
I updated my LinkedIn profile, for some reason. I looked at jobs on LinkedIn and contemplated starting a new life, going back in time about 10 years and developing a portfolio of innovative brand creative instead of starting an internet-based feminist bookstore. I saw one job that I'm pretty sure is a George Saunders short story. If you apply for this job, will you let me know what the Missions turn out to be? I'm guessing something like a happy hour or a murder mystery dinner party, but with also a chance of getting fired.
(I would be great at this, for like 3 months, then have a complete and utter nervy b I think)
Ultimately I decided that instead of applying for branded content gigs (which I probably also still will do) I might be better served by doing something about the career I already have. I accepted a freelance assignment I'd been hedging stupidly about for months, hoping that I would be able to write about the same topic for more words/$ for a more prestigious outlet. I wrote down a page of notes for 2 scenes that I can write in my tortured new book project that I fear might still be circling the drain. And I decided to rededicate myself to the art of newslettering, formerly known as blogging, with a commitment to a regular schedule.
I am going to send 2 emails a week, one free and one for paid subscribers. The paid one will have more emotional intimacy, which is a gross thing to sell, but again, it's the business I'm already in. If you're not already a paying subscriber, consider becoming one so that you can assign me mini topics. Do you want industry gossip? Micro-reviews of quotidian experiences a la The Universal Review? Things I Ate That I Loved? A cooking show with authors? A podcast about books, including books that I am only pretending to have read and some extremely stilted attempts at a Sex and the City vibe? Stories of motherhood and its travails? These are all things I have done about before. I am prepared to do them again. I don't have anything better to do, and I need the cash.