Jamie Sims Coakley
Hello Beautiful Humans:
Last week I spent an hour creating a wonderful blog for you, in my blog software, and even though it said it was autosaving, it was not (I blame Mercury in Retrograde) and so I didn’t get a blog post out to you. As much as I would love to be a very consistent blogger, I think we have to accept the fact that I am not. Perhaps that will make it more exciting when I do post!?
Anyway, week before last, I had a wonderful five days spent alone at the Freehand Hotel in DTLA working on a video pitch for a television pilot for a "Great British Baking Show" style reality show but for writers called “America’s Next Great Author” and was so full of joy and excitement with how it had all gone. Of course not smoothly at first, nor did I end up where I thought I would when I started, but that is the magic of creating things, our muse is constantly surprising us if we stay open to her guidance and don't quit before the miracle! I can’t wait to show you the microfilm I created for the audition, but I'll have to because I won’t know until 10/1 if I advance to the next round, and so I am not sharing it with anyone until then...but here is a teaser screen grab of my MC Dorothy! I had a blast writing, storyboarding, lighting, shooting, acting in and editing the piece! Heavenly.
This last week was week three of “The Artists Way” 12 week course I am doing and man oh man, you guys are really missing out on some powerful, wonderful creative living stuff! I have been so zen and prolific and in love with this style of living and creating that I can’t wait to wake up and write my morning papers, plan my artists date and see what cool ideas come to me as I examine my blocks and open myself to a more creative life. If you’re curious at all…hear my words, get the book and start right away!
Also, I have been researching and romancing a new novel idea inspired by “the girl with hair as black as a crows wing” from page five in Hemingway’s “A Moveable Feast” the last month or so and it has led me to some great things. One being the book “Paris Was A Woman” which is a non fiction biography of sorts of 15-20 of the most influential women/artists that were living on the Left Bank in Paris in the 20’s and who’s art, friendship, and support facilitated all of the now famous men (Hemingway, Joyce, Fitzgerald, Picasso, etc.) who were also living and working in Paris in the 1920s. It’s a fascinating and inspiring book and of course it’s always a bit shocking how we know all the men’s names who influence our culture but very few of the women’s. I just started Djuna Barnes (one such woman) highly acclaimed Nightwood. I haven’t gotten far yet but I will keep you posted.
On my artist date hike this week at my absolute fav Griffith Park, I was quite happy that my muse shared with me some very necessary details about the new novel idea, enough so that I am confident in committing myself to writing the first 50,000 words during NaNoWriMo 2022 (National Novel Writing Month) where thousands of people from all around the world commit to finally writing that novel idea! You can sign up to participate at the link above for guidance and support! I will be writing 1500 words a day (roughly three pages) each and everyday in November and am super excited about leaning into this writer’s life and embracing this new way of living, as a bonafide author, where writing is as regular as waking up and as essential to my life as eating. Feel free to join me!
Finally, in my morning pages today, I was thinking about growing pains and our natural tendencies to resist change and cling to the past even when our old patterns and habits no long serve us (at best) and make us miserable (at worst). You know what I am talking about. At one point in each of our lives, there was something we did regularly that brought us joy. For me it was smoking cigarettes. Not a lot, but enough that I would consider it a bad habit. I associate smoking with my youth...with rebellion, with freedom, with emancipation, with my first experiences with friends and lovers and adventures and although they no longer have anything to do with any of those things, and in fact just make me smelly and cough and cause my eyes to burn, part of me clings to them for what they represented to me at a pivotal point in my maturation.
I see this pattern in so many people I know and love...how clinging nostalgically for past habits actually prevents us from living a full, happy life in the present and discovering and enjoying those things that will bring us the most joy for who we are today.
So...I challenge YOU to think about what habit/thing are you clinging to out of nostalgia even though you KNOW in your heart it not longer serves the person you are today and in fact is holding you back in some way, small or large, from a more happy and fulfilled life. What “old clothes” are you hanging on to even though they no longer fit, are no longer your style, just because they hold a memory? What can you do to let go?
Have a lovely week! Talk soon.