Freshly Pegged – Go Jules Go

Have you ever sent a post out into the blogosphere, absolutely convinced it was going to be Freshly Pressed?  And then it wasn’t?

You’re not alone.freshlypegged2

I’ve asked some fantastic bloggers to select the post that had them muttering,”THIS One Should Have Been Freshly Pressed.”  A new blogger is featured each week to receive the coveted Freshly Pegged distinction.  Participants will be awarded a genuine, simulated “Freshly Pegged” JPEG badge, suitable for posting in a place of honor on their blogs.  Or not.

Be sure to read all the great Freshly Pegged offerings to date.  But before you do, let’s check out…

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Jules from Go Jules Go.  How I met Jules is a story now lost in the mists of time.  Suffice it to say she has become a cherished BBB (Best Blogging Buddy.)

What can you say about a woman who collects husbands like some women collect Beanie Babies?  Who takes advice from striped rodents?  Who enjoys bacon and vodka with (responsible) reckless abandon?  Who wears mustache glasses “like a rock star”?  Whose mad techno-vlogical skills are the stuff of legends?

What can you say about a woman who puts all that stuff together like mismatched plates that somehow look great in an eclectic, shabby-chic style that some people can pull off?  Who then puts all those plates up on skinny poles and keeps them constantly spinning to the Sabre Dance like that guy on the Ed Sullivan show?

What can you say about such a woman??????

Readers, meet Jules.  Jules, Readers.  I’m sure the two of you will be very happy.

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A Bout of Sincerity

It must’ve been my recent return to poetry, Chipmunks.

Lately, I’ve felt somethin’ coming on. Sometimes I mistake it for melodrama. Or, at best, awkward earnestness.

That’s right.

Serious writing.

Though never insincere, I wasn’t always all guilty pleasures and goofy PowerPoint presentations. In my teens, humor only crept into my writing via dialogue. Everything else was angst-y and maudlin. I filled dozens of journals with lovesick poetry. Some of it wasn’t half bad.

In college, I discovered writers like Bill Bryson and David Sedaris, and realized that was the genre I wanted to pursue: humorous memoir. I’ve always found the truth more profound with levity. I like it when a protagonist’s journey makes me laugh despite the tears.

Nevertheless, the old poetry itch is back, and I don’t want this blog to suffer for it; we all know this place is the Uncle Jesse to my Aunt Becky. So today I thought I’d just quickly mention something a liiiittle more serious. A little behind-the-scenes look at my writing life.

I spend a lot of time on creative exercises and figuring out how to find and follow my passion(s). I handwrite, stream-of-consciousness style, for 30 minutes every morning, first thing. I take a daily walk, and once a week, I try to go on a mini adventure that sparks my creativity. On Sundays, I spend about an hour or two ‘checking in’ with myself, writing about recurring issues and the little miracles that happen when you get in touch with your creative nature.

Artists-Way-stache-glassesThese practices are, yes, a huge time commitment; I shower at night and get up at 5:30 in the morning to write before I drive an hour to work. But these exercises are a lifesaver for me, and if they sound familiar, you probably read about them in The Artist’s Way. Much like blogging, Julia Cameron’s books have changed my life in unimaginable ways.

They’re the reason I volunteered to help Marlene film the pilot webisode of My Parents Are Crazier Than Yours. The reason I had the nerve to attend my first blogging conference, meet up with Rache from Rachel’s Table, and sign up for that web design class.

Thanks to this blog and The Artist’s Way, I’ve identified concrete goals and watched them spring to life. I’ve learned that if you ask for a creative helping hand, and open yourself to possibility, the universe always delivers. Some of you have been the messengers!

I’ve never met Julia Cameron, have no affiliation with The Artist’s Way, and never thought I’d talk about this here, but my blog has always embraced the things we all love -however logical or…not– without shame. And so: I love these books.

If you’re feeling stuck and really ready to make a change, they might help you, too.

Have you ever read any of The Artist’s Way books? What inspires (or blocks) your creativity?

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About pegoleg

R-A-M-B-L-I-N-G-S, Ram...Blin!
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84 Responses to Freshly Pegged – Go Jules Go

  1. Pingback: Let the Conversation Continue! Also the Drinking. | Go Jules Go

  2. Go Jules Go says:

    I think your description of me should be Freshly Pressed.

    Like

  3. mistyslaws says:

    I remember this one. And it SHOULD have been FP’d. Thank goodness Peg is around to right (write?) that wrong! Congrats on your Freshly Peggedness, Jules!! Welcome to the esteemed club. 😉

    Like

  4. Yes, whenever I wax toward the serious writing side, I wonder if my melodramatic alter ego is resurfacing. But I have pills for that… 😉

    Like

  5. Ah, GoJulesGo….when I see her in my box (giggity…wait, no, I’m a man!) I smile without even thinking about it. She is funny even when she’s not trying to be, but in all seriousness, it’s obvious that she’s very talented and puts a lot of effort into her work. Work? Art? Blog? Whatever it’s best to call it. Even though under normal circumstances I’d want to throat punch anyone who calls other people chipmunks, she’s able to get away with it and I feel no animosity.

    If I may, I’ve written a couple of “serious” posts on my otherwise asinine blog and the last one sort of threw me for a loop. I normally get about 90-100 views on my blog on a good day (when I post) and this last serious post had a best day of over 1600. It made me question whether I wanted to write anymore silliness and just be a Debbie Downer instead, since that’s what the people seem to want. Alas, I’ve gotten over it. Sorry if this wasn’t the place to vent that.

    Like

  6. rachelocal says:

    Right now I have a HUGE creativity block. I’m not lacking for ideas (I’m always cooking something) but I do lack for the actual motivation to sit down and put a story and a recipe together. I just can’t seem to lock myself down long enough. So I wouldn’t call it writer’s block, just lack of motivation. Or maybe laziness? Or maybe too much wine?

    It’s definitely one of those times I just need to sit down and write and not care what I write about or how it all comes out. Maybe I should start with haikus.

    So now I’m off to buy the Artist’s Way. Thanks (again) for this post!

    Like

    • Go Jules Go says:

      Your haikus are as magical and belly-warming as your food, Rachey Poo. And I wouldn’t be too hard on yourself – I tried to do a cooking blog for a short while, and putting together the whole recipe with pictures is EXHAUSTING. I would spend hours documenting the process, which can make both the cooking and the writing a little less fun. That’s what’s so great about your blog (at the risk of sounding like a broken record), though – you manage to tell a story every time. That can’t be easy!

      Like

  7. judithhb says:

    I discovere Julia Cameron sevral years ago and still occasionally go to her books. And for years I did wite the morning pages.

    Like

    • Go Jules Go says:

      I’m so glad to hear it! I finished the 3 books in the Artist’s Way series about a month ago, and while I’m still doing the daily morning pages, I miss the ritual / inspiration of the weekly chapters. I’m thinking I should just start over – the lessons / exercises never lose their impact.

      Like

      • pegoleg says:

        I can barely do morning coffee, let along morning pages. I admire you dedicated writers.

        Like

      • Spectra says:

        Hi, Jules. I first discovered The Artists Way in 1993. Over the years I would return to it and start over and so this book became my “Way” to jumpstart my waning creative flow. A kind of creative Electro-shock therapy 🙂 And it always worked. Just reading some of those quotes on the page sidebars could get you going. Good recommendation for those suffering sagging blogeativity.

        Like

  8. I remember this post…it’s awesome and worthy of both FP’s. 🙂

    Like

  9. judithhb says:

    I discovered Julia Cameron some yers ago and still go to her books from time to time. And I did do morning pages for everal years

    Like

  10. Your creativity is inspiring. You exude humor and wit like it’s coming out of your pores! Very admirable. 🙂

    Like

  11. 1. Congrats on the Freshly Pegged! You’re officially a rock star now!
    2. I have got to read these books.
    3. I used to write in a journal and I do miss that free-flow type of thing. Sigh. Maybe I should start getting up at 4 am instead of 5?
    4. What inspires me? Music, going for long walks, my kids.
    5. What blocks me? my own insecurities and doubts. When I just let myself be and get out of my own way– it always comes out the way I intended. It’s the letting go that’s initially hard, but once I do, my creativity just flows.

    Like

  12. Carrie Rubin says:

    I love Jules’ attitude, and anyone who “takes advice from striped rodents” most definitely should be Freshly Pressed over and over again!

    Like

  13. How did I miss that one? Way to go! And awesome intro, Peggy!

    Like

  14. becca3416 says:

    Jules, I have never heard of the books, but I liked this post, because I understand that serious writing itch. I have been pushing myself to write a book completely separate from my blog. Weeee!

    Like

  15. susielindau says:

    I remember this post. I started stream of conscious writing after reading it! I found it really crazy, insightful and wild! I stopped about a month ago and will have to read the book!
    Should have been Pressed Jules!

    Like

  16. The Artists Way is a great, great book! I can’t say enough good things about it. I also get up at 5:30 am to write before I go to work. The only disappointing part about it is that usually, just when I get really cracking, it’s time to go. Does that happen to you too?

    PS – Jules, David Sedaris and Bill Bryson would make an awesome group book tour!

    Like

    • Go Jules Go says:

      Blogger after my own heart! And YES! I *love* the days where I can spend extra time with the morning pages! Lately, on those days, I’ve been writing for about an hour (instead of 25-30 minutes). Sometimes I worry that I just go in circles, focusing on the same crap, but then I remind myself: There’s no wrong way to do this. If that’s what I’m thinking about, that’s what I should write about. I’ve been writing down my dreams a lot lately, too – have your dreams gotten more vivid as a result? Mine have – hooooo boy!

      Have you had any surprising breakthroughs / revelations? I’m at about 10 months of morning pages, and have only missed a few days, but am at that point where I’m starting to doubt if they’re still “working” since I feel like I’m not doing “enough” creatively.

      I have friends who’ve seen David Sedaris speak, and I have GOT to get on that!

      Like

  17. Julia Cameron’s The Right to Write, got me started several years ago. Another good one by her.

    Like

    • Go Jules Go says:

      Man, she practices what she preaches, that’s for sure – she is so prolific! I actually have another one by her about creativity and managing your weight/health (“The Writing Diet: Write Yourself the Right Size”). It’s a refreshing read.

      Like

  18. Sure this was a great post, which should have been Freshly Pressed, but I fail to see the relevance to IBS sufferers.

    Like

  19. Elyse says:

    It was a great post. And Dave, it’s relevant to me, and I’m an IBS sufferer … does that count?

    Like

  20. Marta says:

    I love this description the best and it’s so spot on! “What can you say about a woman who collects husbands like some women collect Beanie Babies? Who takes advice from striped rodents? “

    Like

  21. Sandy Sue says:

    Big Artists Way fan. Morning Pages are automatic now and the thing that drilled into me that Shitty First Drafts are gold.
    I love seeing your ‘stached icon wherever I blog-surf, Jules, cuz I know I’m about to touch giggle-genius.

    Like

    • Go Jules Go says:

      Aw golly gee shucks thank you! Do you get a lot of first drafts / writing ideas from doing morning pages? Lately I feel stuck on that front – I dump out all my mental / emotional crap and heartache in the morning pages (I almost worry it’s become more self-indulgent than therapeutic), but I haven’t had any grand [creative] ideas lately…

      Like

      • Sandy Sue says:

        No, that’s exactly what I do. I liken it to scraping the scum off the surface of a pond. Get the sludge out of the way, then you can see deeper.

        Like

        • Go Jules Go says:

          That’s an EXCELLENT way of putting it – and a comfort to hear! Do you experience a lot of ‘synchronicity’? (Warning: I could talk about this all day!)

          Like

          • Sandy Sue says:

            Did you just give me a can opener? And is that a tin of night crawlers in your hand?

            Like

            • Go Jules Go says:

              LOL! It sounds cuckoo, but weird coincidences happening allll the time now – quite often, I’ll write something down, and a second later, someone on TV will say the exact phrase I’ve written. Or I’ll think / dream about someone random, and see / hear from them the next day. Recently, I dreamt about someone I didn’t know emailing me (but dreamt of them by name), and the next day, they did!

              Definitely think there’s something to stream-of-consciousness writing + unlocking intuitive powers.

              Like

              • Sandy Sue says:

                Robert Anton Wilson. “Prometheus Rising.” He talks about how Seekers Find. What we pay attention to, we find. Sort of how Democrats and Republicans can listen to the same speech and both think it supports their dogma. I have a feeling we could go through several pots of coffee nattering about this. 🙂

                Like

  22. For starters, I can’t help but be pleased that my first official action as 3rd husband was “enabler.”

    Secondly, though, (and I may have said this before) one of my favorite things about “morning pages” is when you blurp something on to the page you didn’t even know you were thinking. Then you see it and think, “Huh. Yeah, I guess that’s right…”

    Like

  23. Angie Z. says:

    Oh Jules…you are so devoted to honing your talent and bettering yourself (while drinking vodka) while I just sloth around drinking vodka. I’m not reading anyone to get me all creativey right now — but if you write a book about it, I swear I’ll read it.

    Like

  24. Nina Badzin says:

    I read and used the Artist’s Way once upon a time. I think more than anything it taught me that you have to write a bunch of dreck (that’s Yiddish) before you get anything good. It was helpful!

    Like

  25. Ok, so: first and foremost, I just stumbled upon your respective blogs, and I already adore them.

    With that said, I’ve got a copy of The Artist’s Way sitting in my bookshelf. As I write this, it’s waiting for me to crack it open and actually start doing the exercises. The only thing stopping me is that I already get up at 5 a.m. to blog and work out, so I’m not sure how to revamp my schedule to accommodate time for Morning Pages. I might need divine intervention, and preferably not in the form of a savage bout of insomnia, if this is going to happen for me. Le sigh.

    Like

  26. Pingback: Go dog go! why babies are oodles better than doodles. | don of all trades

  27. Very good info. Lucky me I came across your site by chance (stumbleupon).
    I’ve saved as a favorite for later!

    Like

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