3 min read

[expletive], [expletive], [expletive]

It’s not that I have writer’s block – I mean, I’ve been writing a lot – but none of it really becomes anything. After spending most of my adult life writing Top 10 countdown videos and “As someone who,”-type personal essays and marketing copy for snake oil, I got relatively good at executing on a formula. Then at some point, I saw this tweet:

Tweet from Jake Wolff Novemebr 10, 2020. Creative nonfiction writers be like:  I first ate a hotdog when I was six years old. I remember the taste, the scent, the summer.   SECTION BREAK  Hot dogs were invented in 1693 by Steven Hotdog. According to Scientific American, the hotdog is

and felt such a thorough disgust with everything I’d ever written and had ever plan to write that I told myself that I was no longer writing essays. I had abandoned the essay. I’m post-essay, I said. Calling something I’d written an essay seemed to necessitate that I have a clear idea to share, an argument to make and a series of convincing points. I don’t super care whether or not you agree with my opinions, honestly. Most human thought is irrational, situational, conditional, whatever. So much of my life and identity is always shifting, too. How could I stand behind a form that requires such hard supplies? Thesis, supporting statement, conclusion. I don't think I'm that kind of writer. Most of my life is like: question, question, question, thesis, dream sequence, semi-related-fact, question, sidetrack, question, question, question…

When I write I try not to think about the structure of an essay and more about painting portraits and of blog posts and of my favorite diaries. Maybe I have less faith in myself as someone who can generate ideas and build arguments and more faith in myself as an observer and recorder. At my most (delusionally?) confident (isn’t all confidence delusional?) I think of myself as being able to see things that other people can’t, or that other people see but haven’t been able to name, or as being able to stare directly at things that other people would rather not look at. And maybe that’s what I’m writing.

But, even in this very “fuck you I write the way I want to write” writing practice where the point is that there is no point, it feels like everything I’ve written in the past couple of weeks lacks that forward thrust which makes something readable and fun. This is a new feeling for me. In the past, The Block has felt more like a literal stoppage. The mysterious inside part of me that has ideas is corked up and I can't access it. Now, it’s like I’m surrounded by all these ideas, fragments, pieces of larger stories, little vignettes, even, sometimes, a huge long winded draft falls out of me and when I read it back it just feel pointless and not in a fun way. Maybe that’s fine, and maybe that’s what the next few editions of this newsletter will be. Maybe I need to rest and just not be producing and it's fine. but with every passing week that I don’t send out a newsletter and this RSS feed seems more and more like I’ve abandoned it, I feel less and less like a writer and more and more like flotsam. But I don’t want to be a piece of wood in a shipwreck, I want to be someone who comes up for air after the boat sinks and looks around and is like fuuuuck! Or, at the very least, be the door floating on the water that someone is clinging onto for survival.

Anyway, for most of last year I did a lot of writing and I did my best to be honest and sweaty and cringe and you can read it in October.

Book cover for How To Fuck Like a Girl: essays by Vera Blossom. Pink text on cream background. Scientific illustration of narcissus. Blurb from Tanaïs: "Electric, riveting, witty and alive."
cover design by Faye Orlove

How To Fuck Like a Girl, my debut book, allegedly a collection of essays, out October 15 of this year. Pre-order it here, if you like.

In the meantime, while I get my shit together, and once you’ve sent your pre-order to your favorite indie bookseller, why don’t you shoot me an email? I’m working on something that I think is about the blurry endings and blurry beginnings of relationships. Talk to me about a horrible break-up, the worst thing your ex did to you in the messy carnage of your split, about your first date that you didn’t realize was your first date, and about the stranger you have a crush on. I want to hear from you, seriously. Any and all stories about your confusing life are welcome – seriously! I’m at dearverablossom@gmail.com or you can leave me a voicemail at this number: 312-767-7699. Anonymity guaranteed <3

I promise I’ll be back in your inbox real soon.