* Dedicated to my writer friends, especially the memoirists.
You, my dear, are the only one who can save yourself.
Save yourself from the lies.
Free yourself from the distractions and self-created stress.
Lean into what you love. Realign your values.
Ground in. Sit with yourself.
Listen to yourself. Hear your Self.
Look at yourself. See your Self.
Wake up. Wise up.
Come on up out of that fog!
Watch the birds, but work the plan.
Don’t give up, girl. Not now.
Not in the messy middle. This is the home of metamorphosis. In memoir and real life.
In our history—personal and societal, individual and collective.
Past, present, future, it’s all the same.
Inciting incidents. Indecisions, heartbreak and fear.
The f*cking messy middle!
Beginnings taste like taking flight. Yes, it felt like take-off when I started writing my memoir in the Summer of Alice in Santa Fe, NM in 2012, seven years ago!
The middle is like a food coma after consuming a box of donuts and a half dozen cups of coffee. It’s head on the desk, I want to go home! and Where the f*ck am I?!
The messy middle is living in a penthouse on the beach in Cancun while your boyfriend is gone all night doing cocaine.
It’s the juxtaposition that demands decision when all your decision-making capabilities feel maxed, your love story has turned tragic, and you don’t know where or how to get out.
Hello, messy middle!
Hang on, girl. Do your best. Fight like hell for your dream, but don’t make it harder than it must be.
Get on your knees. Get on your mat. Get grounded. Stay seated. At your desk.
Walk in the woods. Drink water.
TV is not your friend. And, even your friends can’t complete this book for you.
Your book is good because you’re a good writer and you have a good story, but you can make it better. Own that.
This is for you, my dear. Make it a badass book.
It’s not about being a bestseller (unless it is), but about putting out your best work for your professional debut on the playing field as an author.
Polish yourself and your baby up. Present yourselves to the world.
Bring your full Self into your new life. Leave your false self, like your first attempts before you changed the verb tense.
You alone must craft your art. Your sister can’t do it for you. Your writer friends can’t impose it upon you. Your parents can’t pray success into you.
But baby, you’ve got a gang of angels at your back applauding, whispering and arranging. They’ve got agents praying for your book and men praying for your love.
Marry yourself to your destiny. Go back in one more time.
Because baby, if it weren’t for the messy middle, the story has no tension, no juice, no life force defying the odds and fighting the obstacles, and going for the glory again, like you did in the beginning.
Babe, you’ve got this.
4 thoughts on “Sometimes We Have to be Our Own Encouragers.”
Bin pulling myself up by my own bootstraps for an f*ing long time but I’m in my dancing slippers now! As has been said ” it’s never too late to have a happy childhood”. Thanks for this wonderful piece from the “messy middle”, Alice! You are an amazing writer!
And you, Shelagh are an amazing woman. Thank you for such encouragement.
I’m in that gang of angels 100% wearing my Alice Tee Shirt. You’re in it, you’re doing it, and you’re very loved.
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Alice t-shirts. I love it!