How to Combat Writers’ Block, Part I

You sit down at your laptop, ready to go. It’s time to write, y’all! Let’s do this thing!

Wait, it seems your Wifi is down. Sure, you could head over to your desktop, which has a direct connection, but then how would you write while concurrently watching last week’s Mindy Project for the third time? Sidenote: Is there anything better than Danny reading Bridget Jones Diary to Mindy in a hospital bed AND doing a woman’s British accent while doing it? No, there is not. Okay, so first watch the Mindy Project, then go fix the Wifi. Extent of your IT know how is “unplug the device.” Do that. Check connection again. It’s still down.

Realize you don’t own a copy of the movie version of Bridget Jones Diary. Find this fact very disturbing. Get on your TV and order a rented digital version for $2.99. Start watching. Have intense internal debate about Renee Zellweger’s weight gain for the role of Bridget. Remember you were promised s’mores at the cookout last night, but they were never received. Go upstairs and get grahams, marshmallows and chocolate. Set to make s’mores over a Glade scented candle. Realize the hilarious insanity of this situation. Also, realize you still haven’t written a word on your blog. Wonder if a blog even exists if no one writes it. Feel quite existential. Inhale Glade scented s’mores.

Decide to attempt writing a post via your iPhone. It takes approximately one million years and about a thousand autocorrections before you’re done. You think, “screw it,” but instead of hitting delete, you hit publish by mistake.

Well, okay then. Here we go…

For the Love of Poetry


“So what’s up with the blog?” she asked curiously. “I thought the plan was to use this time to grow creatively and work on all that stuff?”

The plan.

Plans are fickle things. You start something new and you have the plan in place, at least, that’s how I operate. There is a plan, a way, and things will go accordingly. I will work hard and keep my head down, and soon, very soon, the plan will come to fruition.

But life…life is strange. And just when you think you have it all figured out, BAM, it knocks you sideways and you’re left shaking your head wondering what the hell happens next. It’s confusing and disorienting.

I have learned so much in the last year, there is no way to gather it all into one blog post. But probably the most important thing I learned in the last year was I cannot function without self-care, and sometimes self-care doesn’t fit into one’s plans. For most of my life, I have ignored those signs that most people see easily. I was constantly busy, a fury of check lists and unread emails and calendar appointments. Most days I wouldn’t realize I’d missed lunch until around 4 p.m. I consistently got around 4 or 5 hours of sleep per night, so proud that I could sustain myself on such meager rest.

“How do you do it all?” they’d ask. I’d coyly smile and give myself a silent pat on the back for my amazingness. I was *almost* enough. If I could just finish that assignment or blog post or project, I’d really be a wonder woman! I chased that status like I’d die if I stopped for a sip of water or some fresh air.

The problem with living like that, especially for such an extended period of time, is it’s extremely hard to stop. It’s mind-bogglingly difficult for someone like me to sit down and rest. And it’s compounded by the fact that I have surrounded myself with people who think the same way. Friends, family, colleagues…they are all massive overachievers of the highest sort. So when I tried to stop or sit or breathe, I looked at them and felt guilt. Shame. Less than.

Here is the catch, and the thing I really learned in the last 11 months:

I am enough. Just as I am. I am enough with one blog post every 10 days and I am enough with 5 a week. I am enough with crisp, edited photos and I am enough with a quick iPhone capture. I am enough with late nights working and I am enough with a cup of tea and a good movie.

It’s okay to take care of myself. And it’s okay to be afraid of doing so. For me, it is scary, and I had to learn being scared wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. I was so afraid if I stopped, and took a breath, I’d find out I was a fraud. All the spinning around in my hamster wheel was a way I could avoid looking at what I was doing, and if it really made me feel good. When I finally did stop, I had to cut it all off in order to see if I missed it…to see if writing and photographing and creating was truly what made my heart sing.

Turns out, it does. I love to write. I love capturing people and moments in photographs. It makes me feel alive. There is poetry in my life again. I feel it. It’s a good thing.

I saw this commercial a while back, and I felt my breath stop, then slowly start again. A creative mind is sometimes a hard place to live inside. My brain isn’t rational…it seeks life and love and joy. It does not spark with items crossed off a list. Which, honestly, is why I believe I felt so lost for so long. I was forcing it to think in a way that wasn’t how it was built. Now, instead, I’m letting it go. It’s scary. But scary things can be very, very good.

365 Grateful

This year I’m taking a simple approach to gratitude via social media, and I’m participating in the #365grateful project on Instagram. I feel like I’ve sort of been a lame blogger lately, using mostly mobile phone photos, not writing very often, blah blah blah, but I’m digging the simple things. And what’s simpler than seeing something amazing in your life, snapping a pic and sharing how blessed you feel to have experienced it? Life is so good right now, so lovely and warm (even though it’s freezing outside) and magical and joyful, I have found myself wanting to spend less time blogging it, and more time living it. This is just the swing of things, I suppose, in a few weeks or months I’ll probably be on a blogging binge again. But for now, a few grateful iPhone photos will have to do.

Starting a cleanse tomorrow, so I'm celebrating with the best ever, Dr. Pepper and Red Vines... #365grateful

My loves. #365grateful #latergram #hug #blurry #sister #brother #love #blessed #pattern #kczoo

"In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer" - Albert Camus #serenity #365grateful #joy #love #happy #recovery

Love really is all around...#365grateful #heart #rock #love

She reads to him using lots of funny voices  #365grateful #reading #brother #sister #love #bedtime

Friday night party pals. #puppy #rottie #instateddy #teddygram #snuggle #bestfriends #365grateful

Repost : Why I Blog (Lessons from Alt Summit 2013)

This was originally posted last year, right after I returned from the Altitude Design Summit in Salt Lake City. Can you believe it’s been a whole year?! Me either! I thought it might be fun for some of you who are headed to Alt 2014 or just dreaming of a future blogging conference to re-read some of my thoughts after returning from Salt Lake. An honestly, it was a good thing for me to re-read as I’m pondering the future of this blog these days. Hope you enjoy!


Alt Summit stirred up a lot of feelings in me, some positive…some not so much. And I’ve spent the last few days trying to figure out why that is. Why do I feel a giant weight of inadequacy about to crush me after I’ve left such an uplifting experience?

I was so overwhelmed with all the goodness at Alt Summit, and I think I was internalizing it in a way that was totally negative. Which, I mean, come on, right? Stop it. But I couldn’t help myself. I met so many people, tons of whom had only been blogging for a year or two, whose lives were overflowing with sponsorships, book deals, speaking engagements and everything else under the sun. Many of the people I’ve spoken to left Alt with a new sense of purpose…a new idea they were going to make come to life or an amazing plan for a collaboration. I left with a book full of notes and a big case of “oh poor me” syndrome. Gross.

But luckily for me, I at least had the foresight to look through that big book of notes and found my answers staring me in the face. Page after page of my notes described talks by bloggers who had started out with the same doubts and worries that I was feeling. In fact, a few of them expressed how they are STILL dealing with those emotions. Suddenly, I felt less alone.


Photo by Brooke Dennis for Alt – Layout by Me

Over and over people had asked for advice during these sessions, and over and over the answers were simple: Be Yourself. Don’t try to emulate others because you’re just going to come off as a cheap version of whoever they are, and you’re so much better than that. Karon Walrond gave a speech on “Finding Your Voice” and one of her main points was to stop comparing. She outlined the difference between inspiration (makes you want to do better) and comparison (makes you feel bad about yourself), and that was a real lightbulb moment for me. I was comparing. And it’s never going to do me any good.


iPhone Photo and Layout by Me

I’m me. Crazybananas. I write a blog about nothing. And everything. I’m not a designer or a professional photographer or someone who can craft my way out of any situation. I’m not usually the most fashionable girl in the group. Sometimes my life is mundane. Sometimes it’s extraordinary. I write about things that I like. I write about my life. I write about TV and pop culture and shoes that I think are totally rad. I’m not an expert on anything. Except for myself. I’m a world renowned expert in the study of me.

And now that I think about it, that’s a pretty awesome thing to be. And that’s why I continue here. This is why I blog. Because I have an internal voice that wants to tell my story. Someday, when I’m old and my grandkids can’t imagine who I was before, I want them to be able to read here and learn about what I am all about…what I liked and who I loved, no matter how mundane it may seem. My voice matters to someone out there, even if I can’t see it yet. And that someone is me.

(Someone remind me to read this before the next time I go to Alt, deal? Deal.)

(Just in case you need to have a dance party after that heaviness…I’m having one right now too!)

Introducing…the 26th President of the United States!

IMG_8390 copy

He’s nameless no more! We’re proud to introduce Theodore Roosevelt Peters, otherwise known as Teddy, the cutest puppy ever born. This little buddy has only been with our family a week and he’s already fitting in quite nicely. He is such a sweetie, and we’re feeling pretty lucky to have him around. His likes include chewing on furniture, chasing Tate all over the house, eating sticks in the backyard, making groups of young ladies squeal at his adorableness in the River Market, watching Christmas movies and cuddling on the couch.


Last week we had a little dusting of snow, so of course we had to take Teddy out in his new winter coat to enjoy it all. He’s still getting used to the leash (and the toddler) so he was a bit freaked out by it all. In general, he’s adjusting really well. He hangs out with me and Tate during the days we are home, and comes down to the office with me when I’m working downtown. He’s becoming my little sidekick, and I’m loving it. I’m going to have to stop carrying him around everywhere though, as it’s becoming very apparent that Teddy is going to be one giant dog. He’s just shy of three months old and he’s a beast already!


(P.S. Thanks for sticking with us as we work out some hosting issues here at Crazybananas. The site has been up and down for a few weeks, as has my email, but we’re working on getting everything fixed so we don’t have to go through this again. This means we’re moving to a new host…which means in the meantime we will probably still be up and down intermittently. I love you guys for being so patient! I’m taking this forced blogging hiatus very seriously, and spending my free time cuddling with sweet Teddy, playing trains with Tate, ice skating with Lu and eating lots of Christmas cookies. It isn’t that bad, honestly!)

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