This is a letter to my creativity coach Sara
Before our call I always give her a headsup..
When I copied my former letter to you into a draft – a process only allowed in block editor, after which I then have to return to my draft section and open the copied post in Classical Editor, click some variation of “Are you sure you want this?!” because WordPress wants you to use Block editor and THEN I can write my post in classical editor –
I stumbled upon a new feature:
Below the Block Editor box to write a new title for my copied post, there was a writing prompt.
Now ironically, this totally useless addition to the Block Editor I have already been dodging like the Covid virus for three years, happened exactly in the three weeks I tried to start my new website for my new 2023 company;
A process in which I encountered and needed to dodge and work around the new WordPress update many, many times.
Because Block Editor is just one of the seven heads of Gutenberg, as the update is officially called. There is mayhem waiting beneath every feature, not just editing.
These other hard-to-do-without features of the old WordPress have also disappeared, or need to be reinstalled with a plugin or a piece of code;
Two things I’m not going to come near!
My new WordPress site still has a few things that I either have to solve, give up on, or settle for, and I haven’t made up my mind.
For the first time ever however, I am very happy that I have so many websites!
Under my real name, as well as under this name LS Harteveld.
I have so many blogs, all built in the era when WordPress was still easy!
And in particular because they have zero plugins, which are the achilles heel of any website, they all still work great.
So hooray for that, but the new website does require more effort in things that should have been just minutes work.
The Gutenberg update has become increasingly hard to move around.
But one of the things I did encounter on my quest to find the older features, was an option to click (or, more likely “unclick”) suggested writing prompts.
So I had an “Aha!” experience when I saw it popping up here!
When making my website, I had still assumed the writing prompt feature had been installed somewhere in the past year, because that’s when I last made a new website.
But seeing this writing prompt popping up here, and I know it wasn’t there three weeks ago, means it was apparently installed in the past 3 weeks, and it’s default setting is:
“Yes please! I want to receive writing prompts because when I open a new draft I’m always totally clueless what the fuck I should be writing about.”
Who does that?
Who would open a file, not knowing what to write?
Who would EVER, not know what to write?
To me having a writer’s block is not just unimaginable;
It would be preferable.
I can dream of a future where I have nothing to write, and nothing to say.
The businesses I could build!
The money I could make!
The fame I could have!
And all the fun stuff I would be able to do, all the adventures I would be able to have, without needing 5000 words and eight hour long writing sessions to process it all.
Oh writer’s block…. * dreamy eyes *
If they sold writer’s block in a bottle I would treasure that thing, and guard it with my life.
I definitely need to find and unclick that option for writing prompts, and on all my blogs.
Because I came here knowing perfectly well what I would write about, and just spent all those paragraphs writing extra, on some random prompt that was forced on me by WordPress Gutenberg.
Distraction, making a WordPress blogger forget what they came here to write about, is the work of the devil.
I knew Gutenberg was evil.
So, what I came here to write about was: I found my values!
This was always high on my wishlist. The only reassurance I did have, stumbling around without knowing my values, was that it is impossible to go against them.
I will never drift off that much.
I will freeze, block or blow something up when something against my values happens, so in practice they’re pretty hard to miss.
But I didn’t want practice: I wanted theory.
I wanted concept.
I wanted to know what my values were, in their most abstract and general form!
Not in their most manifest, practical, worldly form, because that shit is ever changing.
You can’t build a life on that.
And you certainly cannot build your 2023 company on responding to the devil in it’s infinite number of appearances.
Particularly not when you are really a writer and would like to write stuff all day and NOT have a company at all!
But be taken care off by an agent and a publisher.
In particular then, you do not have time to deal with everything that is against your value, in its shape-of-the-day.
You need to be crystal clear on your values and spot the things going against them, from afar.
So, I found them, my values.
Initially there were 12, but I managed to bring them down to 7.
But after writing this blogpost, I realize that I was really only halfway…. that the list of values is not complete, without a list of sins.
And also, that some of my values were actually still way too specific.
It is very practical for the day-to-day use of these values, to make them specific.
For example “writing”.
Because then I know WHAT, which activity, matters to me and should be chosen over a different one.
However, the moment you want to reverse the values to find its antithesis, this no longer works.
There is no opposite to writing.
You can only find the opposite to writing if you first make it into an abstraction which is;
To think, and to send my thoughts into the world.
I could do without writing, but I cannot do without being allowed to think for myself and let my voice be heard.
So having said that I am tweaking the list, in order to be more abstract, and be able to find my personal opposing forces.
And I can already see why that WordPress writing prompt was indeed the opposite from what I am all about.
It was imposing their thoughts upon me, when I write to bring my thoughts out into the world.
Not haul them in.
7 Values, 7 Deadly Sins.
Number 1 is the top priority on the left, leading into the top nemesis situation, or sin, on the right.
daily shape: love for my mother, pets, drawing cute cartoons, making photo collages of my teddy bear.
This is love in its most uncomplicated form, where you trust each other completely. It wasn’t until recently that I realized how small this category really is.
And that it should be, because this is the unbreakable bond category.
It is inherently unfree (point 2 on the list), and that means that I can only use this category for those of whom I know I, can live up to that.
And that they welcome it.
This is where I give not just unconditional love, but also an unconditional relationship.
Based on my top value, the anti-thesis to love, the first deadly sin, are relationships.
Because they can exist without love being there.
daily shape: Financial freedom and sexual freedom
For years I’ve known that the rules to what’s acceptable, allowed or even encouraged, are dependent on your financial independence. That men have always been sexually more free, BECAUSE they were financially more free.
And vice versa, that the sexual repression of women and minority groups can only be enforced as long as they are financially dependent on men, their employer, or even their clients.
That capitalism is both the weapon of the patriarchy as well as its achilles heel.
The moment you have attained financial freedom, not just free from your spouse but also free from employers or clients, then you’re free as a bird.
This explains why building a new business is so important for me. Not because I don’t see I am a writer, and secretly entertain fantasies about being kept by my publisher and agent;
But because I have a deep understanding that being an entrepreneur and having different income streams, coming from different markets (globally/ online, nationally and locally) is not just a nice to have;
It is a must.
The antithesis to Freedom is dependency, in particular financial dependency.
daily shape: I’ve had a lover for multiple years now, and I am open to meet a new lover too.
To me great sex means having sex with someone I am crazy about, but with whom I share no ties, that can point to the aforementioned relationships.
Of course I have a relationship with him; Just like I have a relationship with all my friends.
But it is a relationship of equality.
A relationship that can be broken by either party, even without explanation. Not wanting to be with the other person, is enough reason to stop showing up.
3.👹LOVE RELATIONSHIP WITH FINANCIAL DEPENDENCY
daily shape: Writing and Publishing
I was very surprised to have writing, and publishing in particular, so high up my list.
But it is inspiring me to keep the pressure on working on publishing my books. On looking for ways to systemize making books from collections of blogposts and to see the writing of blogposts as writing on my books, which ultimately, it is.
When the past few years I had started to view writing as a marketing tool.
So writing wasn’t “actually” a real thing, in my opinion. It was only as good as the monetizable product or service I would be able to sell on the back of it.
But I no longer think that.
I am a writer and my blogs are my treasure trove to make books from, and to build my legacy.
To let my voice, my expression, be heard further and wider.
4.👹EXPRESSING SOMEBODY ELSE’S TRUTH/ LYING
daily shape: Yoga and walking/ cycling
This one is such a great one!
I have said it before, but I can really SEE my new body, in my mind’s eye! I know it’s there, I know what it’s going to look like.
It’s not Madonna’s 1990-ish body, as I originally thought.
But it’s her 2012 MDNA promo-shoots, that have the energy, the feel, of what it is I want.
Which means I’m actually going to put two of the OG original sins on my list!
5.👹GLUTTONY & SLOTH
daily shape: studying the topics I love (incl movies, days out, art) and blogging or posting about it.
When this came out at number 6, I thought:
“This is why you don’t have a man, Lauren!”
Ha ha ha. Well, in my defense, we now know I don’t “have” a man because I think it kills the sex which was in my top 3.
But I think having fun at 6 doesn’t help.
In particular when my day-to-day idea of fun are actually solo activities.
These are the times when I study marketing and business;
Start sorting through my notebooks, play with my laminator, or start making playlists on YouTube, or collages on my phone, and forget the time.
For finding the antithesis, I m going to focus on their spontaneous and time-consuming nature;
It is the being able to spend ample time on these things, that makes them fun.
6.👹 HAVING A RIGID SCHEDULE
daily shape: Receiving recognition online, nationally or internationally.
Again, a case of “No wonder this isn’t happening; Having it at 7!”
But I think it is exactly where it should be.
To me, being known is way more something that makes monetizing to achieve the #2 of financial freedom easier, and sustainable into the future, than something I aspire for personal reasons.
Whether or not I am known as the writer LS Harteveld, or as a specialist under my real name, or under my real name as a writer even;
It doesn’t matter.
But I will go for all of them.
I have identified four different markets, two of which I have a pretty good idea of how to achieve the status that will make people want to work with me.
So that is two markets where I expect to achieve status.
But I’m very enthusiastic to figuring the other two out 😉
7.👹 RESTRICTIONS TO MY PUBLIC PERSONA
That was it!
7 Values, 7 sins.
Or, as the tagline of the movie Seven goes:
Seven deadly sins.
Seven ways to die.
Ain’t that the truth.
An unexamined life is not worth living
Subscribe to this blog for my letters to Sara, and my 1997 diary.
The subscription button is on this page, most likely on the top right.
My diaries are available at LULU
New books will be added.
The best way to receive updates on when these books are ready,
is to subscribe to this blog.
Button on this page, probably on the top right.
Or follow my Facebook page
/ Twitter: @LSHarteveld