This is a letter to my creativity coach Sara
Before our call I always give her a headsup.
My new business came to a halt, when I started setting up the second business, the renewal of my yoga career.
Temporary, of course.
But it was almost shocking how all the daily marketing and connection just flatlined, as soon as I started thinking about what I needed to set up my new Dutch yoga work.
I have pushed away the thought that this new career will inevitably result in even more marketing tasks.
More hours and hours to crunch, so that it can be done next to the work you get paid for.
Not instead of it.
I don’t get paid to be active on my socials, nor do I desire to be.
But that does come with the consequence of not being able to put in all the hours every day, as you would want to.
As I, would want to.
So I find myself in a vacuum, where my daily marketing routine has fallen by the wayside and yet the activities of this new line of work still feel clumsy, time-consuming, and overwhelming.
So little gets done.
And in the quiet of living offline, there is an unnatural amount of time to question if “it” will ever work.
My marketing routine gave me a feeling of accomplishment, and without it I feel a bit lost.
But it has also brought to light that I so deeply, deeply miss writing as LS Harteveld. The work I consider my only “real” writing work.
Under my real name (not LS harteveld) writing has fallen away too, when I started my first business late last year. I rarely write anything else than things related to that business/ website.
My creative writing has come to a stop, and without missing it.
But the writing here, that has been different. It is more a therapy, a confession. Writing as LS Harteveld, has been how I started creating a new life, in 2006. The year my relationship would end.
Finding my voice on paper and knowing what I wanted out of life, came hand in hand.
The past 5 years I have been searching professionally what I wanted. And in 2018, my first hunch was to become a fulltime writer.
I ultimately didn’t because the loneliness was killing me, but what happened in all the years after, finding my new career the one that is now in 2023 finally taking shape-
It was not good for my writing as LS Harteveld.
I like my Lauren retro-1998 project, which I started in 2019, so then it was still my retro 1994 project.
But even those blogs and the manuscript I extracted from these posts, they all seem to be such a small payoff for all those years.
Because I wrote so, so much!
Long articles, where I tried to get to the heart of what the f was happening with me. Why I felt so bad. Why the pandemic seemed to hit a nerve with me socially, and why I was practically immobilized in every way.
Out of all the blogposts I wrote since 2020 I would say 5% of the words are the retro-project, the rest is trying to decipher what was happening to me.
Part of me was so happy, when from late last year onward I was finding my feet back professionally. Under my real name.
And now with the second company too;
It is so rewarding to know you will soon be able to say “I do this” or “I am that”.
My career is giving me back an identity. Or identities, plural then.
But in the calm of setting up this second business, and not being online and not doing any online marketing, something else came up.
An understanding that I want this LS Harteveld work back.
Every time I thought about it, prior to this week, I dismissed it a bit. Brushed it off like “Too complicated.”, and “Don’t know how to sell it.” Even my love life slowly ending, or going in hibernation, with my lover quietly moving out of my life energetically, became a reason not to invest here.
What was I supposed to write about, when I didn’t have a lover?
The pandemic years had given me enough articles and frustrations along the lines of “I feel lonely and everything sucks”.
I didn’t want to add more celibacy to the pile.
And the business-thinking, that I skillfully apply for my real name, that too became a hindrance to take this, writing as LS Harteveld, seriously.
I felt pressed to have an answer to questions like;
Shouldn’t I be publishing my Lauren retro project books instead of writing more posts? The posts for the years 1994-1997, are already done.
Why would I write something new, it was much better to work on the manuscript.
Shouldn’t I just focus on writing you Sara, and maybe a Lauren 1998 post every three months or so?
Why would I write more LS Harteveld stuff, if it would all just be more depressing, complicated, celibate bs?
The worst moments were when I considered if it would not be better to just delete all LS Harteveld websites and accounts.
Writing as LS Harteveld was all just a burden, something else to attend to, in an agenda already overflowing with desk-bound responsibilities.
But from having distanced myself from this work, from this writing, the past six months or more, the past offline, marketing-low week of being by myself and being confronted with myself, has given me a different perspective.
The perspective that once upon a time, when I was still in a relationship, when my new life as a single woman, a woman who would try new things, meet new men, and become that woman who had taken agency of her sexuality and who would have adventures others could only dream off;
That life, had started with writing.
I started over half a year, before my relationship would end. And I would write through what seemed like a slow-turning first 18 months or so, with a kiss, a first touch, and ultimately sex with a new man.
I would write about the man after that, and the man after that.
Losing my best friend, and finding a best friend. And then losing her, again.
In this week of living offline, the realization came to me that although I will have my career back, within weeks now, the field of my love life is pretty much where it was in 2006, when I started writing.
That I am not having the love life and the experiences I want for myself.
Back then, I wanted to have new experiences with new men, but I thought it was a temporary period. I thought that ultimately, I would end up regretting breaking up, although I was ready to pay that price.
I ended up not regretting a thing, and realizing that my sexuality had been a poor match to monogamy.
That more than me needing multiple men, I needed a partner to have multiple women.
That I had felt suffocated, being the only person he had sex with. It had felt wrong in so many ways.
What I didn’t know then, but I do know now, is that I need a partner to be free and for him to use that freedom to have adventures. Because only then do I feel truly desired, and chosen when he has the adventure with me.
Compared to 2006, I am guessing that my desire for a different love life, a better love life, is just the beginning, just like it was back then.
That I cannot know or see, what it will ultimately lead to.
But the situations 2006 and now are similar. Back then I had a long term partner with whom I no longer had an active sex life.
And now I have long term lover, but I think that is over for a short or longer while, or permanent. You never know.
I know something must change now, just like I knew it then.
And the week offline has brought back to me how change started. How I found that life I was looking for but also, how I had found myself back;
In the beginning was the Word.
An unexamined life is not worth living
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