Monday, September 14, 2009

Sometimes you Gotta Just Say Screw It


This past week has been a trying one, I had newsletter deadline and as always I found myself wondering what to write about, you know…that I hadn’t already done recently, and true to form I was struggling with a bit of writers block. So hard to write with two hats on, here I get to just be me, share my silly bullshit, oh and curse of course, without any real pressure to sell anything. If people read something here that inspires wine sales at The Wine Country then that’s awesome, but sales are not the goal of this blog, actually have no idea what the goal of this thing is. For the newsletter I need to be tighter, more focused and we need to sell wine from that….pressure.

I end up finding myself feeling guilty about not giving those people that have been so gracious as to compliment me on my style of writing, that mouthy kind of thing they had come to enjoy. But there is really no place for jokes and all my babble in the most expensive advertising tool we have, that and not everyone gives a shit anyway. Some folks, probably most of them, just read to read about wine, hell half of them think Randy writes the whole thing as it is…, yeah that’s another killer of inspiration right there by the way, which is why I am so grateful for this blog and having an outlet for my rants and random crap. Here I get to just love wine, gush over the ones that rock me and well, just be me and not have to think, “Is this going to sell?” But during deadline week I feel guilty writing here, there are other things I should be writing and it also blurs that, “blog voice” and “work voice” even more….double pressure, Randy waiting and blog readers waiting….ACK!

So all of that has been weighing heavy on me this last week, I’m not a trained writer, I can’t just sit down and write, I lack discipline….shit in every aspect of my life, but seems really bad with the writing. I will sit for hours in front of the laptop and nothing will come, it sucks…big time. So the other issue there is that I have been blessed with a very rich social life, we are invited out all the time, I have 2 standing dates a week, (Monday is with the neighbors and Thursday is Date Night with Amy) but are out more like 4 or 5 nights a week. We have begun a very cool friendship with my cutie pie neighbors parents, so we are all either hanging outside with the kids or hanging at my pad, and that is pretty much 6 times a week. During the height of, “fuck I need to finish” nightmare I even had to tell my little buddy that I could not play with him and he could not come to my house, man did that suck.

I was getting more and more down on myself, being a whiny bitch for sure, when 3 things smacked me right in my overinflated head. A new friend, (but one I have come to care about quite a bit) shared some very painful news with me, Amy had a real meltdown about moving and I read The HoseMaster of Wine and his tribute to September 11th, (so moving) and it all reminded me how very fragile we all are, how quickly it can all change, that’ll flip the, “Quit yer bitching” switch pretty damn quick.


I found a balance for the newsletter, used some of what I had written here, (to those of you that read both…sorry for the repeats) cleaned up of course, and got it in on time to Randy….for once. I vowed to pester my new friend that is dealing with some very serious shit, every chance I get and signed on to fly out to Texas with Amy when she goes. Things came together nicely and I was able to have Sunday off with no worries or stresses looming over me. The best part? The harsh but absolutely needed kick in the ass.

Okay Sam let me get this straight, you are stressed that people enjoy your writing, you have to write about wines that you adore, and you have too many friends that want to spend time with you, is that about right?! What an asshole. I get to do what I love, taste things that most only read about, I live….loudly in my life, have the coolest albeit craziest friends on the planet, am madly in love with some of the most amazing men…ever, and some of them even love me back. Oh and let’s not forget I live across the way from one of the most adorable kids ever created, he shares his toys and we hunt crickets with the flashlight. I am beyond lucky.


I woke Sunday morning stress free, no hang-ups, nothing to do but let myself feel loved, let those I love know it and get my wild child on over at The Vortex. I won $75.00 on football pool, probably could have done without the “pool master” cramming it in my bra but whatever, he was feeling is happy place too right? I drank way too many Bloody Mary’s, ate too much, hung with my girls and had a much needed…..


Today I feel more like me than I have in a week, the hangover that came with it….consistent.


vickibarkley said...

I am in love with the Vortex and everyone in it!!!

Samantha Dugan said...

Snarf! Glad you could make it girlie.

Nancy Deprez said...

Awww thanks for sharing what you had gone through. Sometimes I feel similarly - totally stressed and melting down, then I realize, people out there have cancer, real problems, lose loved ones, and then I am really grateful for those I have, people I know, people who want to spend time with me, then I get the kick that I need to really appreciate life and all the wonderful things that I have.

Glad you feel better! I look forward to reading your newsletter articles in October! :) Champagne for turkey suggestions??

Nancy Deprez said...

By the way, the Vortex is such a pretty house, no wonder it has sold so quickly. The next owners are very lucky people.

Thomas Pellechia said...


FYI, the main trait of a professional writer is procrastination. This is how it manifests itself:

I write one weekly, one bi-weekly, and one bi-monthly column for three separate newspapers. It doesn't matter how much time between any of the columns, I always find myself putting off writing them until the moments before they are due. There
s just so many other marvelous things in life than working, which writing is for me, like well, sleeping...

Samantha Dugan said...

I was more explaining why I have been MIA as of late...but thank you for getting it. Feels great to be done with the work stresses and back to my old self. Oh and The Vortex is lovely but I will hate the new owers, we have even talked about TP-ing the house when they move in Our Vortex will you??!!

Man, you have no idea how much that helps. I have a couple of friends that are writers and they never suffer the way I do, glad I'm not alone there.

Ron Washam, HMW said...

My Gorgeous Samantha,

Not sure I ever wanted to be a couch pillow before today.

Your struggles with writers block are frustrating for you, but the creative process is meant to be about self-discovery and struggle. Much of the joy of writing is wrestling with your mind and succeeding in pinning it long enough for it to produce something interesting--and, at that, you always succeed.

And, by the way, what the hell is a "trained" writer. I know I'd flop on my belly and bark like a seal for you, but I sense you don't mean that. Writers aren't trained, they are born. And you, My Love, were certainly born to it.

I love you.

Your HoseMaster

The Woo said...

You know what Hemingway used to say...

The first step in writing a novel... clean out the refrigerator.

Writers will find any reason to put off writing. Go figure.

I've been writing a 1500 word monthly article for a trade publication for about 3 years now, and I have a whole month to do it every month... but guess what? I am always the writer convincing my editor that I should be given an extra two days to get it done. And yes, I write it in the 47th hour of those two extra days.

I'm not sure I could write anything without the extra hit of adrenaline and fatigue that comes with a looming deadline.

Yes, I know your pain. That stress is just a part of our lives. Doesn't mean we don't appreciate the rest of our lives. It just is. Do what I do... enjoy life, but still wallow in the stress of it all. Flavor contrasts make food interesting.

John M. Kelly said...

Let me be another one to chime in and say it is completely normal to procrastinate and write your stuff at the last minute. I'm convinced that organized people who write their stuff and get it in before deadline are the least creative people on the planet and write the most boring stuff. Embrace the pressure.

But my habit is to write something every day - at least 250 coherent, edited words. Don't get me wrong - I'm hardly ever writing on the stuff I really need to be doing. But I am writing.

And thanks for giving a shit, my friend.

Thomas Pellechia said...


You are "write" on. Write something everyday, even if it is just a grocery list.

In fact, by writing something else everyday, it's a cinch that you won't have the time until right before deadline to put down the thing you are being paid to put down.

Now that's heaven!

I have a story that's been assigned to me for a December deadline. I swear that I'm going to start researching it soon...

Samantha Dugan said...

Howz about a compromise, you dress up like a seal...a trained one and I'll pin you like a couch pillow....might find something interesting. (Winking) Thank you for all the kind words, again, you might want to watch that...people might think you like have a crush on me and junk.

The Woo,
Sage advice and I'm with you...I tend to marinate in my stress, till I'm pickled!

My sweet friend I will keep that in mind, have to skip the editing part...sheesh, if I edited out all the shit I should NOT say, there would be absolutely nothing left. Oh and um, how could I not. (insert big hug here)

John M. Kelly said...

Sam - Thanks! I'll take it, and return one of my own.

And re: "editing" I am not talking about self-censorship. What I mean is read, re-read and re-arranged to clarify meaning - and maybe to correct any egregious grammatical errors. And in the case of my own writing especially, take out all the words that aren't needed.

Tom - I wrote a helluva grocery list today.