Ebb and Flow


Dear Indie Girl, 

Have you ever noticed that life can be very cyclical?  And not just in the feminine way.

I mean, like spurts of motivation and inspiration pouring out of you for weeks and weeks at a time.  You get up early, you write for hours, you keep the house clean, you go to bed on time, and you eat right.  Then, it’s like your psyche trips over something, and one night you decide to stay up later.  Then the next morning, you sleep through your alarm.  Then, you don’t make the time for your writing, and the dishes pile up, and you turn around and it’s been like a month since you’ve cleaned your office and you can’t see the couch because of all the junk piled up on it.  And this well oiled machine that was working so smoothly and being so productive is now coughing out fumes.  And you think… what happened?  

I go through this particular cycle every couple of months or so… okay, every couple of weeks would be more accurate.  I don’t understand it.  Is it my creative tendencies that lead to inconsistent behavior?  Am I maybe slightly manic depressive?  

I also tend to be a guilt ridden type of person.  So, when this happens, I always beat myself up for not staying “on track” and keeping my routine.  But, life doesn’t stick to a routine.  Life is always growing and changing and adapting to new seasons.  Life is a cycle, I guess.  

Maybe I’ve got this wrong.  Maybe I don’t need to feel guilty for riding the wave of life.  Maybe the key is just to do what you can with what you’ve got, and with wherever you’re at in the ebb and flow of life.  

Yeah, I’m going with that.  





Buffalo, buffalo

Dear Indie Girl,

This week I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to do some creative co-writing.  I say it’s creative co-writing, because my co-writer doesn’t know about it.  Sneaky…

A friend of mine is on a very long tour with her band, The Rough & Tumble.  I’ve had the pleasure of tagging along.  Well… at least I feel like I’m tagging along because every couple of days I get another postcard from another place and I get to read a little blurb about their trip.  Postcards are like a vintage concept now days, I can’t remember the last time I got one from someone other than my mom.  I love it!

Anyway, I’m writing a lot about traveling lately and the concept of home, so I decided to take her postcards and turn them into a song.  I’ve done this before actually, with a letter from the same person, and it turned out so well!  So I thought I’d try it again.  The results are not in yet, since their trip is not over yet, and I’m still getting postcards every other day or so, but I’ll be sure to share it with you when it’s all done!  I’ll give you a hint:


Until next week!


Always dress professional at job interviews


Dear Indie Girl,

This week, for the second time in my life, I wore a pair of black rain boots to a job interview.  Not professional, I know.  And I am in no way suggesting that this is a good practice.  I’m just saying… it happened.  The first time I was fresh out of college, just moved back home with my parents and stayed up way too late the night before in a fight with my mom, and didn’t care that what I was wearing was “not professional”.  In fact my mother told me this on the way out the door the morning of the interview and I shrugged it off as no big deal.  They offered me the job at the end of the interview.

I was recovering from a season of mourning.  I was mourning the loss of 2 years of my life in relationships that were the worst decisions I’d ever made.  I felt like a target for manipulative 22 year old guys.  Doomed to only ever be attracted to smartness and only ever find the guys who use it against me. I felt pretty worthless.

The last boyfriend I’d had in college not only broke up with me because he said we were intellectually incompatible, but also told me that he and his family were all teachers, and I just wasn’t the teacher type, so we didn’t fit together. He obviously hadn’t seen my results from that career placement test we all took in high school.  So, I found it fitting, I guess to apply for a position as a tutor in a college library as soon as I graduated.

I loved my job tutoring.  It had challenges of course, but I had good stories from the people I met and learned a lot about what our K-12 educational system doesn’t have to offer for those students who fall through the cracks.  These students were the ones I spent most of my time with. I did so well, that after one semester I applied to teach a Remedial English class (not college level).  I started to see for myself that I don’t need to allow someone else’s assumptions about me define who I am.  It’s okay to decide what opinions I will take with me on my journey, and what opinions I will return to dust.

I remained at that job for almost 2 years.  It was the doorway to a much anticipated fresh start in my life.  I grew to recognize my skills and my compassion for students like me, who were labeled “dumb”.  We gave each other a boost in confidence opposite sides of the library table.   I only left because I was getting married and moving across the state to Grand Rapids.  This guy was the smartest man I’d ever met, a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering, and a Master’s degree in Creative Writing.  But he actually accentuated my attributes- smarts, music, compassion, writing, business skills. We compliment each other in a way I’ve not known outside this marriage.

Funny how something like boots can trigger a flood of memories.

This week as I walked away from this second job interview in my dirty, black rain boots, (this time for teaching voice lessons- also a success), I smiled and thought, “this is gonna be good.”



It’s always okay to start over



Dear Indie Girl, 

After exposing my great plans for taking over the world by becoming a writing machine, life did what it does best, and  TOTALLY THREW OFF MY GROOVE!  I went from 2 or 3 weeks of a good writing rhythm where I wrote 5 or 6 song drafts.  Then I, arrogantly shared my success story only to turn around and have a week like this one.  Where I write hardly anything.  

Schedule changes are killers!  And you know what else is a killer?  Not getting enough sleep because you want to stay up and watch one more episode of Kora!  Don’t do that.

I’m a full time musician so the schedule changes really shouldn’t phase me at this point… sadly, they do.  If my schedule gets thrown off, I feel helpless to write a single thing worth hearing.  Mostly because my brain is so focused on what’s going to happen next.  The beauty of sticking to a writing schedule is you don’t need to think about what’s going to happen next.  The latter excuse is just foolishness.  

What I have learned though, is that when these things happen, I’m tempted to guilt trip myself into a routine again.  Don’t do this either.  Self-deprecation is NEVER productive.  If anything it only hinders my writing further.  

When you have a week like this, give yourself some grace, go to bed on time and get back up tomorrow and start over.  It’s always okay to start over.