Monday, July 21, 2014

The Storialist Turns Six!

Today, The Storialist is a kindergartener!

Six years of posting every weekday on this site. Sometimes it feels easy, sometimes it feels like a chore, sometimes it feels rejuvenating, sometimes it feels frustrating, and sometimes it feels comforting.

I’m always wondering--what is it I’m doing here? It’s my practice, my way of not squirming out of doing what I value. It allows me to both make space for and more fully incorporate writing in my daily life (even when it feels impossible).

More and more, what I do in writing feels like this scene. (I know it might seem absurd; hear me out!).


Paul Rudd cracks me up in this scene (from Forgetting Sarah Marshall). He’s teaching Jason Segel’s character to surf (well, supposedly). His lesson is such a non-lesson: “Don’t do anything, don’t TRY to surf. Don’t do it. The less you do, the more you do.”

It’s ridiculous and horrible advice masquerading as a sort of faux mystical, Yoda-esque method (and it is hilarious). But it’s somehow also pretty accurate in terms of describing what I try to learn in writing.

It’s not that I want to “do less” or not put forth effort. For me, it's a real balance between doing too much (intervening too much in the poem)/not enough (not carrying the idea/words far enough). I’ve learned that I need to beware of overcooking a much of writing is learning how to let it go where it wants to go, not censoring it or holding it back prematurely. This is really difficult. It involves trust, and also a certain detachment from how I want the poem to turn out (this is the "doing less" part, maybe). I don’t think this is true for all writers or artists, but for me, it all starts with deciding: today I’m going to write, and maybe it will fail, or maybe part of it will be okay. But all of this is of value.

As Paul Rudd’s surfing lesson ends, he says, enthusiastically, “YEAH! That wasn’t quite it, but we’re going to figure it out out there--c’mon, let’s go surfing.” We’ll figure it out out there, maybe, and if we don’t, we’re still figuring it out.

Undoubtedly, this year will bring new things in terms of writing--hopefully, more reviews, interviews, essays, collaborations, and experiments!

Thank you so much for reading, sharing, inspiring. I so value and appreciate everyone I've connected with through writing and blogging.

Let’s go surfing!

Previous anniversaries:
July 2008
July 2009
July 2010
July 2011
July 2012
July 2013


  1. It's always such a pleasure to stop in here daily, where I've found so many riches to discover.

    1. Thank you so much, Maureen! I've loved following your blog over the years, too.

  2. Congratulations Hannah, and thank you for your commitment to poetry and writing and reading, and showing up! Your effort and work are of great value.

    1. Thank you, Drew! Thank you for your kindness and support.

  3. Hannah, Congratulations on the anniversary. I'm so happy that I found The Storialist. I appreciate your beautiful poems. Thanks for sharing them with us.

    1. So sweet of you--thank you! Glad to know your writing, too.

  4. Hi Hannah, Thank you so much for sharing your poetry and your process, and your thoughts... I've told you before how you've enhanced my view of the world through your ideas and perspective so wonderfully and expertly expressed in your poems, narrative essays and notes. Congratulations on reaching your sixth year!

    1. Oh, thank you!! It feels like we've been reading each other for so long, doesn't it (in the best way possible)? :)

    2. Yes! You so much more than me, of course... I enjoy and appreciate our communication!


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