Holly Lovell

My friend Holly released her EP yesterday!  

Yeah, she’s kind of amazing.  🙂  

It’s so fun to see everything come back around full circle like this.  I knew Holly through her parents – the amazing Tim & Donna – who were a big part of my life when I was growing up and (very slowly) coming into my own in those super awkward teen years, running around doing my own music and being a part of 13th Hour.  

And now, I’ve listened to Holly’s music from afar for the past few years (seriously, Holly would post a new concert clip on YouTube and my Facebook feed would be: Twelve friends have posted this video in the last hour… Thirteen… Fourteen...)   We connected in Denver over Christmas, and it’s always so great to have fellow artists and creative types reminding you that you’re not alone in all of the craziness… You totally help push each other forward.  (This also reminds me!  I need to tell you about the book The Crowd, The Critic and The Muse… another blog for another time…) 

And now I can share Holly’s music with you!   Yay!  

For everything – you can check it out here ——>  Holly Lovell


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Not Alone in LA

I’ll say it. Living in Los Angeles has a reputation for being really difficult.  Some people think LA and imagine a city where you’re surrounded by a bunch of mean girls who are out to end you and steal all your friends and dates and drinks.  And their shoes are always going to be better.  Always.  (The part about the shoes may be true.)

And some people – going off of that whole idea – look at me like I’m a bonkers crazy girl.  How on earth can you live in a city like that? 

This is part of why:

lavendar light

Boom.  Unfiltered and everything.  That’s a point and snap photo of my beautiful city in the lavender light of sunset.

That is why I live here. 

For starters, anyway. 75* in February?  Come on! What’s not to love?

See, it turns out LA isn’t always that kind of evil backstabby sort of city.  But it totally depends on you.

When you’re kind and generous and creative and awesome, you’re going to attract other people who are kind and generous and creative and awesome.  You attract the same kind of vibes you put out, if that makes sense.   It’s true that not everyone is shiny and brilliant and lovely all the time.

But you kill those suckers with kindness. 

It’s just a good thing to do.  But it also saves your mental and emotional capacity for things you actually want to be talking about  and spending your time on.  And would you rather be known as the person who fought back and was equally as nasty?  Or would you rather be the person who gets the reputation for being unfailingly kind?  (Ps – “kind” does not equal “doormat”.  Just saying.)

And seriously – you just have to get over yourself.  Stop worrying about what everyone else is thinking about you.  People are people – and no one can survive on their own.  See, whether or not they’d actually admit it – people really do want friends.  They want community.  They want a safe space where they can be themselves and not get destroyed for it.

We all want to know that we’re not alone. 

The other morning – I was out running.  It was super early and COLD.  (38* actually.  That’s like Los Angeles’ version of subzero.  I felt like I should be all bundled up in an Eskimo suit to go running.  As a side note, I’ve totally lost my Colorado girl edge.)   Now, I’m just getting into running, and everyone else in my neighborhood who runs is totally awesome at it.  These are the people who take off for their “morning jog” at a faster clip than I could even sprint.  I watch them running and picture them dashing through a ‘short run’ of 20 miles while I’m praying I can make it to 3.  Sigh. They’re awesome.

But I was running and being all super-judgy towards my own lack of running skills.  And another runner coming the other way gave me a wave and a head nod.  Hello, fellow runner. 

And suddenly, I felt awesome.  Like I had been let into this secret society of runners. Like  I had my member card all the sudden.  Like I was now allowed to run alongside.  That’s Lynn. She’s one of ours. 

That’s the kind of city I live in.  That’s the kind of people I’m surrounded by.  Those are the people I want in my life.  The people I need in my life. 

It’s true that LA can be an ugly place.  I watch it unfold every day.  But for those of you who are wondering – we’re just people here too. We live our lives and go to work and the grocery store.  We need other people.

So – my fellow LA people:  you’re not alone.  We’re all out here, wanting connection just as much as you do.

Say hello. 

I promise I’ll say hello right back. 

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Death to Perfectionism

Some thoughts I’ve been pondering lately… and I just wanted to share.

Like so many other things in life, art is a total high-wire act.

It’s this crazy mix of trying to find new and fresh ways into these absolutely universal stories of love, pain, life, death, healing and utter brokenness. And you have to tell stories in a way that people connect with.  New and comfortable, new then comfortable.  You have to leap into that newness and not be afraid to make mistakes.  

Death to perfectionism! 

See, perfectionism tends to be the death of a writer… I have to be able to write 10 crappy versions of something before I get to something I really want to share.  I have to trust that today is not forever, and that this draft doesn’t always have to be permanent.  I will always have things to learn.  My words can always be improved.

That’s just part of the adventure.   

And I am a hardcore perfectionist.  

Nobody wants to be friends with someone who’s a perfectionist all the time. Nobody wants to create with someone who believes to the very core of their soul that they are 100% right all the time. That means there is no room for error or change or mistakes. And if you think you’re perfect, you’re probably never going to accept imperfections in other people either.

Hello, worst friend ever.

But being a writer requires you to believe in the words you’re saying and the stories you’re telling, and being willing to fight for them to the ends of the earth. You have to be confident and concrete in every thing you put to paper.

This is the story I’m trying to tell. This is the heart behind my words. This is the final word, at least in this moment.

And yet, you have to be willing to toss it all out at a moment’s notice. You have to believe that something else you could come up with tomorrow might be better than today. It means living on a razor’s edge of “I am not perfect. My words are not perfect” and being willing to fully and completely admit that to everyone you come in contact with.

But on the other awesome side – you get to live in a world where tomorrow’s words will be better. You’ll learn more, live more, experience more – and tomorrow, you’ll wake up a better artist.

Perfectionism will kill that awesome side of the razor’s edge.

If you’re already perfect, what does tomorrow bring?

I am a perfectionist to the extreme. I’m a firstborn with a wild aversion to ever making mistakes. What if I screw something up and that single mistake ends up becoming the only thing people remember about me? I shudder to think.

But my life is so so much better when I stare down this battle head on. I’m a young writer, not even 10 years out of high school. I have so much to learn every single day. But life seems more doable when I admit that I can’t do it all. The projects I’m writing today are light years better than what I was writing 5 years ago. Maybe in another 5 years, my stories will be even better!j

And in the meantime, I’m growing as a writer and artist, (hopefully) becoming a better one every day.  

And I get to have adventures, living with amazingly talented people who inspire me and push me forward.  I am seriously the luckiest girl in the world.  But it’s only when I admit I don’t know it all that I can actually learn anything from these brilliant artists who surround me. 

Death to perfectionism.  It will be the end of us all! 

Take risks… be alive and crazy… dream bigger.  

I know I’m certainly trying. 

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