I don't keep a diary or a journal. Sometimes I'll send emails to friends, and that's a way of recording what I was thinking at any given time. But I've never been a journal keeper.
I've been a freelancer my entire career, and, at any given time, I have several deadlines for all sorts of things, whether it's some magazine piece or ad copywriting or anything.
I love writing essays and articles, so it's hard for me to resist taking assignments that inevitably pull me away from larger projects.
I respond to about a quarter of comments. It's a good barometer of my mental health - when I'm healthy and busy, I don't read them.
The irony of the media and people in big cities is that they're charged with defining the entire culture, when in reality they don't even live in that culture. They live in such a rarified, tiny world.
Just as I never liked bumper stickers - even though I do brake for animals, and if I had a kid, she would definitely be an honor student - I don't like the idea of expressing my views through social-media-controlled rainbow-or-anything-else-ification.
As a mentor and an advocate, I've seen no end to the ways that childless people can contribute to the lives and well-being of kids - and adults, for that matter.
If you must know, my parents came from pretty hardscrabble backgrounds in the southern Midwest. I certainly didn't grow up poor, but I did spend my 20s and early 30s juggling temp jobs and choking on massive student-loan debt.
Confessions are not processed or analysed; they're told in a moment of desperation to a priest or to somebody interrogating you about a crime.
If anything, 'Fifty Shades of Grey' is a generic romance cynically engineered to appeal to the lowest common denominator of female fantasy.
We're not handed situations based on our established likes and dislikes; we get what's available.
I don't confess in my work because to me, that implies that you're dumping all your guilt and sins on the page and asking the reader to forgive you.
Self-righteousness, when you think about it, is a contra-indicator of self-esteem. It's what sets in when genuine righteousness eludes us.
A young female essayist saying they're influenced by Joan Didion is like a young female singer-songwriter saying they're influenced by Joni Mitchell.
It was a challenge for me to do a plot because I'd been an essayist and a journalist. I had to be vigilant about moving things along and being entertaining.
Much of the magic of language, of course, lies in its fluidity.
Self-esteem, the kind that comes from finding the sweet spot between a healthy fondness for yourself and healthy self-skepticism, tends to get harder to come by the older we get.
People have always taken photos of themselves, either with camera timers or by handing their Nikons over to strangers in foreign countries and then paying large sums to get them back.
Each year, in my quaint efforts to send out paper holiday cards with personal messages, I probably discard one for every three I actually manage to put in the mail. The reason is that my handwriting is now less legible than it was when I was in the second grade.
Handwriting challenges aside, I love paper cards. I love the endless stewing involved in picking them out at the store. I love buying holiday stamps at the post office, and I love that 'whoosh' sound the cards make when I drop them into the mail slot.