In case you weren’t already convinced of my inveterate geekiness, senior prom, I went -- platonically -- with my debate partner, Andrew. (Yes, Andrew. Same name as my date in this episode!) The dress I wore? That very same blue tulle strapless gown, bought at Nordstrom, if I remember correctly. Or maybe Bloomingdale’s. Either way, I hadn’t tried it on since I was 18 -- that’s 12 years (at the time this was filmed)! I was terrified prior to surprising Andrew, because I literally didn’t know whether it would zip up or not. And I didn’t have another dress. HA!
But I’m getting ahead of myself. We start this episode with me freaking out about writing. Sigh. As I write in my ELLE column:
My “writer’s anxiety” (which sometimes morphs into the more virulent and better known “writer’s block”) isn’t exactly a new phenomenon with me, but it’s gotten exponentially more severe in the last few years. It manifests as an almost debilitating concern over how others will perceive my words, leading frequently to procrastination and temporary paralysis over articles that (in theory) I *want* to do -- subjects that are engaging and intellectually stimulating and even, dare I say, fun.
I’ve published over 400 print articles and columns, and that’s not counting my thousands of blog posts ... but many of them have been unnecessarily torturous experiences. I find that the more I care about the piece, the harder it is to write. Whether that’s because I interviewed someone I greatly respected or because I was writing it for a magazine I admired or because I was sharing something deeply personal and meaningful. The pieces that weren’t difficult were those I expected no one to read. Let’s put it this way: I don’t have writer’s anxiety in my diary. See the pattern?