A Lookback at My Favorite Writing This Year
This is in response to a prompt from Kay Bolden. I was considering taking a few days off for the holidays (days off!? for a writer?!), but I just need to get this one out there first!
I started writing for Medium in July. I’m a Top Writer now in This Happened To Me, Parenting, Feminism, Culture, and Love! I’m so excited to keep writing, publishing, and connecting with other writers, in the new year!
These are my 11 favorite pieces that I wrote for Medium this year:
Growing Up Jewish in America
I actually just hit publish on this one today, after holding onto it for almost 2 months. I felt so vulnerable writing it that I didn’t want to just haphazardly publish it. Today, because my Favorite Essays of the Year wouldn’t be complete without it, I finally self-published it here on Medium:
Online Yoga Saved My Marriage
Speaking of being vulnerable…. In this piece for P.S. I Love You, I got honest about my marital difficulties, and about what’s helped. This is my most-read, most-clapped piece so far, and I understand why it resonates with people: honesty, and hope. My favorite thing about it is how many people have reached out to me to tell me their marriage, or their mental health, needs help too, and they’re gonna give yoga a try:
When I asked my husband to do a month of YouTube yoga with me, I didn’t even expect him to say yes.psiloveyou.xyz
My Rapist Wrote Me an Apology
Okay, it turns out my favorite pieces are the ones where I’m the most vulnerable. I’m still kind of amazed I got to a point where I could write about this. I felt anxious enough about it that I even published (in The Writing Cooperative) this piece about waiting for it to be accepted for publication. For P.S. I Love You:
Sixty-Seven Hours of Homebirth
I don’t expect anything else for the rest of my life to top my birthing experience, in terms of intensity. I loved writing about it in excruciating detail, TMI-be-damned. Every birth is different, and this is just my story. For P.S. I Love You:
Let's get real about birth. It's not like you see in the movies.psiloveyou.xyz
Losing — And Finding — Your Artistic Innocence
In my first piece for Art & Parenting, I think I conveyed a lot, without using a lot of words. Also, I just love that hilarious, adorable video of my kid. “But as for me, I want to write like a child: joyful, confident and alive with creation”:
My kiddo was 2-and-a-half the first time she heard the dangerous idea that art can be good or bad.medium.com
The Dog Food/Jewish Aisle of My Local Grocery
This piece was about speaking truth to power, about micro-aggressions, about self-doubt... and about how Old Yeller Dog Food really shouldn’t be a thing. This story was widely shared (my first story to be retweeted), and it even spawned another piece (for The Writing Cooperative) about my surprise when some people — including the Medium curators — found the original article to be funny. Here it is:
Anti-Semitic micro-aggressions, and how it feels to say something.medium.com
Back to My Childhood Bedroom
What other place but Medium gives a platform for poetry, where it’s easy to publish and people actually read it? I read and clapped lots of other writers’ poems, and then decided to give it a try myself. For P.S. I Love You:
Uninvited, at My Internet Boyfriend’s Door
This piece captures that super-cringey feeling of adolescence. I really wanted to do this story justice, as it’s a formative story in my personal narrative that I don’t usually tell, and I’m happy with how it turned out. For P.S. I Love You:
What’s the Most Important Thing?
I was squealing with joy the day this one was the featured essay on P.S. I Love You. Whenever my kid says something amazing, ridiculous, insightful, and/or adorable, I try to write it down. I compiled enough of them that this just wrote itself:
Questions (and answers) from a 4-year-old philosopher.psiloveyou.xyz
Are These the Good Old Days?
This is another one where less is more. “ As I talk, I’m wondering to myself if this is a Good Old Day right now”:
Why does this Macklemore/Kesha song always make me bawl in front of my kid?medium.com
Love Letter to My Dog
Okay, picking a last piece was hard. I’ve written 40 pieces, and I basically love all of them. This one, for P.S. I Love You, is dear to me because it has all those pictures of my cuuuuuuuute pup. I think how my dog will never be able to read it, will never know I wrote it, but I needed to write it anyway. So much of human/dog communication is lost in translation. But my dog knows I love him, and I know he loves me:
P.S. I Love You, The Writing Cooperative, and Art & Parenting, for elevating my work. Thanks also to Raise Vegan Magazine, online and in-print; RV’s not on Medium (I wish!), but they got me writing again, and I am so proud to write for them.
(A few of the) writers I love: Your turn!
If you haven’t done a review of your favorite pieces of the year, what are you waiting for? If you have done it, feel (more than) free to comment with a link to yours!: Chris Ing, Elle Beau, Florence Ashley, Blue Fences, Tina Viju, Kitty Hannah Eden, Katy Preen, Shannon Ashley, Louise Foerster, Sam McKenzie Jr., Marley K., Michelle Matthews