New year, new website!

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It’s true. I’m moving. I know. *holds you*

I have a shiny new website (SChaffin.com) designed by yours truly. Meaning, it’s time to say goodbye to Prince Abubu. And also, Her Inklings. Mostly Prince Abubu though.

For the curious, here’s exactly what’s going to change and what’ll stay the same:

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Turn the page

Yesterday morning, at around 7:45am, I finished the second draft of hail the pumpkin king –a novel whose first draft I finished almost a year ago today (I wasn’t writing Draft 2 that whole time, I swear, just for about 4 months on and off).

This is the first book I’ve written multiple drafts of while also working full-time. It’s also the first book whose first draft I’ve underwritten. And just when I feel like I’m learning things, I look up the D2 wordcount and there it is: 11,000 words that were not there before.

Still, it’s not all bad. If you recall, this summer I decided I needed a break from blogging and social media to take a f***ing vacation, phrasing brought to you by My Depleted Vocab, you’re welcome. I took about a week and a half off from social (well, social for pleasure; my job is social media management), and then came back… slowly. I haven’t really posted much of anything in the past few months. I’ve stayed off-blog.

I’m here to report that the hiatus really did help my tired, burnt-out heart. But not for the reason I thought it would.

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More confessions of a yes-woman: take a f***ing vacation

Hi, guys. This will be short, I promise.

This past week, a post I wrote for The Yellow Conference went live, and I reread it for the first time since I wrote it back in May. It’s about saying no and having the courage to set boundaries for ourselves.

A quick excerpt from “Confessions of a Yes-Woman”:

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(click to read the full post)

I know I’ve been writing a lot about self-care in the past few weeks, partly because of all the horrible things that have been happening in the world. I’m so happy to see beautiful friends like Christina Im and Topaz Winters championing self-care with gentle words and soaring voices, and the comments and messages you all have written me have flooded me with a peace I haven’t felt in a while. So thank you. Thank you so much.

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Let’s have breakfast: a post on self-care

It kind of feels like 2016 is on fire.

At least, to me. I know that most of my friends have felt the same sort of heaviness of this year – and it’s a bizarre thing to think that seven months ago we were all looking forward to a year in which maybe everything would be better. Was it naive of us to think that things could get better?

I don’t know.

I don’t know.

I do know that right now, working in communications really sucks. Every time there’s another shooting, another attack, another mass murder, every communications professional in the world is trained to react to it not with heartsickness, but with calculation. We write the condolences and statements. We pen the thoughts and prayers sent out by public figures and companies. We organize the speeches and rallies led by social justice organizations. While the world is mourning, we are working.

But in 2016, aren’t we all communications professionals?

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Why we shovel sand

Here’s a fun party story: Over the course of my life, I’ve written five novels.

Despite this, it took me a long time until I found the nerve to start calling myself “a writer.” This was largely because for the majority of my writing life, I was unrepresented and unpublished and yaddayaddayadda I overvalued the validation of other people.

Now? I’m not unpublished anymore. But I am still unrepresented.

So when strangers ask me what I do and I say, “I’m a writer,” I know I’m about to face the inevitable follow-up question, which has nothing to do with The Craft or my artistic sentiments re: the state of humanity (I know, right???). Nah bro, strangers just want to know whether they can find any of my books on a shelf in a Barnes & Noble.

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Even if He does not

So. This has been a week.

Today while I was scrolling through Instagram, I was struck by how my own posts really don’t accurately reflect the state of my heart. And all of a sudden, I felt this bizarre and urgent need to ask how everybody’s doing. To ask how you’re doing.

Or maybe it’s not so bizarre. I guess I’ve been asking that question a lot this week.

On Tuesday, the public transportation systems in Brussels were attacked by terrorists and just like that, 31 lives went out like candles. That was halfway around the world, and yet most people I know felt it hard, like we were reliving 11/13 Paris or 4/15 Boston all over again. Then the next day, just as we thought we could wake up to a better world, a woman was fatally shot outside my workplace in Skid Row.

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What to do when your seasons change

I just spent an hour staring at my screen, wondering if I could write this post.

It’s probably not going to be pretty. And believe me, I would love to seem like I have my act together. But, seeing as you guys already know that I’m a mess, there’s really no reason to care so much, right? Right.

Three months ago, I wrote this blog post called “This is our midnight.” In December, I was tired but optimistic, thinking that at least I couldn’t possibly get MORE tired before things had to get better. So I pep-talked myself in a new year’s post about weathering storms and preparing to enter a season of action or some such heartwarming bullsh*t.

In December, I had no idea what I was talking about when I said I was ready for an awakening.

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