#100loveletters: Writing Through Self-Hate

#100loveletters: Writing Through Self-Hate

(This post is part of the #100loveletters challenge, which started June 21. The challenge is open to anyone, at no cost! It’s really easy, and really hard – for 100 days, from June 21 to September 29, or 100 days from whenever you start, write yourself a love letter. It can be short, it can be long, it can be a stick figure or a sonnet or a flower or a song. It can be written down, or it can be an act of love. Share your pictures, comments, thoughts, and stories in the hashtag #100loveletters on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or in your blog, and find a community of people practicing a summer of daily self-love, or participate offline. You can also enter to win a hand-written letter by emailing me. I’ll be drawing a random name every twenty days over the course of the challenge. You can also join the email list to receive writing prompts, encouragement, and success stories.)

I interviewed Stasha at the beginning of the 100 Love Letters challenge, since she was the inspiration for the challenge.

Now, three weeks into the challenge, I was lucky enough to interview her again on the topic of writing ourselves love letters when we’re in the middle of feeling shame, anger, fear, or self-hate. This is a topic that has come up again and again for challenge participants, and it’s worth digging into. So, here we go.

Stasha – Question the first?

Tiffany – Yes! Excellent. In our first interview, we talked a lot about the beginnings of the project, and what it offered you in terms of that deep well of self-loving actions and accumulated evidence – I loved the image you shared of having that big stack of love letters to look back on.

We’re into the #100loveletters challenge now, and quite a few people have sent me messages asking about how to write a love letter when you’re hating yourself. My answers have mostly been “just start with whatever you have available, even if it’s just a walk or a post-it note or a mug of tea” but I wondered if you had wisdom about this, since you’ve been through the full 100 days.

How do you write – WHAT do you write – when you’re feeling self-hate?

Stasha – I’m just looking through my letters because I felt a lot of self-hate during the process…

One example, I was feeling really rejected, which is a feeling that I can get easily stuck in. So, I tried to think of the opposite of rejection and wrote those words around my heart. Another time I did the same about interrupting, because I was trying to listen better.

Tiffany – Oh, I like that a lot. That fits with the Dialectical Behaviour Therapy skills I’ve been working on in my own life – looking for opposites, and intentionally choosing an opposite and incompatible word/thought/action.

Stasha – Oooo yes dbt forever! I love the story of dbt creation and I try to fight the professionalization of the system of dbt. (Tiffany’s note: The New York Times recently ran a profile on Marsha Linehan, the creator of DBT. Her work is particularly important because it came out of her own experiences of borderline personality disorder – still such a stigmatized condition – and extreme self-harm. If “nothing about us without us” is your rallying cry, her work is worth exploring.)

Stasha – I externalize things like anger monsters for my coping/healing work all the time, so I used that to try and remind myself of good. Example: I get to be in the same world as this tree. One externalizing technique about love letters is that even if you were really disappointed in someone you loved, you could probably still summon a love letter for them. I kept going because I wanted to show myself the same care.

Tiffany – One thing I’m thinking about, that I’m not sure how to talk about… So, forgive the awkwardness/uncertainty of this.

Stasha – Uncomfortable is required to learn, so I’m ready.

Tiffany – But I have had times in my life when a project like this would have hurt so much, because I just could not summon anything resembling a love letter for myself. I think that some of the people who have been watching the project develop, and have been wanting to participate, may be in that space. Right now, I can do this challenge. I have spent years working on self-compassion and on being able to act with love even when I don’t feel love.

The reason I find this so tough to talk about is because I want this to be a tool that is accessible to everyone – we can all show ourselves care even when we don’t feel it! We can all invest this time in ourselves! – but as I speak with people, and as I think through my own history, I am recognizing that there are times when this really isn’t possible. And I want to acknowledge that, without framing it as failure, and also offer some hope or some alternatives.

Do you have any insight or thoughts for people who maybe want to do this now but are really struggling with it?

Stasha – Yes. This is so important. Me too.

One thing that I do, that many professionals define as a symptom of trauma, is pick up treasure like a crow. Bits of glass or rusty things or worm-eaten wood.

Tiffany – I love that image. Corvids forever.

Stasha – In my love letters the symbol of the crow is recurring and was a way for me to have this as a positive image while I gathered that summer’s treasures together in a copper pot.

Nowadays I get rid of the treasures by giving them to the river in the fall, before I kept them. I knew that I was going to reengage this coping mechanism, even though I had not done it for awhile. So, I summoned my corvid power and listed the pros of crows when I couldn’t list them about myself.

Tiffany – Oh, I really love that. Having something you associate with yourself (like the crow for you, for me it would be fae folk), that you can list beloved or positive traits about even when you can’t list them about yourself.

Using your patronus / alter-ego / animal friends in your love letters

  • What do you associate with yourself? If could be an animal, a character, an idea, an object. Think of the Patronus idea from Harry Potter – something powerful, associated with who you are as a person, that can be summoned to protect you.
  • What are your favourite things about the animal/object/idea you associate with yourself?
  • What makes that creature/concept/thing so cool?
  • What is one story or myth or memory associated with that animal/object/idea that you treasure?

Stasha – When I felt broken or as if I had a giant hole in my spirit I would weave paper and fabric into a letter. I learned that one year at Equinox Vigil, a really neat Calgary event about the need for public mourning of grief of all kinds.

Tiffany – That sounds like a valuable tool, too. (And I am thinking a lot about sensory stuff as I build the summer course – registration is still open for one more week! – I love how that practice of weaving a bandaging or healing letter would blend tactile and visual senses with fine motor skills – bridging left and right brain selves, and helping both from a narrative perspective and also from a physical perspective.)

Stasha – Yes to mind melding our own minds!

I used the metaphor of growing A LOT. And home. I wanted to be home and safe when I was with myself. Big difference between with myself and by myself. That meant confronting the shit.

One love letter was a rock with a hole through it from persistent water drops.

Tiffany – Oh, that is lovely. And I love how fluid and flexible your definition of love letter is. I think that’s something I could definitely improve for myself. Or, maybe to put it more gently, that could be an invitation to more flexibility in my own thinking.

How much time did you spend on this project per day? Did you find the time commitment overwhelming? How did you carve out and protect the space for that?

Stasha – Ha! Gentle is good. I usually would write the love letter in the morning, so it could be based on what I needed for that day, and then at night I wrote 3 things that weren’t terrible about that day. I love structure for my healing, so those bookends really helped me to accomplish my other goals.

Tiffany – I like that idea. I might try that for myself, because the last-thing-at-night love letters don’t feel so good for me – they feel like avoidance and dismissal, you know? And it’s funny – even though I feel that, I haven’t shifted it. But I like your idea of bookends and of the love letter giving you what you need for the day.

Stasha – I showed myself evidence that other people loved me, when I felt less able to do it myself. I drew stick figure me and cut out my name from birthday cards to show myself that I was surrounded by love.

Dear Tiffany, If you need some material for your love letters you can look into concepts such as Radical Hope, which you demonstrate every single day. You could interview someone who loves you about your great qualities, even though it is scary. – Stasha

Tiffany – I love that so much. Thank you!

I have been struggling with that concept of “deserving” all week. I have been avoiding writing my letters – I usually write them ten minutes before bed, long after my brain wants to be done, and if I weren’t running this challenge publicly, I don’t think I would be doing them. They feel indulgent and … “bad” – selfish, ridiculous, foolish, arrogant.

Stasha – So write them to the fairies and fae. Write them to the crows and elf leaders.

Tiffany – Yes. I love that idea! And maybe we can invite others to help us see ourselves through a loving mirror, when we’re not able to do that for ourselves.

Interview Questions to ask someone who loves you when you’re struggling to write your own love letter (you can use this template as-is, or adapt it):

Hi, I would like to ask you some questions. It’s totally okay if you’re not able or don’t have time to answer. This is challenging for me to ask, because I’m struggling with not liking myself a lot right now. I’m asking you because I trust you, and I trust your insight and your ability to see me clearly. I know that you love me. I appreciate you taking the time to answer these for me.

  • What comes to mind when you think about me?
  • What is your favourite memory involving me?
  • Can you think of a time when I did something well?
  • Can you share a story that demonstrates something you admire or enjoy about me?

Tiffany – Do you have any other thoughts on the topic of doing this project while experiencing self-hate?

Stasha – I do all my projects while experiencing self-hate. I think a shocking number of us do. I think I drew brick walls 3 times in my letters, not as barriers but as symbols of the cumulative effort required to get that shit voice* to also listen to compassion.

Tiffany – It is so common. So, so common. I think you’re right

Stasha – My 100th letter I painted a life size tree, while naked. I took lots of pictures of that PROCESS, because that was the gift to myself: the wonderful process of fucking up, exhibiting symptoms, lying to myself about my worth, and listing 1-3 non-crap things per day. Otherwise known as messy healing, the most sacred of love spells.

Now this process of seeing other people struggle within this same process, is so validating and healing. Because sometimes I forget how awesome I am or the amazingness of the things that I have tried. Just like you and you and you. It is really nice to try stuff together.

Tiffany – One thing that comes up repeatedly in the narrative therapy training that I’m doing, is the idea that people need to know that their experiences and knowledges can help others. Maybe one motivation for getting through the 100 Love Letters challenge is so that in a year or two years or ten years, when we have someone else in our life struggling, we can draw on these experiences and offer them hope and help.

Just like you are doing now, because you ARE amazing and badass and wise and resilient!

Stasha – Awwww thanks friend. Pulling knowledge out of pain is the original chocolate chips* out of shit! Just like YOU are doing now. Part of my 100 love letters process was to do it for me instead of for other people.

Tiffany – One thing that I did a few years ago was to give myself stickers for every positive or useful thing that happened or I did in the day. I think it was a similar process. It helped me start to see myself as competent and worthy, at a time when I did not experience myself as either of those things. I don’t even know where I got that I idea, but I used it to claw myself up out of one of the darkest holes I’ve been in.

I think that we are often so much more resilient, and so much more wily in our survival strategies, than we give ourselves credit for.

Thank you for sharing your wisdom about this! And for sharing this project. It’s a good one!

Stasha – Wily af! Thank you for building on it, there has been so much learning, and it is early still in the process!!

Tiffany – I know!! We are not even a fifth of the way through, and already so much wisdom and generosity has been shared. I’m excited to see the project continue!

Stasha – Way to grow!

* Stasha’s Chocolate Chip Wisdom (note on this section for discussion of eating shit)

Stasha – Now. Everyone loves chocolate chips.

Ok not everyone, but many do.

I describe this process [of finding self-love in the middle of self-hate] as picking chocolate chips out of a pile of shit.

It has been my direct experience that kids who are coping with abuse from primary caregivers, particularly neglect – are really, really good at picking chocolate chips out of piles of shit.

So we like chocolate. But when you are picking your chocolate out of shit, you are going to also eat a lot of shit.

And this shit will get inside you. And this shit will give you a mean belittling voice that will tell you that you are no good.

Sometimes this shit will destroy you or tell you to destroy yourself. It will always tell you that you are no good. That you don’t deserve 100 love letters.

I think though that I found a loop hole here, because the shit will never tell you not to write 100 love letters, only to not write them to yourself!

It is sad because everyone except us knows that we deserve this love. That shit gets in the way.

(Running the #100loveletters challenge is possible because of the amazing support of my community, especially my Patreon patrons. If you’d like to keep this work going, consider checking out my Patreon, or liking my Facebook page, or following me on Instagram.)

#100loveletters: The letters we don’t write

#100loveletters: The letters we don’t write

(This post is part of the #100loveletters challenge, which started June 21, and is open to anyone, at no charge! The challenge is really easy, and really hard – for 100 days, from June 21 to September 29, write yourself a love letter. It can be short, it can be long, it can be a stick figure or a sonnet or a flower or a song. Share your pictures, comments, thoughts, and stories in the hashtag on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or in your blog, and find a community of people practicing a summer of daily self-love.

You can join the email list to receive writing prompts, encouragement, and success stories.)

Yesterday, just a week into the 100 Love Letters Challenge, I didn’t write myself a love letter.

I thought about it. I almost wrote it. I almost wrote about ten different versions of it. There were multiple points in the day where I thought “I did that well, I love that about myself,” or “that was really challenging, I could use some gentleness and love around that issue.”

(Like every day, there were moments of confidence, moments of doubt, moments of anger, moments of joy. Once you start noticing your experience, the complex and varying texture of each day becomes so much more apparent.)

I even pulled out my box of greeting cards* and flipped through, looking for the right card for what I was feeling.

I thought about writing my love letter in another Facebook post – I’ve done that most days so far.

I thought about taking some more pictures and turning one of them into a meme to go with the love letter – I’ve been enjoying the nudge towards more creativity.

I thought about scrawling a stick figure on a post-it note, as midnight approached, and I started to feel more anxious about missing the deadline.

But the stick figure on a post-it note would have been purely performance – that wasn’t the love letter I wanted. It would have just been for show, to prove that I’m doing the challenge successfully. So, I didn’t do it. It didn’t really feel loving.

I’m not sure why I didn’t write myself a letter yesterday. I could have – I had the time, I had the content, I had the motivation. I wasn’t hating myself, or particularly disappointed in myself, or feeling ashamed of myself. I had moments of self-awareness and self-compassion that could easily have become a love letter.

But I also had a significant reluctance to write. To write anything. Anything at all.

My reluctance was both internal and external.

On the one hand, I felt anxious about being visibly self-loving. What if I love myself too much, too openly, too loudly, too visibly? What if it makes people hate me? And, also, what if I love myself visibly, but I do it wrong, and people are disappointed in me? Visibility is risky. That’s the external reluctance – the fear of what people will think about what I write to myself.

But then, the internal resistance.

It’s just hard, my friends.

Writing myself a love letter every day is hard.

I don’t like it.

I like self-care that focuses on my flaws, my anxieties, my failings. I like looking at my failures and then forgiving myself for those. I like paying attention to the sadness, the fear, the wounds that still hurt. It keeps the focus where I’m comfortable.

Love letters are different.

Romance is different.

Different, and hard.

I can do love letters to others, and romance for others, easily. But not so much for myself. I might do it wrong. I might do it wrong.

And so, yesterday I didn’t write.

Because I am running this #100loveletters challenge, that unwritten letter is, in some ways, as visible as any of the written letters. And it’s worth acknowledging the lack of a letter. It’s worth talking about the resistance.

Every one of us in this challenge will run into resistance. There will be so much resistance. And we will get through it, whatever it is. Fear of “doing it wrong,” anger at ourselves, shame, discomfort, embarrassment.

When you hit that wall, if you haven’t hit it yet, know that you’re not alone.

We are here together, floating on the glow of self-love and dragging with the weight of self-hate.

There will be days with no letter, and that doesn’t invalidate your participation in the challenge, and it doesn’t diminish the love you are cultivating for yourself.

We can look into the parts of ourselves that are less comfortable, and we will be okay. That loving abyss is gazing back, and yeah, it’s terrifying, but, you know, it’s also really great. I’m pretty sure it’s really great.

Here we go, onward!

* I have a phenomenal collection of greeting cards, and I’ll be sending a hand written letter to five challenge participants over the course of the hundred days. I’ll be randomly selecting one challenge participant every twenty days of the challenge. To enter, just send me an email and let me know that you’re participating in the challenge and you’d like to be entered for the hand-written letter!

 

#100loveletters: Begin at the Beginning

#100loveletters: Begin at the Beginning

The #100loveletters challenge has officially started, and the first few posts have been amazing. I am so excited about the next 100 days, and honoured to be facilitating the challenge. To participate, just write yourself a love letter every day for 100 days. You can participate online by tagging your photo or post with the #100loveletters hashtag, or you can participate offline. Either way, I’ll be sending out 5 hand-written letters to randomly selected winners. Just email me to enter! You can also join the email list to receive weekly prompts, encouragement, and success stories!

I can’t take credit for the idea, though, and I was lucky enough to be able to interview my friend Stasha about her experience with the 100 love letters project when she designed and undertook it for herself last summer.

Tiffany – First of all, thank you so much for posting about your own experience of sending yourself love letters every day for 100 days. This project wouldn’t exist without you! How did you come up with the idea?

Stasha – Well, I had just broken up with my best friends, one of which was my partner. I was in the most difficult part of my phd dissertation, where I was trying to not lose myself in the formula of academic writing.  I had just been safe enough to realize that I was never going to be a front-line youth worker any more, and this broke my heart. I wanted to be loved. I wanted to belong, not be tolerated. I wanted to survive my phd with my soul intact. Both of these people who I had broke up with had told me that I should take medication because of the symtoms that I have from feeling feelings very deeply. This hurt me. I agreed that I needed an intervention of love, in addition to my normal methods of coping and healing.

I wanted this love to come from me and be all about showing myself that it is a joy to love me, not a burden!

Tiffany – That piece about wanting to be loved, wanting to belong, wanting to survive… that really resonates for me.

Stasha – I combined the daily love letters with listing three things that I was thankful for.

Tiffany – I love that approach.

Stasha – Right? Intense livin’! For me belonging is spiritual, how we belong to something larger than ourselves, like community or nature.

Tiffany – Yes! I’m hoping a community will develop around this challenge.

One thing I felt anxious about as I was trying to figure out how to put your beautiful idea into a format I could share widely was not wanting to participate in weaponized positivity – all that really brutal messaging around “you have to love yourself first or nobody can love you” and “you have to find the silver lining.” I think it’s possible to work on loving yourself without also becoming complicit with that victim-blaming, aggressively positive-at-the-expense-of-all-else stuff, but how did you navigate that in your journey?

Stasha – Ooooooo yes, I like this question. Writing love letters to yourself is so romantic because I know what Stasha likes, I know all her symbols, I know that if I write ‘think positive’ when she is feeling suicidal, that she will get super mad at me invalidating her experience. I said things I was thankful for not grateful for because the idea of gratitude has been ruined for me by the charity model.

It has been my experience that only privileged people demand positivity, and that this positivity erases oppression. Some of the things I was thankful for were ‘cats exist’ or ‘I listened to the river today.’ Fuck positivity, there is research that pessimists are happier because wehave our assumptions validated more! Joy transcending sorrow, because the sorrow is part of it.

Tiffany – Totally! I think that for myself, developing a concept of self-love and self-care that *included* my gloom, my sadness, my trauma (separated from the topic of healing – I am often working towards healing, but allowing myself to love myself and care for myself *regardless* of whether I “healed” or not was a turning point) – that inclusive shift felt a lot healthier and more sustainable for me than the idea that I had to fix myself first, or that the love would fix me.

Stasha – Yes! I recognize the Gloom Fairy as a way of recognizing this concept!

A lot of my love letters were about confronting things I do that are destructive to relationships. I did lots of art about how I could be a better listener and interupt less. I focused on what could help me with the feelings behind my interupting.

Tiffany – Confrontational love letters – yes! Love that is self-aware, and that holds us to the standard we want to meet (not the standard others have set for us). That feels like an important thing to bring into this project, and to the challenge.

Stasha – I did a lot of weaving (of paper and ribbons) and a lot of fairies stitching my automical heart back together. A lot of vines growing out of letters, roots and such.

Best kind of love, working on a never ending self-healing project.

Tiffany – Connective imagery in the art. I like that. Finding roots, finding new growth, finding healing. And fairies. ❤ ❤ ❤

Shiri Eisner, who is one of my favourite authors and bisexual activists and academics, has been posting recently about the problems with validation culture, and how not all behaviours should be validated – some of them need to be confronted. What you say above about lovingly coaching yourself into more constructive relationship patterns fits with what Shiri’s been posting recently.

Did you find it difficult to stick with the love letters over a long period of time?

Stasha – I wanted a role model for this kind of love. Love with great intension. One letter, I tried to draw myself with long flowing turquoise sea foam hair. Because my art skills are stick people, it ended up looking like a beard, so I went with it and wrote a poem about being a queer mermaid with a beautiful sea foam beard! When you write to yourself, you know about the ‘mistakes’ and if the acceptance and sentiments expressed in the letters are real! It’s high stakes!

Tiffany – I hadn’t considered that aspect of “mistakes” before. I think that’s really relevant. You’re right about it being high stakes!

Stasha – I was so fucking anxious that I was going to let myself down by not following through. It got worse when I told other people about the idea and they were shocked at the commitment. This feedback helped me see the fierce way I love though, because I have totally done things like this for other people.

It was a great grounding experience to create the letters and it was really fucking nice to get a love letter every day!!! If I was really sad one day, I would write something that I had to look forward to, like visiting a dog or hiking or a great breakfast. It was so nice to be able to respond IN THE NOW because I needed love to get through that summer. Now it is wonderful to be able to look through a stack of love if I forget how much I love me.

Part of what I was/am working on is self-regulation or ways that I calm myself. So this was great for that.

Some letters were just lists of things I didn’t hate. Like cake. And rivers.

Tiffany – That’s really inspiring, and encouraging. And I think you’re right about the way that we often love fiercely when we’re loving someone else, but we don’t often bring the same intention and joyful generosity to ourselves. A long project like this (100 days is a lot!) allows for ups and downs, sad days and happy days, long letters and post-it notes. It’s a different project than a week would be. (Not that a week isn’t valuable – just different.)

Stasha – That is me being positive! Yes I wanted to turn that love inwards for a bit. The phd really messes with your sense of time, 6 years doing a project! I think the scale was partly about that and partly about the scale of my losses and grief from the five years proceeding the break ups.

Also I am a huge research nerd and I love a huge pile of data!

Tiffany – Yes. I can relate to that.

I do relationship coaching, and one thing that I often think as I read the books or take the courses, is how applicable many of the strategies can be to our relationship with ourselves – offering charitable interpretation, maintaining clear and compassionate boundaries, meeting needs, bringing awareness, intention, and compassion to the relationship. But we rarely talk about our relationship with ourselves in those nuanced terms. At least not in the spaces I’ve encountered.

I also know, for myself, that I am a slow and cyclical learner. I need time with a project before it sinks in. I need to be able to circle around it many times before I feel safe with it, let alone anything resembling comfortable.

Stasha – Yes, that is one part of your work that I really admire, turn this strategies towards self! I wish I had done this project when I was 15 years old. I plan to do it several more times before I die. 

Tiffany – This does seem like a project that has value in repetition. I am also curious (because I’m a research nerd too!) about how it would feel in each different season. (Maybe I will run the challenge once a year over the next four years, in each season.)

Did you run into negative reactions to the project?

Stasha – It is very meta with the levels of awareness. Every one was encouraging. It made me sad how many people said they wanted to do it for themselves but didn’t. Makes me sad because I think a huge part of oppression and abuse is the messages about how we don’t deserve that/are unlovable. So it is a revolution at many levels. Some people wanted me to share them publicly, and I was like ‘f off’ this is between me and me. We need our privacy!

I was afraid that people would think I was selfish, and I worried about that less and less as the love rained down on me!

Tiffany – Yes! That part about privacy is huge, and is another thing that I felt/feel some anxiety about with turning this into a social media thing. I’ll make a point of finding ways to make it clear that this challenge is open to anyone, even if they don’t share anything publicly. Thank you for that reminder.

I have been thinking about Feminista Jones’ recent tweet thread about how angry men get when women accept compliments, and I wondered if any of that would land on a project like this. But I think your point about the level of fucks given dropping as the love rains down is really relevant, and lovely. (But it is another reason to make it clear that participation does not have to be public to be valid.)

I’m doing a little give-away as part of the challenge – I’ll select five random entries from folks who self-select into the contest, and send them hand-written letters. I had originally set it up so that the way you enter was by emailing me a link to your tweet/post/blog/instagram/whatever. But I’m going to change that, and you can enter just by emailing me with or without a link/public sharing.

 

 

 

I wanted to be loved. I wanted to belong, not be tolerated.

 

I wanted this love to come from me and be all about showing myself that it is a joy to love me, not a burden!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Joy transcending sorrow, because the sorrow is part of it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When you write to yourself, you know about the ‘mistakes’ and if the acceptance and sentiments expressed in the letters are real! It’s high stakes!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It made me sad how many people said they wanted to do it for themselves but didn’t. … I think a huge part of oppression and abuse is the messages about how we don’t deserve that/are unlovable. So it is a revolution at many levels.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This post is part of the #100loveletters challenge.

The challenge runs from June 21 to September 29, and you are welcome to join at any time. You can join the mailing list to receive prompts, links, encouragement, and success stories, and you can participate whether you share publicly or not.

#100LoveLetters

#100LoveLetters

Every summer, attendance at my Writing in the Margins workshops dwindles as people head out on vacation or hide from the heat. This year, like most years, the workshops will be on hiatus for the summer.

This year, unlike every previous year, I’ve got something planned to keep us writing through the summer.

The #100loveletters challenge starts June 21, and is open to anyone, at no charge!

It’s really easy, and really hard – for 100 days, from June 21 to September 29, write yourself a love letter. It can be short, it can be long, it can be a stick figure or a sonnet or a flower or a song. Share your pictures, comments, thoughts, and stories in the hashtag on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or in your blog, and find a community of people practicing a summer of daily self-love.

You can join the email list to receive writing prompts, encouragement, and success stories.