The Pursuit of Happyness.

by Lori Dwyer on March 14, 2013 · 17 comments

“It’s not H-A-P-P-Y-N-E-S-S Happiness is spelled with an ‘I’ instead of a ‘Y
  “Oh, okay. Is Fuck‘ spelled right?”
Um, yes. ‘Fuck’ is spelled right but you shouldn’t use that word.
The Pursuit of Happyness, 2006.


I think everyone comes to a point, every now and then, when they realise that the road they’ve been walking is actually a treadmill. You’ve been putting in a stack of effort and it feels okay for a while. Until you’re exhausted and burnt out and you discover that, for all that effort, you’ve been going nowhere. And you’ve been staring at the same freaking wall for the last two hours.

I’ve begun to feel that way myself, lately, and I think it shows here, on my blog– the space where I am Lori, infused and decanted and dripped pure. The place that’s always been a public, viewable salvation.

Lately, it doesn’t feel that way. Lately, I’ve felt more like a money–grinding corporate whore than anything else.

I think it’s been bothering me for a while now, eating at the corners of my conscious, attempting to peak my attention without scaring the sh*t out of me. That feeling of restlessness and boredom always comes from somewhere deeper. I’m almost sure it began when the offers of sponsored posts and reviews and giveaways started gushing into my inbox in tidal waves, and I began blindly saying yes without thinking at all what I was doing. Accepting sponsored posts for far less than what they are worth, given that you lot– the people who essentially support my writing– are the ones that have to suffer through reading them, when I don’t even like writing them.

And lately I haven’t liked writing them. It’s gone from being a challenge– “How do I take this product that I genuinely like and make it interesting for people to read?”; to a soul–sucking chore– “don’t think, just write”.

What bullsh*t. How freaking rude to the people who read this blog. How f*cking undignified. I’m too afraid to open my email inbox for the horrible feeling of being a coward, too nice and too afraid to just say ’no’. I have words dancing the back of my mind, joyful pas de deux that become sad pirouettes as I ignore them, day after day, spending my time either worrying or procrastinating or writing like a robot, programmed by myself.

It came to a point a week or so ago, as things usually do– all those tiny thoughts nibbling in the shallows of mind created at the centre, providing an apex of reason from whence to see what was really going on here.

I found myself writing posts for products I would not necessarily endorse. And the worst part was, it wasn’t a decision I consciously made. I just said ’yes’ to the money, without thinking about it. Would I generally endorse one–use plastic products for kids lunches? No. Would I generally endorse a fruit purée in favor of half a piece of fruit? Well… maybe. I’d certainly buy it. But I’m not sure I felt right about telling other people to buy it, too.

It was only on the eve of publishing those posts, while writing them, that it hit me– this was not cool. How could I have not thought of this earlier?

Auto–pilot will get you everywhere. But it may also get you crashed into the side of a f*cking mountain if you don’t sometimes look where you’re going.

At around the same time I (finally) had that epiphany, I was smacked in the face with another one. Because, as we know, the Universe likes to poke me. With sticks and other blunt objects.

I’ve often raved on about blog events, how awesome they are and how much I love them. So much so that I think I may have, again, let the status quo dictate all my further actions, without stopping to ask myself the question of ’What the actual f*ck are you doing here, Lori?’. Is it really necessary to go to these things? What could your time be better spent doing…?

I attended two events in two days a few weeks ago, both in the Sydney CBD. With the M5 freeway being the veritable carpark that it is, I spent a total of seven hours sitting in a car. Not my car, which I was thankful for at the time– taxis and town cars, provided by the big corporations who had invited me in for a media launch and ‘discussion over lunch’ respectively.

The media launch went for a whole hour. The ‘discussion’, where we’d been asked to along to ‘share tips to make life easier for parents’ involved two hours of us being talked to about how awesome a relatively new software product with an awful reputation is. Admittedly, I left that event early. But I’m still not convinced there would have been any actual ‘discussion’ involved.

The total transport cost, to have me in the city for three hours over two days? $900.

The cab drivers were thrilled. I felt a bit… sick. A bit dirty. You could feed entire families on that for a month, if you went to where it was needed.

I can hear the obvious counter–rationale to this one– if not me, someone else will fill my spot. The money will undoubtedly be spent elsewhere. I’m fairly sure that’s okay with me. I’m certainly not saying I’m never going to another event– some of them are not only entirely interesting, but downright enjoyable. It’s just that the whole episode suddenly changed those lenses on the world, on the way I see myself.

It’s fairly well known amongst my fellow bloggers that I exist in somewhat of a social bubble. It’s quite common for me hear things like GOMI is talking crap about us or “Woogs had dinner with the PM and respond with “What? Really? Wow! When?!” So it was kind of timely to discover that I’m not the only who feels that way… it seems the shine is rubbing off what may turn out to be bullsh*t for a lot of us (and I think this is the point where I confess I have a massive girl–crush on Eden and she may just be the coolest person I have ever met. I also know I’m certainly not alone in this).

So… that’s that. I’m sick of writing blog posts about stuff I don’t really care about, and letting the writing I want to do slide into the background. It may mean I’ll be a bit harder up for cash… Or it may mean I’ll just have to get a bit more creative making it. I’m no longer attending every event just because I’ve been invited and I don’t want to miss out, especially if I’m well aware that there is no way on this earth that I’m going to be writing about it. I’m going to stop doing giveaways just for the sake of it, unless its something really, really awesome.

And I’m going to spend more time being happy– more time doing what makes me happy, I’m going to write what I want to write. I’m going to harness that ‘all bets are off’ attitude that’s surprisingly easy to come by these days. I’m going to spend more time doing yoga, more time playing with herbs and creams. More time exploring. More time in my sadly neglected garden.

And in reality, laced with the best of intentions as those ideals are– I may do none of those things. But I won’t be a slave to myself any more, either, and that’s the aim of the game here. The happiness, I’m sure, will follow.


The Muse Wars- Round Five

by Lori Dwyer on March 3, 2013 · 2 comments

It’s been quite a while since we’ve played The Muse Wars… returning this month by special request. Let’s get creative.

If you haven’t played before, The Muse Wars is just for fun- it’s a creative writing prompt. You can write whatever you like. Take inspiration from the picture below…

You’ve got almost a whole month to publish your story, poem, essay, memorandum… whatever. This linky list closes March 31st.

Muse Wars- Round Five

Muse Wars- Round Five

The Muse Wars- Round Five

The object of the game is- write a piece of fiction (poetry, short story, song, shopping list, whatever) taking your inspiration from the picture above. (Feel free to copy and paste it into your post.)

The experts say modern attention spans last 1000 words, maximum (keep that in mind). Past experience has taught us that it’s easier to play the game if you don’t read other people’s stories first- but the choice is yours.

Publish your piece, return to this post and add your link to list below.

The linky list is open from now until the last day of March.

Share the love- read other entries, leave a comment, be nice. If you like, you can have the entire linky list on your blog too.

If you don’t have a blog, you can certainly still play! Feel free to email me if you have something to publish but nowhere to put it. And please don’t be shy- email me if you need help with any of the techy stuff.

Anyone can play The Muse Wars and all entries are welcome.

Your time starts… now.


How Not To Write A Guest Post.

by Lori Dwyer on March 1, 2013 · 5 comments

There’s nothing much I can say here, really. Take it away, Mel…


I spoke to Lori quite some time ago about writing a post her blog. This blog. She threw the doors open and said I could choose my topic. Write about anything, she said, go nuts. Or some version of that. I have adhered to her instructions perfectly and driven myself around the bend and back again attempting to write THE perfect guest post for her. I think, in the end I did it. It’s a perfect balance of me and her. It’s us in a blog post. It came to me one day as I drank another litre of coffee, tapped away at the keyboard for the millionth time. And it was perfect.

The selection of a topic was the first hurdle I encountered. What do I write about? My blog is about me, me, me, me, which hardly translates to someone else’s blog. So I considered writing something like 5 steps to get and stay happy. But it seemed trivial in the face of the serious business that is this blog. And my friends, well they tell me, that I write better if I’m not trying too hard. I considered writing about my life. But most of you don’t know me, so that’s probably not that interesting to you. There’s no relatedness. No connection {yet! I’ll get you. Love me, love me!}. I considered writing about the darkness, when it creeps up on you. My own struggles with bipolar and anxiety. And I did. But I went and posted it on my blog. Whoops.

In the end, I decided to write a post about what goes through the mind of one blogger when you give her an open forum and free rein. So my very next concern is delivering something of quality. Of substance. Or at very least a post that entertains. I post once or twice a day on my own blog, all the good stuff goes there {brilliant, riveting, hilarious. Promise}. Sometimes I write a post and I’m like, meh, I’ll keep that one. To write a guest post is a selfless act indeed. To hand over something that is good, maybe even better than what you have written for your own blog in a while, to someone else to publish is hard. And if you ask my Mum, well, I just don’t share very well. But in spite of this I start to write anyway. I start to form the words, they appear on the screen one after another after another.

Then come the vanity concerns. What if they don’t get me? Worse. What if they don’t LIKE ME!? What if her readers are annoyed at the sudden hand over of this space to a new face? What if, panic, gag, they demand Lori reclaim the space and purge me from it immediately? All concerns triggered by my ego and that little voice inside me that reminds me day after day in its finicky little voice in my head, that no, no one likes you, you’re not very smart and I think your nose is too big. Bet you’ve had your own encounter with that fellow. He’s a jerk.

So it takes a while and soon I just let go and let God. Or, you know, whoever is in charge of such things. I think deep down it could be me, but don’t tell anyone. And I write. I write about my fears, my triumphs and I write about the things that make us the same person, connected by our human being’ness. I write this post and I realise, it’s kind of perfect for Lori’s beautiful blog. It’s a post that is what it is. It’s beautiful in its own way, lilting like a song, challenging too. It talks to the frailness of the human spirit, the need for community and for love. The desperate searching if those things are lacking.

It turns the corner and my blog post about guest posting becomes a lesson in life’s lessons. It becomes a lesson is letting go of the things you can’t control. It’s a lesson in friendship and the things we do to help out our friends. It becomes about community and love and personal battles. It’s a manifesto of blogging from the core of your being and allowing all things their time. Seasons change and all that. And just like that, it’s done.

It’s perfect. I send it off. I smile, content.


This is not that post.

This is just a tribute.



Melissa Walker Horn is the chief blogger at Suger Coat It, a blog about living the sweet life. Known as Suger on her blog, Melissa loves her family, too much butter on fresh bread, laughing with your back teeth showing and anything with stripes on it. A social media addict and consultant, you’ll find her anywhere you search for Suger with an E