(Image courtesy of Krista Suh)
DIY Rules for a WTF World was written by the creator of the Pussyhat Project, LA-based screenwriter Krista Suh. That’s right! The woman behind the symbolic sea of pink has written a book, and I was keen to get my hands on a copy of it.
It arrived by mail on a sunny afternoon and, though things on my “To Do” list nagged away at me, I opted to ignore them. I instead took advantage of the kid-free time, made myself a coffee, and got lost in my new book.
Krista invites readers to approach the book however they so choose. Read from the middle, start at the beginning, do what works for you. And, I have to admit, the free-spirit inside this suburban mom (who had exactly 86 minutes until school pick-up) appreciated the open nature of this suggestion. I started with chapter one but soon found myself flipping through and browsing at whim — sometimes drawn to the illustrations, by artist Aurora Lady, and other times pulled in by intriguing titles like I, Object, Weapon to Warrior, and Lush, Feminine Wealth.
Though the book's title suggests a collection of rules, this is not entirely the case. Each chapter is themed, and bite-sized, written in a conversational, easy-to-follow voice but the author doesn’t tell readers what rules they should follow. Instead, various anecdotes, concepts, and activities push readers to ponder what their own personal rules might be. Below are three of my favorite “DIY Rules,” though there were plenty more that resonated with me.
My Top 3 DIY Rules:
1. I Am a Panther in the Dark
These words form a mantra, created by Krista, used to build up our inner fierceness. She suggests writing or repeating the words at times when we feel dismissed — unseen and unheard. And, though I haven’t used a mantra since high school, I love this one. Visualizing myself as a mighty wild cat feels refreshingly fun and empowering.
Personally, I need to work on my bravery when it comes to using my voice. I try to be vocal about the things that are important to me, such as inclusivity and tolerance. And I know it’s important to call out racist, sexist, and otherwise derogatory language when I hear it. Sometimes, I do. Sometimes I speak up, despite the awkwardness it creates, because I know it makes an impact. But there are times when I fail to use my voice but instead let myself (and others) down.
I then revert to a sort of “keyboard activist” approach and write about the incident online where I write the words I wish I’d spoken at the time. Out in the real world, face to face, it’s harder for me to speak up in the face of ignorance and intolerance. I have missed many opportunities to push for change, but I can find my fierceness, next time. I will find my fierceness next time because “I am a panther in the dark.”
2. I Am My Own Science Experiment
Getting to know ourselves is essential. And, what better way to do so, than by making small changes and seeing how we react to them? Krista writes: “Too often, we treat every new experience in our lives as a life-or-death, make-or-break situation, when really it’s more of a kid’s science fair. You are your own science experiment.”
She also talks about how it takes six to eight weeks for something to become a habit. With this in mind, Krista encourages readers to consider adding something or removing something from their daily routine for a six to eight-week experiment. Readers should pay close attention so they can note how these changes impact them. For me, I have wanted to do a few things differently because a) I know beneficial changes will occur and b) self-care is important.
I have decided to make myself drink two liters of water every day. I have also chosen to turn off my phone and put away all technology between the hours of 4:00 until 7:00 every weekday evening to be more present with my family. I am only a few days into my eight-week experiment, but I am already noticing an increased sense calm. I look forward to noting further observations as the weeks go by.
3. Being a Sprinter is Just as Valid as Being a Marathoner
Krista acknowledges that everyone’s creative process is different and that all styles are valid. She recognizes that she, herself, is a “Sprinter” (not a steady-paced "Marathoner") when it comes to her projects. Sprinters work best in spurts of productivity.
She reminds readers there is no right or wrong way to take on a project, a task, or even just a day. Discovering our personal working style, and being able to identify other people’s, can help build a mutually appreciated working, and living, environment. In my work as a freelance writer, I am my own boss. I do answer to and consult with editors, but primarily I manage my own projects. And though I am always respectful of deadlines, I consistently produce my best work under pressure as the due date closes in. I do research or conduct interviews in advance. I jot down ideas for the piece as they come to me. But, as a deadline creeps up, that's when the actual writing happens. I write out my first draft, review it over several times: tweaking, adjusting, and reading it out loud to myself until I feel it’s the best piece I can produce.
I love deadlines. In fact, I need deadlines. I like the adrenaline boost that happens while working to a deadline. And where I might have beaten myself up about this in the past, I don’t anymore. This is my creative process. I’m a “Sprinter.” I am not "Marathoner," and that is okay. My way is valid and, not only is it valid, it is how I tap into my creativity.
DIY Rules for a WTF World encourages readers to get to know and then embrace their true selves by becoming more in tune with their intuitive and creative energies. Krista Suh shares thought-inspiring perspectives, giving readers a chance to further identify their personal goals and needs. If you are open to some self-exploration, then DIY Rules for a WTF World would be a great addition to your bookshelf.
To order a copy of DIY Rules for a WTF World, click here.I was given a free copy of DIY Rules for a WTF World. All opinions are my own.