Orcas Island, Washington Because Calling It “Procrastination Bay” Would Be Too on the Nose

So last Tuesday went pretty much according to plan. It seemed once the outcome was clear, many on the other side were still able to appreciate the magnitude of what happened; allegiances swayed overwhelmingly, if momentarily, in celebration — sort of like the ending to Rocky IV.

I’ve been discussing the historicalocity of Obama’s victory with those around me whose memories stretch a bit farther back. It’s hard to name a recent event on this scale that wasn’t somehow disastrous. I have to go back to the fall of the Berlin Wall to find something truly world-changing that didn’t involve a massive body count.

I asked my dad if election night felt anything like the moon landing, thinking surely it would pale in comparison. He said no one cried when man first set foot on the moon. It was an awesome accomplishment; inspiring, courageous, but not as emotional — at least not for him. That surprised me.

Another surprise: in an effort to capture the mood of that night, The Daily Show chose a familiar reference.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon – Thurs 11p / 10c
International Male
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorHealthcare Protests

I got a text message from a friend a few minutes after it aired on the east coast. It was the first I’d heard about them using footage and music from the dancing video.

I’ve been asked many times if they contacted me in advance for permission. My answer: “you’d think so, wouldn’t you?”

But there are no hard feelings. Good God, no. I’ve had a lot of amazing things happen to me in my life. Seeing myself appear out of the blue on my favorite TV show is near the top.

I’m on Orcas Island right now working on the book.

I got a single-room cabin to ween myself of distractions and finally get cracking on it.

It’s not going well.

Writing this journal has always been hard for me. I manage to cover, at best, about half the stuff that goes on with me. The rest goes undocumented as a combined result of laziness and intimidation at the prospect of stringing together suitable words. I’m finding both of these obstacles amplified by the advent of print.

I’m a highly self-critical writer, and like a lot of writers, I find the activity itself to be an unpleasant step on the way to the reward of having written. Lately I seem to have passed a theshold that’s taken me from self-criticism to self-loathing. Feelings of inadequacy lead to feelings of futility, which lead toward inaction, which fuels the very same feelings of inadequacy.

Objectively, I recognize this as a depression spiral.

And I’d like to think it’s just a part of the process; a necessary step on the way to getting this goddam book done — or at least started. Hopefully, once I hate myself enough, I’ll bully myself into writing something no matter how bad it is.

And that’s how sausage is made.

Orcas Island is the largest in the San Juans. It sits in the belly of Puget Sound, about a dozen miles from the Canadian border.

I flew here on a small, local airline that operates out of Boeing airfield. I was going to fly out on a float plane, but the weight restrictions were too low to bring my bike, so I switched to a Cessna Caravan. The flight itself was stunning, with sweeping views passing over the city and surrounding region. Melissa got me an introductory flying lesson for my birthday, so that stuff is all suddenly even more fascinating than usual.

We landed at sunset on the north end of the island and my cabin is near the southern tip, about seven miles away. There are no grocery stores near the cabin, so in addition to 35 pounds of luggage, I had to carry food for five days on my back, which added another 15 or so pounds. I crammed everything into my giant Osprey bag, put the GPS in my jacket pocket, and set sail.

Here’s a thing I learned: going up hills is a lot harder with 50 pounds on my back. I ended up having to get off my bike and walk at the slightest hint of incline, so the long trek became less like cycling and more like cross-country skiing. Slog up a hill, roll down. Slog up a hill. Roll down.

My cabin is in the not-at-all disturbingly-named region of Massacre Bay. I’m sure it’s not called that because of some guy who breaks into secluded cabins at night and hacks tourists into pieces. It’s probably just some terrible thing that happened to an indigenous tribe centuries ago.

Water under the bridge.

I’ve learned to enjoy my wood-burning furnace. My earliest attempts didn’t pan out and the rain has made the kindling a bit less accommodating, but I’ve sorted it now. While I do have automatic heating at the twist of a dial, I prefer the kind that you have to cultivate and maintain. A fireplace is a satisfying blend of creation and destruction.

…so the book is basically a collection of anecdotes about making the videos. Each chapter starts with a big still image of a particular clip and then goes into a story either directly or peripherally related to shooting it. Between all the different dancing videos, I’ve put out about 150 different clips. I’m hovering around 80 right now that I have something worthwhile to say about, and expecting to hone that down to around 50. I’m pulling what I can from the journal and tightening it up, but a lot of material will have to be written fresh.

One issue I’m struggling with is whether to cap each section at about 500 words; a nice two-page spread with some accompanying photos, or to let things flow more like the journal and allow some stories to stretch on for a dozen pages or more. I want the book to be light and accessible — something you’d pick up in Urban Outfitters and flip through casually without really thinking about a beginning or an end. That inclines me toward a short, rigid format. But the temptation to prattle persists.

My site is down right now. If you’re reading this, it probably means I got it working again. I’ve been writing to my host every day and they’re saying it’s not their fault. Still diagnosing.

72 Responses to Orcas Island, Washington Because Calling It “Procrastination Bay” Would Be Too on the Nose

  1. Nando

    For people from outside the United States who can’t watch the Daily show video at the Hulu service, try this link at comedy Central
    link to comedycentral.com
    The segment mentioned by Matt begins around 2:30 minutes. And it’s worth it. :)

    Good luck with your book, Matt.

  2. H-Berg

    Your troubles with writing sound exactly like what I’m going through with music at the moment. The temptation to slip into depression is strong – you end up hating everything you do. I don’t know the answer to it yet, but I think of it as the price you pay for being your own boss, and for doing something creative when most people are sitting in an office just doing what they’re told. Then again, the pressure you put on yourself will always outweigh anyone else’s.
    In regards to the book, for what it’s worth, I love the fact that some of your stories are ten pages long – they need to be. I would much prefer a book that is more involved and honest like your journal, rather than formulaic. Must stop rambling myself now.

  3. Mitch

    Yeah, definitely do the longer stories thing. You have some great anecdotes all throughout this journal. The Kilimanjaro entry in particular is brilliant.

  4. Lieve

    Are we setting up a poll? In that case, I completely agree with H-Berg, to me a book with a picture on one side and a short story on the other always seems produced to be an easy can’t-go-wrong-present rather than an interesting read that you buy for yourself.
    It’s the long stories that make your journal such fun!

    So: 3-0 in favour of reading-stuff!

  5. I agree with Amber! I just saw this in my RSS this morning. Blinked confusedly when you talked about “last Tuesday” in such glowing terms. Then saw the “November 18” date at the top. Ah well, better late than never.

    By the way, flying lesson for your birthday FTW!

  6. Kay (Worcestershire, UK)

    Matt, you should do what comes naturally. Your blogs are brilliant and so easy to read, even the ones you probably think are too long and boring – they’re not!

    I say you shouldn’t stick to any limits, long or short. Write more about clips you have more to say about, and less about ones you have less to say about. Result – funny, easy to read, enjoyable stuff!

  7. Ditto what Lieve and Amber said — I just got this in my RSS feeder this morning.

    I love what you write, and I love your dancing videos. Carry on !!!

  8. David S.

    Orcas Island is a wonderful place! Enjoy the stay regardless of how much writing you get done.

    I highly recommend Havi Brooks, “habits educator,” who writes a great blog and is an expert in “destuckification” (aka anti-procrastination) techniques. Self-loathing is such a waste of energy! Here’s the link to Havi’s website:

    http://www.fluentself.com

    David
    Portland, OR

  9. Lee

    Hmmm, the 2 page format sounds rather Chicken-Soup-for-Soulish, not really your thing. Each story should have it’s needed space, meaning that your editing may have to come in terms of number of stories, not pages per story. When I have to write something for real, I’m fond of begging loved ones to “just take a chain saw and hack it out of me – it would be less painful, really!”. Hang in there, and one day you’ll look back and think, Wow, did I write that?

  10. kat

    I’m sure what you’re hoping for is “yeah, what he said”, but unfortunately that’s what I have to offer. Better to have more interesting stories and less of them than lots of short stories.

  11. Wow…got looking at your videos (again) via a geek link that said Youtube now had 720 better video quality. And then to your website…ORCAS ISLAND???? I lived there for 20 years, also “wintering over” in cabin on the N shore, working on book. No store close. Anyway, I have passed this page onto some extraordinary people on Orcas: Storyteller Antoinette Botsford, singer extraordinaire Susan Osborn (catch her Christmas shows at the Victorian Chapel…do a Dancing with in front of it in the moonlight!) Wish I were there…taking care of Alz mother in Mtn. View, 6.5 years now. Googleland…see my youtube channel. Phooey. Enjoy the island and its people. You’ll be amazed who lives there. Wow…

  12. Okay, see about procrastination. Orcas in winter will NOT inspire creativity, probably, unless you are writing “Endgame.” One’s first wintering there with endless grey skies, the seemingly nonstop punishing winds (especially on the water, sleet in your face). Suggest you take your laptop and hang out at restaurant to write (the one at Crow Valley intersection)…you can keep warm and develop a bubble of friends. Where you are is remote, more focused on boatpeople, which is great in the summer…but…!

    Okay, really, move in to Eastsound proper… Great library, the FunHouse, Orcas Center, cute restaurants and coffee shops…places to hang out and thaw out. Live Music at “The Lower.” You don’t have a car, and you live at Skull Island? That’s where they throw the remains of romantic cabin writers. Ever see “The Shining”? I called my TWO waterfront first winters The Hardening Off. Okay, I survived. Believe me, even an apt in downtown Eastsound (great restaurants!!) will probably seem isolated enough, but get a cabin with wood burning stove in case the electricity goes out.

    Another option is to live very near the ferry landing, which has the store and a few eating establishments…and an escape hatch to the mainland. Well, I’m nostalgic for all my experiences on Orcas, even those where I turned into a popsicle. But that’s my two bits worth…hope to return one day. CW

  13. Just write. Sit down and do it. If it’s crap that’s ok. The good stuff will come out eventually. I promise =) Every writer struggles with this. Don’t feel alone in this.

    Personally, I would rather read a book that had varying length stories bc some just need more than 500 words to be told. BUT if you feel it serves the book better to be in that format, then do that. Just trust yourself.

    I suggest picking up a copy of Lawrence Sutin’s “A Postcard Memoir” (link to amazon.com). It will be helpful with what you’re struggling with now. We just finished reading some excerpts from it in my creative nonfiction 2 class. Totally worth it.

    Sending much good creative writing ju-ju your way! And if you ever need a second set of eyes for an excerpt, feel free to email. =)

  14. Mel

    Like Whyvoni said, sit and write. I spew crap most times on the first run through. There is some good in there, but a lot of bad. If it sucks, you can fix it. If you don’t write it, it doesn’t suck, but then, you have nothing.
    I deal with bouts of depression when a project hits the skids, or I get a rash of rejections or bad reviews. It happens. When I get in those funks I go walking with the spaz, my dog, or I read. Sometimes fiction, or one of my writing books like Bird by Bird by Annie Lamont or Stephen King’s On Writing. And, most importantly, I watch a lot of funny stuff. But, still, one of the best things for that kind of depression, at least for me, is getting out and getting the blood pumping. I know because I went through a HUGE depression, one for which I should have seen a doctor, but didn’t.

    Ya have my email if you ever need to chat an idea. I am a big fan of yours and your dancing videos are one of the things I would watch when I was in a funk. They always make me smile

  15. Jesus

    Good luck in your book Matt. I think is great that you can be so open minded about your material, other people would of just try to get a quick buck out of that. I think it’s great how you show how many people can be happy and so different and so similar at the same time. We all love and care. Good luck to you man and Hopefully if you have another big traveling project stop by southern California so we can dance together. :)

  16. Matt your videos are very inspiring. I’m sure the book will be the same for future world travelers. You’ve been given a gift and to share this with the world inspires others to get out of their bubbles and make a difference on a broader scale. I have 3 boys (oldest 11) and I hope they will pursue the world on a larger scale than I have been able to. They’ve also enjoyed the videos. I’m taking my 11 year old to Africa next year, which I hope will be the start of his adventure.

    Hang in there. The words will come. I agree with one of the comments above, just start writing and make the length fit your clip. If you get stuck on a clip, you may find moving on to other clips will help with ideas on troublesome clips.

  17. jessica

    Re writing–just get it on the page–it’s called a draft–drafts are not supposed to be perfect or final. Don’t try to condense as you go, condensing comes much later. just put it on the page–don’t worry if it brings up a different story or its not in sequence–go with the flow and put it on the page. BRAIN-DUMP!! Not all writers think linearly and that’s okay. DON’T LISTEN TO YOUR INNER CRITIC. Just put it on the page!!!

    I also vote for longer stories when needed. I enjoy your videos–hope you will make more. Hope this helps– Jessica
    [email protected] Now put it on the page. ..you can do it.

  18. Alex

    I suggest absinthe for the writers block. Sortof seriously.

    And I hate to go against the grain here, but I vote shorter on the stories.

  19. eli

    Funny, I feel the same way about my dissertation. I think that it comes with the territory of writing long things that are much more important to ourselves than anyone else.

    I for one would rather you prattle on for pages when you feel like it! I really enjoy reading your journal, and would hate to see you cut yourself on when you are on a roll. And I agree with the poster above who said that you can always make it shorter later.

  20. Riki

    Agrre with many of the above. Long stories if you have a long story to tell, short ones for the less interesting memories. Pick the shoots you likes most and write down what you remember about every one of them, your editor will do the rest. As long as you enjoy writing it’s ok, but don’t force it, you end up writing crap.

  21. Nico

    Hello Matt,
    Your book sounds as is if could be more than a book to pick up at Urban Outfitters for a few minutes. I guess you must already have a publisher, but since it’s about such open interaction with the world, it would be nice to have some reflection of that in the physical book (e.g. like some McSweeney’s stuff, but of course different!).
    So, I agree with your other readers that you don’t need to limit the stories to two pages, if that will make them too simplistic (a la Chicken Soup books). I’m thinking of two very different writers as examples of the potential directions of such stories. One is more obvious – Leo Buscaglia’s book on traveling to SE Asia “The Way of the Bull.” The other is quite different — the neurologist Oliver Sacks, who has written brilliant interdisciplinary analyses of his patients (in The Man Who Mistook His Wife for A Hat), and the neurology of music (based wholly on individual stories), in Musicophilia.
    It will be great! Enjoy it as you do your dancing, if you can!

  22. Marylyn

    I just wanted you to know that every time I see your dance video it makes me amazingly happy. Your little “Snoopy” dance shared by so many around the world is simply a gift of joy.

    Best of luck with your book.

    Marylyn

  23. passionate writer

    i usually don’t comment but for some reason i feel compelled to share this….

    you said you wanted your book light, accessible, something anyone can flip through, which, from a practical point of view, is very sensible in terms of how attractive you wish your commodity to be. some people jsut don’t have time to sit back and read a book. however, when you say “short rigid format” i fear you’ll leave out all the touching inspiring details and elaborations which make your travels so magnetic to begin with. I know you fear long ramblng tirades, but that’s what an editor is for. I’m not an expert or anything. i just hope your book will enliven the places you’ve seen. and i also hope that you achieve a fluidity and connection w/ each place rather than a stoccatic choppy narration of facts and figures. i dont mean to criticize. then again, its your masterpeice not mine. good luck!!

  24. I am completely in love with the idea of the dance videos. They are so hopeful!
    Speaking of hopeful–yes, I cried when Obama won. I felt a huge weight lifted off my shoulders. It was an amazing night.

    BTW, I am crazy jealous that you are on Orcas. My family and I stayed there for the first time in August. It was one of the most breathtaking places I’ve ever been (I haven’t traveled like you have).

    Keep up the good work of making the world a smaller place where everyone is equal. Good luck with the book.

  25. Matt, first I want to say Thank You!
    The joy of watching your kooky dance unite is truly an inspiration.

    You and Melissa have found a way to make a the joy of unity and collective consciousness tangible and it’s a beautiful thing.

    As far as the book goes, while you have a great plan for it… maybe it should feel as organic as when you learned that others dancing with you was more fun and interesting than dancing alone.

    Personally, I love your journal entries and find your struggle and vulnerability about the writing process and decisions that surround it just as important as the book itself. It may be too long for “outfitters” but I’d suggest it to my friends and clients as a wonderful example that “LIFE is ART” and we are all a work in progress.

    Okay… so, maybe you could let the book be what the book organically wants to be rather than the thing you think or thought it should be. Like when you started adding people to your dance and they did what they did and you did what you do… and it’s wonderful! I know…it’s way crunchy bean sprout. but on some crazy indigo level I’m hoping you get it!

    Best Luck, Joy, and Peace in all your future endeavors.

    Leslie Alexis

  26. Rich

    Sorry to hear about your tough times. My comment on the length of the descriptions is that your blogs are different lengths because some of them have a lot more interesting stuff to talk about. Why would you put limits on your video descriptions. Two sentences would suffice on some.

    I bought a book called “The World of Michael Parkes”. There is an artist comment next to almost all the works. Most are only a couple sentances, but they are very interesting to read.

    Are you stealing from your blog to write this? I don’t know why you wouldn’t… I’m going to buy this book and I would really love to have some of the stuff in your blog captured in print. The one about the Gangee (spelling??) river, for example was great. As was already mentioned, Kilamanjaro (spelling??) was also a fantastic entry.

    I can imagine that’s it’s hard to write. You do a fantastic job of writing. It’s educational, yet hilarious. That can’t be easy to do…

    I hate the Daily Show, and I can’t stand Jon Stewart. On the flip side, I think they did a nice job with that segment. Certainly they did a much better job of paying you tribute than the Ellen Show, or Tyra. >:( < —(very angry, frowny face) Have you watched the Arby and the Chief series on Youtube? If you haven’t, you should… Best of luck. I’m sure it will be great. As has been said, you don’t have to do it all in one day. :)

  27. The daily show has that video archived at [http://www.thedailyshow.com/video/index.jhtml?videoId=209421&title=International-Male]

    They aired that segment on Nov 6.

  28. Matt,
    Don’t be so hard on yourself! The dancing has been one thing and I certainly have enjoyed those videos but being part of your adventures has been a wonderful trip. You must use your journals from beginning to end.
    PS…hope you are doing some “thinking” about Melissa, you know what I mean. Just do it.

  29. LoudMusic

    Is it just me or are there no orcas in the pictures? What a let down …

    Mostly kidding.

    Mostly.

    Good that you’re working on a book. Additional income will be good for you (for spending on the lady, of course) (: Bad that it won’t be available in time for my 19+ hours of fly time to Doha … next week.

  30. You rock Matt.

    Just write and then start cutting and polishing,
    like when making a sandcastle you know?

    Seems like you already have good plans
    on how to structure up your work,
    follow your guts and above all – have fun!

    I will for sure enjoy reading it!

    Josephine :-)

  31. ozjaybabe

    Hi Matt….they have been flogging the Visa add here in Queensland. I just thought it was another goofy add for Visa but loved the concept of all the different locations. I just though you were dancing because you had your Visa card so the add worked for me. I got to here from eBay.au and have been on your site for over two hours now. Your funky dance means so many different things to so many different people. The unity is fantastic, love seeing the places and people. I have to agree with the majority above…let your book flow and don’t over think it. Your words and vids are giving so much to so many. It’s a wonderful thing :-)

  32. I love that Mitch and H-Berg posted within an hour of each other. Could it be Mitch Hedberg’s spirit shining through? Probably not, but the idea makes me smile.

    Matt, I’m sure you don’t need anymore suggestions, but one of my favorite books about writing is ‘bird by bird’ by Anne Lamott. The title comes from a childhood memory of Anne’s. When her brother was 10, he was trying to get a report on birds written that he’d had 3 months to write. The report was due the next day. He was at the kitchen table close to tears, surounded by binder paper and pencils and unopened books on birds, immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead. Then her father sat down beside him, put his arm around her brother’s shoulder, and said, ‘Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.’

    Can’t wait to read the book; I’m sure it will be great!
    cheers,
    sue in seattle

  33. Trina

    I added you to my feeds because of how you write…. you need to tell the story how it needs to be told, just like your videos, and past postings. Would I pay for that format? – you bet! As an observation… seclusion seems to be what a writer ‘does’, but does that mean it’s right for you? Arent you usually surrounded by people in your work life and video life? Just a thought. Regarding use of your clips commercially… Stride ‘supported’ your endeavors right? So, why not pay it forward so to speak. You seem to be thinking that anyway.
    Best,
    Trina in Calgary

  34. Carol in Venice, CA

    Keep writing! I enjoyed all your videos…then, finally discovered your website. I thoroughly enjoy your writing (and don’t be so self-critical, you’re very entertaining and insightful).

    Your blog is the 1st I’ve added to my RSS.

    Visiting the world vicariously through you (and on my own whenever possible).

    Write on!
    Carol

  35. Julia

    You are a gifted writer. Please plow through your “depression spiral”, insecurities and self-loathing. “Little by little, step by step, day by day.”

    There are people out here who are interested in what you have to say, and what you have to share. Even your perspective and humor about your struggle is interesting.
    Peace~

  36. Love the Daily Show (Nov 6) segment. Imagine, you are featured with “knee dancing” from “Bedford Falls” :) Keep the good stuff coming! Your work is a wonderful gift to us all.

  37. Karl

    Hey Matt,

    Been several years since you swung by our office to write up a game scenario for us and very happy to see how your site and dancing videos have really taken off. I just came across another random reference to your videos in an article about high-definition videos on You Tube and thought I would add it to your collection.

    link to arstechnica.com

    I’m looking forward reading the upcoming book.

    Cheers!
    Karl

  38. Lisar

    How about having the book LOOK like a journal, think scrapbook. Photos mixed with pics of 3d objects like maybe your shoes or souvenirs. Pages with coffee stains. images of found objects, copies of fun comments, snapshot of your webpage. etc. etc. etc.

  39. robin in California

    Hey Matt. Wow I just got your dancing link from a friend. That was cool. Then I found the Stride sight…Ingenious to have them support your travels. You are an amazingly lucky guy to have this opportunity. Now about the book… You have filled your memories with awesome people and places and their stories. Take time to meditate on the direction of your book and it will come to you. Also, I find that my taughts come when I’m nowhere near my computer. How about a small tape recorder? Carry it with you for those moments. A dictation machine makes it so easy. Then just sit with the tape and write what you spoke about filling in the brilliance. I will keep you in my prayers because of all the lives you have touched. You have to continue. Oh, have any Ideas how I could travel around the world with no job?

  40. I wholeheartedly agree with everybody who says go for the longer styled chapters instead of shorter ones! It’s your verbose posts here that I absolutely love reading. Either way though, I’m sure I’ll buy the book.

  41. Book, shmook. When are you getting to work on the video game? THAT’s what I’m holding out for. Just think…each level achieved and you get to see Matt dance….

  42. Scott

    Funny how everyone gives writing advice here. Matt, I use this site to procrastinate from writing my own dissertation. I see the depression spiral in myself, but fortunately I have your website to keep me positively not writing.
    My nickel’s worth of free (and unsolicited) advice: just write it. Let the editors sort it out…

  43. Si Clare

    You might try focusing on the ‘rough’ part of the ‘rough draft’… i, too, am an editor who could have held her own in the spanish inquisition – if they allowed people to persecute themselves anyway – but i have found it helps to just pour words out in mass quantities, words upon words, fragments, curses, as long as i can sustain the flow, and then go back and rip it to shreds afterward and make sense of the leftover bits. if you try to perfect each sentence as you go… well… a lot of blank paper.

    i think letting some stories be longer than others is better. some can be really short, almost like poems; just an impression, a feeling to convey, an image… then when you’re inspired to put a lot of detail into one – hopefully because it needs it – there will be room!

    good luck!
    love, si

  44. pedro

    Matt, remember you are in the inspiration business (whether you like it or not). Your videos carry the message that you can do anything you want to do and people are all a little bit alike and can be brought together with something as simple as a silly dance. If your book carries those same themes it will be wildly successful.

  45. Elisa

    Matt, don’t become pessimistic.
    You’ve got the right idea with the right attitude. Just do it in your way. Don’t try to adjust to anyone else, even a publisher. You’ll get it done without realizing and we al will be able to enjoy it. Very funny annecdotes and stories. Try not to make “one those travel books” Yes, you can!!!

  46. Matt

    I love your videos but I would also like to know what was in your mind while you were out there producing them. The images, the music are very powerful and we all get our own interpretation from watching them. Now, what inspired you to do it? How did this experience help you or others? What were your feelings; what made you ever cry or laugh during your trip? What this something that you always wanted to do, or was spontaneous? Did you incorporate other people ideas while producing your videos? Who has contributed the most? I am not expecting to find allot of geography or statistical information in your book. There are other sources for that. What you have done is unique. I want to know the human behind the phenomenon.
    You have said, “I’m thinking of how I can do that in a productive way that doesn’t expose my anxieties and insecurities.” Do not worry about that.
    Also…”What I’m doing right now is going through old entries and trying to extract the funny and engaging from the tedious and self-involved.” Do not leave out your own thinking/feelings trying to please the average.

    I love your blog…your writing style is good, you have what it takes…good luck!

    Patricia Cabezas

  47. Wang Qian Nan

    Hello
    i’ve just got to know you through your vedio named Dancing.It’s wide spread now on the Internet.I want to travel all over the world just like you.However,i have something that must be done now.and i admire your courage to quit your job and give up something in life.
    one more thing,welcome to china! ^_^

  48. Willie

    hi matt, i am a high school student from taiwan ,i love your video ,it gaves me encouragement and a goal,i want to travel around the world

  49. Willie

    hi matt, i am a high school student from taiwan ,i love your video ,it gaves me encouragement and a goal,i want to travel around the world

  50. John

    Matt.. this will sound silly, childish.. and more like advice for a three year old.

    But it works for me.

    Close your eyes and just start typing.. about anything that comes to mind.. maybe play your video with the music turned down low and just remember..

    You can always go back and edit.. but you can’t capture the feeling.. without feeling it.. again.

  51. Lyn

    I love that you’re on Orcas Island. I’ve been to San Juan Island three times, and I think it’s just such a wonderful place to create. Enjoy yourself! When I need a pick-me-up I watch your dancing videos. Thanks for doing this!

  52. judy

    Love prattling….remember Timbuktu..there was no need to prattle on about it…but Papua New Guinea…now that’s a prattle waiting to happen! Absolutely cannot wait for this book! I’m buying one for all the people I’ve told about your videos.

  53. Susan

    Dear Matt
    Just want to thank you for your dancing videos – nothing quite makes me smile the way they do… except perhaps my son (who is 9), who makes me smile that deeply and shutter equally deeply… like you, he’d just as soon play xbox til he turned into a pile of dust – but knowing that you have similar leanings has helped me let go of worrying about him and appreciate the humor, joy and creativity he does have…. he’s a funny guy..

    sorry, I write poorly…. it’s too hard to make everything agree….
    You, write beautifully it’s perfectionism (a defect) that drives one into that “depression spiral”…

    I usually can’t get started when I’m trying to do something amazing but when I approach anything with the idea of trying to be average and I can start (for one thing) and then usually get it done without all the self-hatred and often enjoy myself in the process….

    I send much love, huge hugs for you and wish you the best with your book!!! I look forward to it!

    Best to you

  54. I’ve seen your videos before. I never knew about the exciting info you have been working on about them. THANKS for your exciting, interesting, funny and (a word that describes wanting to know more) effort you have been sharing.

    I wanted to tell you again THANKS!!

    I am going to a school where I choose to get rid of the internet for a while (a cold turkey of internet… it’s a worthwhile challenge), the reason I’m sharing this is that I’m not going to be able to read more of your interesting stories.

    I’m writing this message to encourage you. I am a firm believer that Jesus Christ is the one true God. If you ever want to know if what I’m saying is true try praying to Jesus. Try this prayer (and really mean to talk to the Lord, He knows your heart):

    “Lord thank you for creating my life. I am feeling depressed, please help me. (And here is the very serious part) REVEAL YOURSELF TO ME”

    God Bless you friend.

    My name is V. Roman Haljkevic and you can try contacting me via the phone by calling my school I’m attending: http://www.mzsom.org

    Again thanks for your great work.

    May the Lord keep you and guide you!

  55. Nikki Beach resort turks and caicos was perfect. The service from our Personal Assistants was awesome and the view from our balcony was picture perfect. Most of our days were spent hanging out at the swim up bar in the infinity pool laughing with other guests. James our Beach Attendant was terrific keeping the mojitos flowing. Great location for the resort with a private dock to get dropped off after a day of snorkeling with Caicos Dream Adventure. The housekeeping service was amazing with the room perfect every time we came back from a relaxing day on the beach. A great 5 days ending with a killer party on Friday night. Special thanks to Madeline, Lavonne, Hudson and Ronald.

    For more information on Nikki Beach Turks and Caicos Resort visit link to nikkibeachhotels.com

  56. It was at Nikki Beach Turks and Caicos where my fiancé proposed to me. It was so perfect under the wedding cabana surrounded by roses accompanied by some Dom P and chocolate strawberries looking at the reflection of the moon on the beautiful waters where he asked me to be his life partner. He later told me the setup was by our personal assistant Chrystal and Mark the night Manager. With 80 percent occupancy and a full restaurant they pulled it together in 15 minutes, I owe them a part of my lifetime happiness.

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