Discover more from Something to Say with Abigail Bergstrom
I am having the best time writing pieces for this substack and the community grows every day. Building a community of writers and having a place to exchange knowledge and share my meandering musings on cultural commentary has been nothing short of a joy.
However, the deadline for the second draft of my novel looms alongside developing What a Shame into a TV series, and Bergstrom Studio has some really exciting projects on the boil. I have to be honest with myself about my time and energy levels. I am having to press pause for six – eight weeks so I can really get my head down and focus. Of course, if you’re a paid subscriber all payments will be paused too and they’ll only pick up again when I start writing and you start receiving content.
I’ve tried to resist doing this and I’ve really battled myself on it because I enjoy writing these newsletters – they fill my cup. It also feels counter intuitive and like a missed opportunity to pause something that’s growing and getting such a positive response. But my previous experience of severe burnout which you can read more about here and here has meant that I know my limits all too well and have to pay attention to them. It sounds silly doesn’t it? I’m sure all of you with your busy and full lives that are continuously interrupted by avalanches of content won’t even notice. But I certainly will. I’ll miss the weekly interaction with this community; I really value it.
Something to Say was set up as a hobby, but it was also launched as a more affordable way for me to share knowledge and information about writing, getting a book published and the publishing industry at large. It’s important to me that there is an offering for those who don’t have the personal income for 1-2-1 consultations that some agencies like mine offer. So I will be back, and in the meantime I very much hope you’ll bear with me.
Right now I’m not able to give this newsletter the attention it warrants and I want to come back in a couple of months when I can make it a priority and give it the thought, time and consideration it deserves. And for anyone else out there feeling threadbare or oversubscribed, I hope this is the nudge you needed to put a spinning plate down and push away the fear that if it’s not now, it’s never.
I am going to leave you with two incredible recommendations before I go.
This is the best book I’ve read this year. I’m still reeling from it, it’s an exceptional piece of writing. It drew me in slowly then administered a gut punch on what it is to be maternal and what makes a mother. Many truths were trodden so lightly, delicate metaphors softly tugged at - not least one involving pigeons and a cuckoo - (but they’ll be no spoilers here).
This is a book about choice, about one of life’s most consequential decisions and where a lot of literature falls short by alienating one perspective from another, the book builds through complex emotions and bridges some evasive gaps on the subject of motherhood.
Guadalupe Nettel’s writing has been described as having a ‘surgeons touch’ because of its incisiveness. But the visual that came to mind for me was that of a baker, folding over their mix, carefully combining ingredients of different texture and weight into one relatively smooth substance and hitting them home over and over again - the residue of which left me deeply moved and pleasantly optimistic.
This is a documentary about the global hypnosis of masculine power through cinema, and it blew my mind. If the camera is predatory then the culture is predatory. It draws together the direct effects of Hollywood cinema, a sinister framework of misogyny and paternalism that is responsible for the violence we see inflicted on women daily. Whilst I am well-adept with the work of Laura Mulvey and the male gaze and often leave the cinema feeling wounded or angry about the representation of women, this documentary opened my eyes even more. It’s something you can’t unsee and I was disturbed in a way that was confronting – the final note will puncture you.
Let me know if you check either of these out and leave your thoughts in the comments!
See you on the flipside.