About me & JUST WHAT IS BLANK PAGE SOCIAL?

The SHORT CLIFF's NOTES Version

Hi Friends, I’m Jessica D! I've been making a living while being creative in New York City for nearly two decades. I do a lot of stuff, mainly on Broadway with costumes. Secretly though, I'm a writer who wholeheartedly believes that journaling can save your life because it saved mine. So, I’m really hoping to provide something that will help us navigate these uncertain times during the COVID-19 outbreak, an outlet that I’m calling Blank Page Social.

So what is this actually all about? Journaling (and hopefully stress release, making sense of things, and gently massaging our mental health). I'll be hosting an online space every day for anyone who wants to come, sit, and journal for 10 mins. We will do it together. I’ll keep sessions and talks quick, feel free to interact or don’t. 

 

All you need is:

 

  1. To show up as you are, whatever state of dress and however you are feeling in the moment. (Instagram or Facebook Live).

  2. Have any means of writing. I personally like handwriting in journals but I also frequently use the notes app on my phone. You can type, write, use a crayon, scribble on an envelope, or one of those insanely long Duane Reade receipts. It doesn’t matter how you get your thoughts out, just have some means to do so. Oh, and find a comfortable space, it can be literally anywhere!

  3. I’ll offer some kind of prompt or inspiration which you can choose to use or not. They’ll be eclectic to keep it interesting. It could be a song, an image, or a quote (your suggestions are welcome!)

  4. Then I set a timer for 10 mins and we write, draw, doodle, stare at the blank page, whatever feels good. We’ll do it together. 

  5. When 10 mins are up, I will give a silent sign off as not to disturb you if you want to keep going. 

 

Sound good? Let’s give this a go and see what happens. If sharing this deeply private practice helps even one person right now, my heart will be full.

The current sessions will be at 10:00 am EST. 

The Long JUICY Version

Hi Friends, I’m Jessica D! I work and live in New York City. I’ve dedicated my entire life to working in the entertainment industry, mainly Broadway. In my lifetime, I’ve done just about everything you can do both creatively and behind the scenes. Professionally people know me best as a Wardrobe Supervisor and Producer. What most people don’t know about me is that I’m a writer. Mostly because I don’t really share what I write with anyone.

 

Writing has been my secret escape and my survival tool since I was around 11 years old. I say that because I have a massive collection of full journals dating back that far. I wholeheartedly believe that journaling can save your life or at the very least relieve some stress but I know it isn’t always an easy practice to commit to. So, I’m really hoping to provide something that will help us navigate these uncertain times, an outlet that I’m calling Blank Page Social.

 

So right now most of us around the world are feeling the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak; we’re all living through this strange hope-filled renaissance phase of our uncertain fates. It’s beautiful to see how so many artists have banded together for free live concerts and dance classes and I’m loving that so much. But for me, it’s not all taking yoga classes in my apartment and Zoom happy hours although that stuff’s been so fun and amazingly therapeutic.  I’m recognizing the other stuff, the real stuff, the freaking out, the helplessness, the confusion, the wanting to scream or cry, the actual crying, the underlying fear about the foreseeable future, the not sleeping, and the not really knowing what to do with the additional hours stuck in our homes. I know I’m experiencing parts of that not so glamorous stress but mainly I’m feeling helpless and have been for some time. 

 

So as I mentioned before, I journal a lot and have since I was a kid. Some of you may know that I grew up dancing. Dance was really my first language. I lived at my dance studio because my home life was often unstable. I couldn’t always be in a dance class where I felt safest and in control, especially during my confusing middle and high school years. I desperately needed to find another safe space for myself. Hanging out at the mall with friends, I decided to spend some birthday money on a blank Journal from a fancy stationery store. I had no plan for that journal but at eleven years old I just wanted it. I never imagined what that purchase would turn into for me. In that book, I found the stability I needed away from the ballet barre. In the freedom of blank pages, I learned not to judge myself. I found survival and sanity that has gifted me the life I have today. Usually, I journal at night before I go to bed, sometimes in the morning, sometimes just because. The beauty of my journaling practice is that there are no rules, it’s whatever I need it to be whenever I need it.

 

Now, if I’m being truly honest, in the months leading up to this social distancing time out we’re in, I can honestly say I had lost myself. I was so consumed with my job (which I loved but even sometimes that love can be really toxic). Without truly realizing it, I had stopped making time for myself completely. I wasn’t reading, I had stopped listening to music, and most importantly, I noticed I had stopped journaling or writing at all. With each passing week of my overloaded schedule, I was feeling more and more like the walking dead. I was sick all of the time and I just could not function the way I normally would. Now, this wasn’t all from my current job, I’d been so lucky to be working professionally non-stop for nearly twenty years. But after years of running myself ragged and giving every bit of my being to the entertainment industry doing work I loved so much I couldn’t stop myself. I’d learned that Burnout (which I never believed in) wasn’t an urban legend. Burnout is REAL and I have been fighting through it every day. I knew that returning to the blank pages of my journal would help but I couldn’t find the motivation to even pick up a pen. And then the unthinkable happens, a global pandemic, who would have thought?

The world stopped, new stress has settled in, and well I’ve picked up a pen. 

 

So tracking back to what this is actually all about. I NEED to journal and I want to keep myself honest and accountable while hopefully building a community of people coming together to process and release what had been going on prior to the COVID-19 outbreak and whatever is currently going on for us during this time and beyond. I am taking my most private practice of journaling and sharing this simple tool with you. I intend to host an online space every day for anyone who wants to come, sit, and journal for 10 mins. We will do it together. I’ll keep sessions and talks quick, feel free to interact or don’t. 

All you need is:

 

  1. To show up as you are, whatever state of dress and however you are feeling in the moment. (Instagram or Facebook Live).

  2. Have any means of writing. I personally like handwriting in journals but I also frequently use the notes app on my phone. You can type, write, use a crayon, scribble on an envelope, or one of those insanely long Duane Reade receipts. It doesn’t matter how you get your thoughts out, just have some means to do so. Oh and find a comfortable space, it can be literally anywhere!

  3. I’ll offer some kind of prompt or inspiration which you can choose to use or not. They’ll be eclectic to keep it interesting. It could be a song, an image, or a quote (your suggestions are welcome!)

  4. Then I set a timer for 10 mins and we write, draw, doodle, stare at the blank page, whatever feels good. We’ll do it together. 

  5. When 10 mins are up, I will give a silent sign off as not to disturb you if you want to keep going. 

 

Sound good? Let’s give this a go and see what happens. I’m sure they’ll be a lot of learning in the process so stick with me. If sharing this deeply private practice helps even one person right now, my heart will be full.

Now the disclaimer, I’m not a doctor or a mental health practitioner, I’m just a human and journaling is a tool that has worked for me for over thirty years, especially in times of uncertainty. You don’t have to be a writer, or be creative, or work in the arts to do this. Anyone can join! You can write alone or with friends or family, really anything goes. And hey, if it’s not your thing cool if you stare at your blank page for 10 minutes awesome if you write for 10 minutes and want to keep going that’s amazing. No pressure, no judgment, you never have to share your writing with anyone, EVER. It’s whatever you want or need your blank page to be. I promise if you keep coming back, it keeps getting better. 

 

Morning sessions are at 10 am and so on and so on and so on. I’m really looking forward to writing with you guys but above all, I really hope this helps!

 

Spread the word, I appreciate it. See you at 10 am! 

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