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In the gift shop at O. R. Tambo International Airport: Johannesburg, South Africa

Many thanks to all of you for your patience with this post, which I am publishing a smidge late (hence the title).  And tremendous gratitude especially to Lara of The Lara Touch for inviting me to join in on the My Writing Process Blog Tour!  To answer the Tour’s four questions:

What am I working on?
I have a few things currently in process:

  • Compiling anecdotal observations made during my travels to Malawi and Zambia
  • Creating a piece about how circus can be utilized as a tool for dynamic social change
  • Amplifying the work of Huru International, an incredible organization – who is up next on this blog tour!
  • Updating text and images on my blog, which will be transferring to a new online home

How does my work differ from others of its genre?
My writing is actually mixture of travelogue, photo story, academic writing and tips for safer, more enjoyable sex… So that in itself is different, I suppose!

Why do I write what I do?
I started writing in this style in 2004, when I began traveling internationally for my work with The Condom Project.  My friends and family were interested in seeing the people, places and cultures that I was seeing; so I would compile a few photos each day and write a little blurb about them, which I sent out via email.  My writing process literally began as a way to share my unique life experiences with others, all while encouraging dialogue around the topic of human sexuality in an unexpected way.

How does your writing process work?
For those of you who watch 30 Rock, my process usually looks a lot like The Shower Principle.  The seeds of ideas get planted while walking around the city, riding the subway or doing my dishes; I talk with friends and colleagues to clarify and synthesize my thoughts, and then I put manicured fingers to keyboard!  I am addicted to thesauruses.  And the silliest part of my writing process is the amount of editing I do after I publish…  I am a huge fan of both the Undo button (post-sending) in Gmail, as well as the Edit button available post publication in WordPress.  For some reason, I am impatient to get the words out there… after which I finally take the time to read the piece with fresh eyes, and proceed to make final formatting and editorial changes.  Bizarre.  But that’s my process 😉

Just for fun, I am tallying how many times I hit the Edit button after publishing this blog post.  I will update this counter each time I edit and re-publish: 10

 

I am now passing the Tour along to these incredible bloggers:

Ana Santos

Ana Santos, Founder and Editorial Director of
Sex and Sensibilities

Sex and Sensibilities, as its name implies, is a balance of sex and responsible choice. It is a site that hopes to be your trusted haven to get practical information about sex; a private place where your questions about sexuality will be answered with compassion, intelligence, and most importantly, always with honesty and respect for your choice.  At Sex and Sensibilities (which has been aptly nicknamed “SAS”), you can get information on safe and sensible sex, HIV and STI testing, global HIV news, and women’s allies, including SASsy men and SASsy governments.

 

 

TORCH Alumni

TORCH Alumni Network, administrated by TORCH Program/Alumni Relations Coordinator Francis Carrero

The TORCH Alumni Network is a blog that brings The TORCH Program alumni community together and continues to offer them support after high school. The TORCH Program is a non – profit organization dedicated to transforming the lives of underserved New York City public high school students by providing them with intensive hands on exposure to career training in communications and the arts, all while facilitating a meaningful way of increasing the diversity of the workforce in those industries. As The TORCH Program alumni transition into college and their professional careers this blog offers them advice on college life and professionalism, internship and job opportunities, career enhancement events and workshops as well as updates on current TORCH participants, projects and events.

 

Huru International Blog, with contributors in Kenya and the United States

In Swahili, Huru means Freedom.  Founded in Kenya in 2008, the mission of Huru International is to assist and empower adolescent girls by providing them with the resources and knowledge they need to complete their education and safeguard their health. In many parts of the world, poverty makes the cost of sanitary pads prohibitive for countless girls and young women, leading many to resort to unsafe substitutions, or to skip school for the duration of their periods. In response to this need, Huru has developed a high-quality reusable sanitary pad, produced locally and packaged into kits with other necessary products and HIV/AIDS prevention information.

I hope that you savor and enjoy these wonderful blogs as much as I do!
And please remember to stay in touch here.  It has truly been a privilege.

Much love,
Joy Lynn

 

Yoga in Times Square

 

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Though outside my area of expertise, a friend asked last year that I contribute a piece to his compilation on the subject of addiction.  Due to a variety of environmental-structural observations, I had recently become interested in the concept of workaholism… And here are the thoughts that I passed on to my friend:

Rubber band ball

The term “addiction” is used to classify any obsessive or compulsive behavior in spite of all negative consequences, characterized in particular by the acute lack of ability to stop and completely discontinue the activity.  Work addiction is a form of process addiction, dependency upon certain behaviors that alter brain chemistry and mood.  Not dissimilar to other types of addiction, an individual must typically reach a bottom before recognizing that a problem exists; this is especially true of workaholism, as our society customarily rewards people who exhibit what may be considered a strong work ethic – much more so than a person addicted to a drug such as heroin.  To that effect, workaholism has been described as our nation’s “best dressed addiction.”

For some, it may be challenging to distinguish a hard worker from a workaholic.  A hard worker has the ability to handle tasks effectively and efficiently; a workaholic exhibits the inability to prevent perfectionism from overriding efficiency, spending unnecessary amounts of time on minor details.  Over time, employers do not reap benefits from employing workaholics; hard workers actually have better attendance and better working relationships with their peers and subordinates than workaholics do.

Symptoms of work addiction include approval-seeking, as the addict’s identity is their work, which completely justifies their existence; issues of control, with attempts to gain control over even the wildly unpredictable; escapism, using work as an excuse to avoid handling real-world feelings and emotions; preoccupation and obsession with work, exemplified by a lack of balance and boundaries; and lying, minimizing past failures and exaggerating past successes.

Workaholism manifests in physical signs, as is the case with most forms of addiction.  These signs include chest pain, fatigue, shortness of breath and dizziness; behavioral signs can include outbursts, insomnia and mood swings ranging from elation to desolation.  Workaholism also has devastating effect on personal relationships, as workaholics believe that the world revolves around them; they have been described as absent parents and spouses.

The Workaholics Anonymous World Service Organization recommends handling work addiction through Twelve Steps, which are identical to those utilized by alcoholics to handle their dependency.  As with any public health issue, prevention is preferable to treatment therefore the public health community must develop targeted interventions to raise awareness about and address the underlying causes of workaholism in our society.  In your opinion, what are the root causes of work addiction – and how can we effectively address it?  Please feel free to share your thoughts here.

Me + suitcase

I love hearing from you –
post your questions & comments here,
circa anytime.  You can also
Like me on Facebook & Follow me on Twitter!

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