Goal Setting Fangirl Style: The BAMF checklist

July 8, 2014 § 1 Comment

I wanted to talk a little bit today about how to use your fangirl nature in setting and meeting the goals you have in life.

So often we think of fangirling as a central impediment to accomplishing what we want in life. I mean, it’s hard to see how watching so much tv in a row that Netflix feels like it has to intervene and ask if you are alive and want to continue (Yes, Netflix, the answer is always yes for fuck’s sake). Or how the emotions invested in crying over screencaps and gifs and fanfiction can be redirected to life stuff.

But it can! If you’ve read my book, then you already probably know a lot about how to change some of your thinking about fangirling as it applies to your life. But most of the exercises in the book are big-picture thinking, so I wanted to give you a few simple daily tools you can use to power your motivation with fangirl fuel.

Tool #1:  The BAMF checklist.


We all make to-do lists. Ladies in particular love them. We make them in boring staff meetings, when our professor is droning on forever, or when we’re riding the bus home. But a visual or verbal reminder of a character that inspires you can make a huge difference when you’re outlining your tasks for the week.

I have 7 things that I want to accomplish every day. They include making my bed, flossing, taking vitamins, etc.  I have much bigger goals in life, but I also know that if I keep up daily healthy habits, I’m more likely to accomplish them and look fabulous doing it. 

The problem with daily habits is that they suck. So I slap a different screencap of Diane Lockhart from The Good Wife on my weekly BAMF list, and voila. My motivation isn’t just to get shit done anymore. I see the cap and think, “OH GOD. If I don’t pack my lunch and save money I’ll never be that fabulous.” Forget whether this is actually true. The screencap MAKES it true. 

This is probably my favorite tool because as a stats geek, I can quantitatively track my improvement from week to week. When I first started, I was hitting maybe 40% of the tasks every week (gold stars help too!). Now I’m averaging around 70%. 

So think about what favorite person, real or fictional, will get your ass in gear. If you can connect your desire to live better with your passion for a character, then there’s no telling what you can do. 

Stay tuned! I’ll be posting more goal setting tools in the coming weeks. 

fangirl dilemma: have I got what it takes?

June 10, 2014 § 2 Comments

Tessa writes,

Hello 🙂 Thank you for your blog and for this website, for sharing and inspiring! Could you please give me some advice still?  Very often I just spend time watching the stuff BAMF’s (both fictional and real-life) do, and they (you included) always awe me. However I don’t think that I deserve to be like that. I don’t think that I have such great qualities in me, such morals and courage. Is this possibly true? Thank youxx


Thanks for your honest words.  Once I read this fabulous quote from a poet posted by another blogger. It goes, “We are vey badly made, but we are not finished.”

I can’t think of a better way to understand being a BAMF. Yes BAMFs might stick to their morals and be courageous, but they can be extraordinarily shitty people at times like the rest of us. Laura Roslin cheated to win an election. My current love Diane Lockhart sold her partner out to try to get a promotion. That’s why they’re so appealing to me. They’re flawed gorgeous creatures who manage to rise out of their own hopeless humanity more often than not.

Maybe you don’t feel like you have what it takes, but the best place to start is to consider what extremely shitty circumstances have helped build the person you are.

I’m growing as a writer because I get up and try when I don’t feel like it. But also because I’ve been rejected more times than notes on my most popular tumblr meme.

I’m growing in my relationships because of my willingness to take responsibility for myself. But also because I’ve stayed in bad ones even though I knew the other person never loved me and never would.

I’m growing as a BAMF because I see the qualities in amazing women I admire. But also because I missed out on important relationships with BAMFs in real life I ignored or neglected.

Tessa, I am very badly made. But I’m not finished with myself.  And neither are you. Your humanness is the most important trait you will ever need to be a BAMF. And god knows we’re up to our ears in our humanness!

So keep paying attention to real and fictional BAMFs, but don’t forget to pay attention to yourself. All the ingredients are already there. Just don’t be afraid to mess up a few times along the way.



the best cure for a boy

June 5, 2014 § Leave a comment

Jessica writes, 

I think i LOVE Luke Hemmings lol but im serious -_-

Jessica, I’m gonna be real with you. I am 29 years old and I had to google that name. I empathize with your pain but I also know the exquisite pain of finding an older lady BAMF to admire and model yourself after, so that’s what I would suggest as a cure for your teen pop angst. Luke may never love you, but you’ll damn sure love yourself if you find who you want to be like and just fucking go for it. 

Best of luck, 


Fanwoman List Making

January 20, 2014 § Leave a comment

I think it’s a safe stereotype to assume that almost all ladies enjoy making lists. Some of us do it to get shit done, and some of us do it to avoid getting shit done. Those of us who are fangirls even make lists of the tv shows or movies we have to watch, and easily overwhelm ourselves. After all, fangirling is hard work. If you look at an actress’s filmography on IMDB and instantly give up, then you don’t have what it takes. 

Today however I want to talk about combining those two types of lists to make a Mutant Fanwoman Attack Plan, or MFAP.

Step 1. Make a list of all the things you want to accomplish in the next few days. Or even one day. Don’t discriminate between what’s most important and what’s least important. Just brainstorm and get it all down. 

Step 2. Think of all the BAMFy characters you admire in fiction. Make a list of the greatest scenes or passages that you find inspiring. Or maybe it’s a tumblr post that inspires you. (Note: Try not to pick feels-inducing passages. Hairporn and sass feels are acceptable but anything shippy or involving death or heartbreak is not a good idea in this case.) 

Step 3: Combine the two lists. Ideally you should start your MFAP by watching or reading a scene, and then alternate between a task and a scene with which you reward/motivate yourself. Absorb the power from your favorites, and go forth and conquer. 

I’m going to try this out myself this week and report back! Feel free to tweet about it or drop me a message to let me know how if it works! 

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