We had the good fortune of connecting with Diana Dinerman and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Diana, have you ever found yourself in a spot where you had to decide whether to give up or keep going? How did you make the choice?
Quit when it’s not getting better.

The quitting and sticking debate is something you have to feel out. When it comes to jokes, there are some you can never get right and you have to let go when no one is laughing. When it comes to life, it’s a lot harder to know when to stop doing something when you’ve spent a long time rationalizing it.

We’re so programmed to blame ourselves for being not good enough, you’ve got to have a good connection to yourself to know when it’s the thing (job, relationship, etc.) and when it’s you. When it comes to writing, you can’t quite too early. It takes a long time to get words right.

If you’re spending your time coping instead of growing, quitting might be the right move. I’ve started thinking of it this way: if you stop doing something that doesn’t work, you create a new space for something that does.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.

I write and perform in multiple mediums, but during the height of the Pandemic, I just wrote and read. It was an incredible time of artistic expansion for me. I was forced to focus in one area and I hit a stride.

I’m excited about my book project, What The Body Knows. It’s a memoir of the female body through the lens of touch. It is a slow drip but I’m making progress. I’m more excited about progress than results these days.

I am also excited about doing stand-up again. I didn’t go up at all during the Pandemic and getting back on the stage has been a blast. I have a lot to say because for two years I sheltered in place with all my thoughts. I won all the arguments. I think my feminist point of view has become sharper, perhaps deadly.

I’ve been developing a new solo show as well, but that’s top-secret for now.

The challenges of working in entertainment, satisfying myself artistically, making a living, and having time to connect with the people who are important to me have not been overcome. I’m a little uncomfortable every day and I expect that to continue.

The best lesson I’ve learned is to pay myself first. In time. I work in several mediums and always have multiple projects going at once. I have learned to put the most important project first, and I only ever commit to doing three things in a day. I usually do more than that, but I only commit to the three most important. It’s changed my relationship with time. I feel like I have more of it because I spend it differently. I rest more. I don’t push as hard as I used to and it’s meant making higher quality work in less time because I’m more focused when I’m making it. The thing that has helped me accomplish more was slowing down.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?

There are so many great restaurants in LA; it’s too hard to choose. I am consistently well-fed. I love the simple solids on the Eastside: Kismet, Gingergrass, Gget.

The Silverlake Reservoir is one of my favorite places because when I moved to LA in 2012, I lived next to it. My life was crumbling around me. I changed my career, I didn’t know how I was going to make a living. I was living on the edge and it was very crowded. I took a lot of walks around the reservoir and every time I walked and looked at the landscape around me, I felt like I was in the right place. You know how you can feel scared but also like you’re moving in the right direction? That’s how I felt. Any time I feel like I might not be ok, I take a walk there to remember how far I’ve come.

I love a little beach past Malibu near Leo Carillo State Park and I like to go there alone for the day and write next to the water. it’s quieter than the rest of the beaches in the area.

I love how close we are to Baha, so if I want to take an impromtu trip, Baha is first on the list.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?

I am grateful to the California Vipassana Center, and all the teachers and volunteers who do give service there. I’ve been practicing Vipassana meditation for six years and it has made a bigger impact on my life than anything else. Learning this practice taught me to listen to myself. Meditation taught me how to stay relaxed while I’m uncomfortable.

The second is the Corporeal Writing Center in Portland. I’ve made connections with other female writers there and they have been my lifeboat for the past two years.

Website: dianadinerman.com

Instagram: dldinerman

Twitter: ddinerman

Image Credits
Eric Fischer Emily Maya Mills Alicia Carroll Rob Mainord

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