Hemingway said you should write your story, and then take all of the “best” lines out. Would we like F. Scott Fitzgerald, or Toni Morrison, or James Baldwin half as much if they took our their best lines?
Writing a new type of fiction after you’ve dedicated years honing another might be the bast thing for you, although maybe not your reader
She was unquestionably a GREAT writer. So, then, what is that special quality that separates the good, even the gifted writers, from those who works will be read 50 and even 100 years from now. Didion felt quite sure – and was happy to talk openly about it – that quality is ruthlessness. She was, with admirable frankness, unambiguous about expressing this idea. She referred to writing as an “act of aggression,” and added, “there’s no getting around the fact that setting words on paper is the tactic of a secret bully, an invasion, an imposition of the writer’s sensibility on the reader’s most private space.”
one of the really freeing things about nonfiction for me is that I can say “I don’t know. I don’t remember.” I love that. I value honesty a lot, which is I think what allows me to bypass that “I don’t want people to know this” filter, so the ability to admit that I’m not sure if X happened in Y way or Z way is really more about honesty than my stoner memory.
There is no magical formula.
I write because…somehow I became a writer. I can only contribute what I can contribute. Believe me, I’d be a worse than useless frontline worker in this pandemic. I write because it gives me my best shot as being an acceptably good father, son, friend, partner, and citizen. I also write because, hopefully, in some small way, some of it may speak to someone else out there, and at least make them feel a little less alone. But that’s pretty lofty.
This Should Really Be Titled “My Pandemic Paradox,” But Then It Would Sound Less Like A Robert Ludlum Novel, Which Is Frankly My Goal With All Of My Titles. I think the Pandemic may have broken me. And before I even start, I want to make it clear I’m not on the front lines ofContinue reading “The Pandemic Paradox”
“I’m learning to have confidence that, though I’m a firm believer of not stopping to getting in your own way when things are humming, it’s OK to try to recognize when that hum diminishes, and to have faith that it will come back when its ready to.”
“…every time I think I’ve got my sense of White, straight privilege correctly calibrated, a situation or a friend will point out to me I really haven’t.”
In my experience, there’s a lot you have control over as a writer. That’s the craft part. But the inspiration, the sudden urge to take a Kierkergaardian leap of faith, isn’t a part I really understand intellectually. And not only am I OK with that, I’m grateful for it. This way, unlike almost everything else in my life, I can’t get in my own way.