How much time should be spent on a single work of art? Or inversely, how will the amount of time spent on a work ultimately shape what that work will become and what it will mean to the creator? What it will mean to us?
Posts Tagged: writing
Writing may be hard work, but it isn’t the kind that pays the bills. Tillie Olsen’s seminal Silences wonders just what kind of work writing really is, and who has the privilege to do it:
Though access to education has improved for women and for members of the working class (categories that intersect) the lessons of “Silences” still resonate.
“WRITER: THE GAME is a not-for-profit writing lifestyle simulator created by Matthew Burnside, the goal of which is to be a productive writer without succumbing to soul-crushing rejection or the wicked diversions of the internet”
Yes, that’s exactly it: an online game that allows you to procrastinate by being a procrastinating writer–or, in other words, an autofictional role game....more
More than 5 percent of the messages a woman receives online will be abusive or derogatory in nature, on average. Piers Morgan, whom researchers rank as the No. 1 receiver of hate tweets per day, gets 8.4 percent negative comments — putting him not that far ahead of the average female journalist when it comes to fielding vitriol....more
Alexandra Wuest, writing at HTMLGIANT, looks at the distinction between procrastination and the useful distraction that is a necessary part of the creative act:
Somewhere between the initial conception of an idea and the completion of the project exists a murky abyss of abstraction in which the horizon line is hidden–or may not even exist.
Writing and revising can be challenging under the best of circumstances, but imaging being unable to see the words on the page. At The Airship Daily, Tammy Ruggles writes about her life as a visually impaired writer:
Before the computer age, the visually impaired could dictate their words to be set down in print or use a stylus to write in braille and have it transcribed, but today’s accessible technology makes writing so easy that you may not realize I used a screen reader, speech recognition software and a magnification program to write this
Memoirist (and former editor-at-large of McSweeney’s) Sean Wilsey talks to The Atlantic about his essay collection, More Curious, and why humor writing resonates:
I think there’s something dishonest about writing that isn’t funny. I can’t engage with a piece of work without an element of humor to it.
VIDA is launching a new roundtable discussion series on issues in writing by women on June 2nd at Housing Works Bookstore in Manhattan. The event is the first of a series that will take place every fall and winter/spring. This time, they conversation centers on how women write about other women, featuring a panel including Jill Lepore, Rebecca Mead, Salamishah Tillet, and Ruth Franklin....more
I worked the same way with alcohol and drugs, and my whiskey elves, my beasts, never disappointed. I mean, they didn’t always write the prettiest prose — cocaine isn’t known to instill poetry — but they usually unearthed interesting images and haunting motifs.
Fans of the hit television show “The Office” will surely know that former “Office” star BJ Novak has come out with a collection of stories entitled One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories. Find out on Mashable why Novak thinks social media may unleash a new generation of prolific writers:
“[Social media] makes everyone aware of the minutia of conversation in literary form,” Novak told Mashable.
Praise the writer’s notebook, and praise the evolution of the writer’s notebook. Over at the New Yorker, Casey Cep writes about archiving the daily details digitally in photographs, rather than on paper:
Photography engenders a new kind of ekphrasis, especially when the writer herself is the photographer.
“I write because I’ve always wanted to know what bankruptcy feels like.”
John Winters gives his sobering reaction to the hotly debated “MFA vs. NYC: The Two Cultures of American Fiction,” in his essay, “Why I Write: 2014 Edition.” He details the emerging culture in burgeoning novelists produced by MFA programs, whether NYC is really the best place for a writer to be, and why he keeps writing despite the tough economic climate....more
The folks over at Brainpickings have unearthed a video from 1974 from a show called Day at Night where guest Ray Bradbury talked about writing, love, and life.
“I use a library the same way I’ve been describing the creative process as a writer — I don’t go in with lists of things to read, I go in blindly and reach up on shelves and take down books and open them and fall in love immediately.
The Believer‘s blog has a really splendid interview with writer, editor, and UN employee Summer Brennan.
Brennan talks to Nicolle Elizabeth about what it’s like to write non-creatively for a living, and then come home to write some more but on your own terms....more
If anyone was still laboring under the impression that writing is a lucrative business, a new report from Digital Book World is here to pulverize your hopes and dreams.
After interviewing 10,000 authors at all different points in their careers, DBW found that “the majority of authors make less than $1000 a year” from their writing, and “only 10 percent of traditionally published authors made more than $20,000.”
Read more and check out graphs of the data in this Galleycat post....more
The best things on my CV—the ones I almost want to use comic sans for, just so they’ll stand out—haven’t paid me.
In an essay for The Toast, Jilly Gagnon lays bare the realities of the writing life: handling 3,128 rejections, working a day job, and drying Mom’s tears when she sees the size of the apartment you can afford....more
My problem with the grand traditional novel—or rather traditional narrative in general, short stories included—is the vision of character, the constant reinforcement of a fictional selfhood that accumulates meaning through suffering and the overcoming of suffering. At once a palace built of words and a trajectory propelled by syntax, the self connects effortlessly with the past and launches bravely into the future.
“Maybe you write because you’re lonesome. You might stop once you fall in love. Remember we’re each just a self and the page is always there.
Maybe you write because you have a story to tell. I can’t imagine the Herculean act of learning to write for just one story, but some stories burn like that, I’ve heard tell.