Posts Tagged: writing
While some of you may scoff or shrug your shoulders, Kyle Wiens, writing for Harvard Business Review, is not messing around:
If you think an apostrophe was one of the 12 disciples of Jesus, you will never work for me.
The guide details six tips particularly geared towards writers, some of which include the not-so-helpful “Be Authentic, Be Yourself,” and “Above All, Have Fun.” Nowadays many authors use the social networking site as a means of self-promotion, and entire transcontinental book clubs have sprung from its 140 character limit....more
The Guardian profiles a series of computer applications meant to motivate authors through the doldrums of writer’s block.
‘Write or Die’ (whose slightly menacing slogan is “putting the ‘Prod’ back in Productivity”) deletes your writing if you pause for more than forty-five seconds, while apps like ‘Freedom’ effectively shut down modes of procrastination, prohibiting you from viewing sites of refuge like Twitter and Facebook....more
“Language can still be an adventure if we remember that words can make a kind of melody. In novels, news stories, memoirs and even to-the-point memos, music is as important as meaning. In fact, music can drive home the meaning of words.”...more
The second installment of “Super Sad True Habits of Highly Effective Writers” features a number of our friends, including contributor Chloe Caldwell, and Adam Levin, whose novel The Instructions was a Rumpus Book Club selection.
Here’s Nick Flynn on his pre-writing ritual:
“Before I sit down, I need time to wander in the unknown for awhile, either psychically or physically, somewhat aimlessly, yet in a state of awareness, allowing seeming distractions to build up some energy, maybe around an image or idea or sound, until something reveals itself: a pattern, an echo, something that resonates with whatever it is I think I’m supposed to be working on.”...more
Guernica examines the intersections of science, emotion, and memory by way of an exchange between novelist Rivka Galchen and neuroscience professor David Linden, featured in the Rubin Museum’s Brainwave series.
“As Linden explains in his book, ‘memory retrieval is an active and dynamic process.’ Thus recollecting past experiences—reliving them again and again or retelling them to others—subtly modifies the memories we keep....more
At The Quivering Pen, Emily St. John Mandel remembers her first agent who, even in death, remains part of Mandel’s audience.
“She comes back to me at odd moments. When there are small triumphs, I sometimes find myself thinking that I wish she could have seen this; when there are small disappointments I sometimes think of her too, of how dry and reassuring she was when things weren’t going quite as one had hoped.”...more
Check out this amazing Tumblr. The Rumpus editorial board is particularly fond of this one: When all of the important national mag awards go to white dudes.
(Via Xtina Richards)...more
Believer co-founder and co-editor Heidi Julavitz writes about how online journals (such as The Rumpus!) caused the Believer to rethink some of its original tenets, including a strong resistance to virtualization.
“Ultimately we risked losing readers, and we risked losing writers, too....more
Grub Daily has a micro-interview with Alexander Chee. The author discusses the hardest writing criticism to give and receive, strange reader interactions, Middle-Earth, advice for would-be writers, and what he looks for in a new work.
“As a reader, I am something of a thrill-seeker....more
“Verbs kick-start sentences: Without them, words would simply cluster together in suspended animation. We often call them action words, but verbs also can carry sentiments (love, fear, lust, disgust), hint at cognition (realize, know, recognize), bend ideas together (falsify, prove, hypothesize), assert possession (own, have) and conjure existence itself (is, are).”...more
“Creating the blog might have been his grasp at taking control of our story, but it was also his attempt to speak to me in my language, or on my platform anyway.”...more
“The Rejection Generator rejects writers before an editor looks at a submission. Inspired by psychological research showing that after people experience pain they are less afraid of it in the future, The Rejection Generator helps writers take the pain out of rejection.”
Here’s a handy tool to support “rejection immunity” and ease the fear of sending submissions into the wild....more
“The best writers combine killer nouns and adjectives, and they can make dawn — or any other sky — surprising.”...more
“It is by fussing with sentences that a character becomes clear to me, that a plot unfolds. To work on them so compulsively, perhaps prematurely, is to see the trees before the forest. And yet I am incapable of conceiving the forest any other way.”
At The New York Times, Jhumpa Lahiri reflects on the centrality of the sentence in her reading and writing processes....more
“In truth, memory’s great betrayal, that it will not lie intact in wait for us, is lament enough to revisit in every generation. This is what I go to nonfiction for, the way we pick at the scab, poke our finger in the wound of memory’s fickle and existential transience, and the inconvenience of our desire to make things whole and right.”
At Brevity, Liz Stephens reflects on fact and nonfiction, articulating her loss of trust in John D’Agata’s narrative nonfiction, which she examines by way of a contrast to David Shields’ Reality Hunger, and none other than Cheryl Strayed’s “The Love of My Life.”...more
When my memoir went out of print, it was as if someone had thrown a stray puppy onto my doorstep. Dazed, mangy, with a tendency to pee on the rug, this orphaned book was something I couldn’t shoo away, or worse, put down, but also something I didn’t have any room for in my life....more
Online writing community Figment has recently inaugurated Figment Daily Themes, “a free daily email service through which subscribers receive a thoughtful, compelling writing prompt five days a week.” Occasionally, prompts will come from acclaimed authors such as Curtis Sittenfeld, Aimee Bender, and Nell Freudenberger....more