The Turbulent Emotional State Of Being A Writer

jellies

“Euphoria is probably the best word to describe how an author feels when the writing goes well. Most of the time, however, the writing is hard, sometimes impossible. The terrifying sense that the creative process is always out of your control — or perhaps that it actually isn’t, in which case the hard-to-impossible stretches are a reflection of your immense shortcomings as a writer — takes a psychological toll.”

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter

Read Some Of Mark Twain’s Rediscovered San Francisco Columns

Mark Twain reclines on a sofa with a book. --- Image by © CORBIS

To an editor about a previous story: “Please publish it again, and put it in the parentheses where I have marked them, so that people who read with wretched carelessness may know to a dead moral certainty when I am referring to Chief Burke, and also know to an equally dead moral certainty when I am referring to the dog.”

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter

Before You Start: A Look At Introductions, Forewords, and Prefaces

introductions forewords prologues

Nick Ripatrazone considers some classic examples of the genre(s), from Walker Percy’s foreword to A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole to Graham Greene’s own preface to The Comedians (framed as a letter to his editor) and Jack Kerouac’s intro-in-the-form-of-a-questionnaire to Lonesome Traveler.

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter

Jorge Luis Borges’s ‘Library of Babel’ Is Now a Real Website

library of babel

“The Library, subject of a 1941 Borges story by the same name, contains all possible combinations of letters, and is tended to by melancholy Librarians trying in vain to locate meaning within the nonsense. … If that sounds like a less-than-appealing place to spend your time – not to mention a logically impossible one – keep your rational, unfevered brain away from libraryofbabel.info, where Brooklyn-based writer and coder Jonathan Basile has set out to bring Borges’ dream/nightmare to life.”

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter

The Most Successful Literary Couple In The U.S.

17travel-arena-streetlit-1-tmagArticle-v2

“The emergence of street lit is one of the big stories in recent American publishing, a juggernaut that has generated huge sales by catering to a readership — young, black and, for the most part, female — that historically has been ill-served by the book business. But the genre is also widely maligned.”

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter

The Danger Of A Single Story About ‘Africa,’ According To One Of The Continent’s Best Novelists

adichie

“Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the best-selling Nigerian author, wants American readers to know that African writers don’t just write about Africa’s problems. … Though it might seem obvious to point out, she adds, ‘people are diverse, and there are different things that are going on with them.'”

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter

How Did Storytelling Become So Devalued In “Good” Writing?

dameaggie

“Valuing the importance of the story is still considered unambitious, as though anyone could do it. I suspect the opposite: it is because writing a good story is so hard that it is such a tempting target, to be dismissed as a lower, populist skill. In the absence of a capacity, posit a principle.”

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter

Hahaha, Heehee, Heh – How We Spell Laughter In Texts And Emails

haha

Sarah Larson: “The terms of e-laughter – ‘ha ha,’ ‘ho ho,’ ‘hee hee,’ ‘heh’ – are implicitly understood by just about everybody. But, in recent years, there’s been an increasingly popular newcomer: ‘hehe.’ Not surprisingly, it’s being foisted upon us by youth. What does it mean?”

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter

In Defense Of Collecting Physical Books

the_book_of_the_lost_2011-624x645

“What does it mean when what you own is essential to who you are? In our everyday grasp of owning things, we tag it materialism, consumerism, consumption. But I trust you’ll agree that the possession of books is not identical to the possession of shoes: Someone with a thousand books is someone you want to talk to; someone with a thousand shoes is someone you suspect of belonging to the Kardashian clan.”

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter

The Perils Of Writing About Your Own Family

perils of writing about family

George Hodgman, author of Bettyville: “You kind of have to face the fact if you write a memoir that you are a somewhat aggressive person, that you are appropriating lives, in a way, that aren’t yours. And you put yourself out there and you try to be really generous, and you do what you can to get permission, but a lot of times the permission is meaningless because they have no idea to the extent that you’re going to examine, or what you’re going to say. … So memoir is a total minefield, as you know. It’s best if you write the book and leave the country.”

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter

How Eduardo Galeano Changed Writing (It Wasn’t With His Leftism)

eduardo Galeano

The great Uruguayan author is best known for his 1971 anti-capitalist manifesto Open Veins of Latin America – a work he repudiated last year. (He calls the prose unreadable.) But his later “technique is difficult to precisely describe, but it is easy enough to read. The word most often applied is ‘fragmentary,’ though the fragments are carefully arranged into unified wholes.”

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter

What’s So Great About Young Writers?

25Black-master675

“Youthful achievement is often linked to privilege. Not everyone can afford to write when young. Some are already working more than one job. Others are raising children, as I was for many years. Still others may not feel safe expressing themselves, for any number of reasons.”

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter

Not Every Writer Can Afford To Just Donate Prize Money

emily bitto

“With increasing pressure for writers to work for free – some of Australia’s largest books festivals offer writers a chance to donate back their small fee and work gratis – and the vast majority of authors struggling to earn a living at all, what is the knock-on effect of these individual actions? For future award winners and for funding (prize money or otherwise), the unintended consequences could be significant.”

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter