This blog is an eclectic collection of interesting things I've seen and heard on Tumblr, the rest of the web, and beyond. Its name is taken from this quote by Dinah Craik:

"Oh, the comfort — the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person — having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but pouring them all right out, just as they are, chaff and grain together; certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and then with the breath of kindness blow the rest away."

Posts tagged with ‘writing’

Here’s a great series from Slate: Daily Rituals: Lifehacking tips from novelists, painters, and filmmakers.
It’s written by Mason Currey, whose now inactive blog, Daily Routines, explored similar territory. You can peruse its archives or pick up his new book, Daily Rituals: How Artists Work for more.

Here’s a great series from Slate: Daily Rituals: Lifehacking tips from novelists, painters, and filmmakers.

It’s written by Mason Currey, whose now inactive blog, Daily Routines, explored similar territory. You can peruse its archives or pick up his new book, Daily Rituals: How Artists Work for more.

newyorker:

In today’s Daily Comment, Evan Osnos writes in praise of slow journalism— “the process of reporting at ‘a human pace of three miles an hour,’” and looks at two journalists who prove that foreign correspondence is still “one hell of a life.”

Photograph: Powerhouse Museum Collection

newyorker:

In today’s Daily Comment, Evan Osnos writes in praise of slow journalism— “the process of reporting at ‘a human pace of three miles an hour,’” and looks at two journalists who prove that foreign correspondence is still “one hell of a life.”

Photograph: Powerhouse Museum Collection

livefromthenypl:

“By the time I was writing The Cider House Rules, I thought, well you seem to work best when you begin with the last sentence. And once I know, like with a piece of music, what it sounds like at the end, where I’m going, I make a kind of road map in reverse back to where I think the story should begin, and so far that last sentence has never changed. Never. I see that ending and I write toward it. It’s kind of waiting for me.”
—John Irving 

A short, beautifully shot documentary looking into John Irving’s life at home from Time LightBox. We move from outside his home, to his kitchen, to his exercise room where we get a glimpse into his wrestling past, to his desk where he admits, he may die some day writing, mid-sentence.

Come listen to Irving speak at length about his writing life and most recent work on Tuesday, January 29 at the NYPL. More information and tickets available here…

Starting each day is like priming the pump, in my experience; it’s plain hard labor, hunting the right way to express that thought that had seemed so penetrating, even beautiful, before you had to reduce it into words. I liken the donkey work of the first draft to the booster apparatus of a rocket—the terrible labor of those energies lifting this reluctant mass against the force of gravity, slowly, slowly, until marvelously—on the better days—the thing achieves its own momentum, and the dead weight of its booster falls away. Effortless, it enters into orbit—in short, ‘the zone’—sailing free and clear and light and sun-filled, opened wide to the flow of imagination, unobstructed.

Jerry Seinfeld on How to Write a Joke

(Source: youtube.com)

Snow Fall: The Avalanche at Tunnel Creek →

theparisreview:

“I began this whole writing enterprise with the idea that you go to work in the morning like a banker, then the work gets done. John Cheever used to tell how when he was a young man, living in New York with his wife, Mary, he’d put on his suit and hat every morning and get in the elevator with the other married men in his apartment building. These guys would all get out in the lobby but Cheever’d keep going down into the basement, where the super had let him set up a card table. It was so hot down there he had to strip to his underwear. So he’d sit in his boxers and write all morning, and at lunchtime he’d put his suit back on and take the elevator up with the other husbands—men used to come home for lunch in those days—and then he’d go back to the basement in his suit and strip down for the afternoon’s work. This was an important idea for me—that an artist was someone who worked, not some special being exempt from the claims of ordinary life.”
—Tobias Wolff, The Art of Fiction No. 183

theparisreview:

“I began this whole writing enterprise with the idea that you go to work in the morning like a banker, then the work gets done. John Cheever used to tell how when he was a young man, living in New York with his wife, Mary, he’d put on his suit and hat every morning and get in the elevator with the other married men in his apartment building. These guys would all get out in the lobby but Cheever’d keep going down into the basement, where the super had let him set up a card table. It was so hot down there he had to strip to his underwear. So he’d sit in his boxers and write all morning, and at lunchtime he’d put his suit back on and take the elevator up with the other husbands—men used to come home for lunch in those days—and then he’d go back to the basement in his suit and strip down for the afternoon’s work. This was an important idea for me—that an artist was someone who worked, not some special being exempt from the claims of ordinary life.”

Tobias Wolff, The Art of Fiction No. 183

A writer must reflect and interpret his society, his world; he must also provide inspiration and guidance and challenge. Much writing today strikes me as deprecating, destructive, and angry. There are good reasons for anger, and I have nothing against anger. But I think some writers have lost their sense of proportion, their sense of humor, and their sense of appreciation.

— Half a century ago, E. B. White articulated brilliantly much of today’s media folly

(Source: , via explore-blog)

Revisit this video, from onlyaworkingtitle:

Ira Glass on Storytelling, by David Shiyang Liu

All credit due to the amazing Ira Glass. Source audio is from this very seminal video by current.tv: youtube.com/watch?v=BI23U7U2aUY

How to write faster:

Hunched over my keyboard, I’m haunted by anecdotes of faster writers. Christopher Hitchens composing a Slate column in 20 minutes—after a chemo session, after a “full” dinner party, late on a Sunday night. The infamously productive Trollope, who used customized paper! “He had a note pad that had been indexed to indicate intervals of 250 words,” William F. Buckley told the Paris Review. “He would force himself to write 250 words per 15 minutes. Now, if at the end of 15 minutes he hadn’t reached one of those little marks on his page, he would write faster.” Buckley himself was a legend of speed—writing a complete book review in crosstown cabs and the like.

Photo by laffy4k

How to write faster:

Hunched over my keyboard, I’m haunted by anecdotes of faster writers. Christopher Hitchens composing a Slate column in 20 minutes—after a chemo session, after a “full” dinner party, late on a Sunday night. The infamously productive Trollope, who used customized paper! “He had a note pad that had been indexed to indicate intervals of 250 words,” William F. Buckley told the Paris Review. “He would force himself to write 250 words per 15 minutes. Now, if at the end of 15 minutes he hadn’t reached one of those little marks on his page, he would write faster.” Buckley himself was a legend of speed—writing a complete book review in crosstown cabs and the like.

Photo by laffy4k

Getting the words right

  • Interviewer: How much rewriting do you do?
  • Ernest Hemingway: I rewrote the ending of "Farewell to Arms", the last page of it, thirty-nine times before I was satisfied.
  • Interviewer: Was there some technical problem there? What was it that stumped you?
  • Ernest Hemingway: Getting the words right.
From M. Molly Backes, advice on how to help your child become a writer:

First of all, let her be bored. Let her have long afternoons with absolutely nothing to do. Limit her TV-watching time and her internet-playing time and take away her cell phone. Give her a whole summer of lazy mornings and dreamy afternoons. Make sure she has a library card and a comfy corner where she can curl up with a book. Give her a notebook and five bucks so she can pick out a great pen. Insist she spend time with the family. It’s even better if this time is spent in another state, a cabin in the woods, a cottage on the lake, far from her friends and people her own age. Give her some tedious chores to do. Make her mow the lawn, do the dishes by hand, paint the garage. Make her go on long walks with you and tell her you just want to listen to the sounds of the neighborhood. 

(via thebrowser)

From M. Molly Backes, advice on how to help your child become a writer:

First of all, let her be bored. Let her have long afternoons with absolutely nothing to do. Limit her TV-watching time and her internet-playing time and take away her cell phone. Give her a whole summer of lazy mornings and dreamy afternoons. Make sure she has a library card and a comfy corner where she can curl up with a book. Give her a notebook and five bucks so she can pick out a great pen. Insist she spend time with the family. It’s even better if this time is spent in another state, a cabin in the woods, a cottage on the lake, far from her friends and people her own age. Give her some tedious chores to do. Make her mow the lawn, do the dishes by hand, paint the garage. Make her go on long walks with you and tell her you just want to listen to the sounds of the neighborhood. 

(via thebrowser)

writingadvice:

“An adjective habit, or a wordy, diffuse, flowery habit,    once fastened upon a person, is as hard to get rid of as any other vice.” - Mark Twain

writingadvice:

“An adjective habit, or a wordy, diffuse, flowery habit, once fastened upon a person, is as hard to get rid of as any other vice.” - Mark Twain

(via )

This is what I mean when I call myself a writer. I construct sentences. There’s a rhythm I hear that drives me through a sentence. And the words typed on the white page have a sculptural quality. They form odd correspondences. They match up not just through meaning but through sound and look.