Hey there, happy Sunday!
Here are 10 things for writers this week:
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- I bought this notebook at the stationery store exclusively because I liked the color of the paper. The understated ivory doesn't really come across onscreen, but comparing it to the yellow version gives a good approximation. Highly recommended. Looks great on the desk.
- If you write website copy for clients, or are curious about what to put on your own, Hey Nishi is a good library of creative inspiration.
- I loved this: "Communities aren’t created, and you either have one or you don’t. What the social networks can create is a substitute. The difference between a community and a network is that you belong to a community, but a network belongs to you. You feel in control. You can add friends if you wish, you can delete them if you wish. You are in control of the important people to whom you relate. People feel a little better as a result, because loneliness, abandonment, is the great fear in our individualist age. But it’s so easy to add or remove friends on the internet that people fail to learn the real social skills, which you need when you go to the street, when you go to your workplace, where you find lots of people who you need to enter into sensible interaction with."
- The 12 worst workplaces in contemporary literature.
+ Why it's so hard to actually work in shared offices.
- "I wasn’t really sure how to begin these sessions. I read each paper through just before the student arrived, but I wasn’t looking merely to recreate a written comment verbally. Rather, I was trying to reconceive the whole form of commenting." This University of Massachusetts professor no longer writes on his students' essays; instead, he invites them to come talk to him about what they wrote. What he learned has inspired my editing process (though I'll still be writing a whole bunch in the margins).
- A former literary editor remembers the world before #MeToo.
- "Schools and colleges in the United States are adept at teaching students how to write by the numbers. The idea is to make writing easy by eliminating the messy part—making meaning—and focusing effort on reproducing a formal structure. As a result, the act of writing turns from moulding a lump of clay into a unique form to filling a set of jars that are already fired. Not only are the jars unyielding to the touch, but even their number and order are fixed. There are five of them, which, according to the recipe, need to be filled in precise order. Don’t stir. Repeat." David Labaree on the problems of form over function.
- Elena Ferrante is tired of fiction.
- "The cellist Jan Vogler famously claimed that art is what makes us human. But what if machines start making art too?"
"The past decade, in which social media has become front and center in many fields, has been particularly tricky for writers. The work we do requires solitude. Not only actual room-of-one’s-own solitude, but vast fields of mental space. The moment a writer thinks of her audience, she inevitably falls into a pit of self-consciousness." Dani Shapiro on the hard art of balancing writing and social media.
See you next Sunday,