Posts tagged

Children Versus Authoring /

Michael Chabon: Children instead of authoring.

Austin Kleon: Authoring because of children.

If I had followed the great man’s advice and never burdened myself with the gift of my children, or if I had never written any novels at all, in the long run the result would have been the same as the result will be for me here, having made the choice I made: I will die; and the world in its violence and serenity will roll on, through the endless indifference of space, and it will take only 100 of its circuits around the sun to turn the six of us, who loved each other, to dust, and consign to oblivion all but a scant few of the thousands upon thousands of novels and short stories written and published during our lifetimes. If none of my books turns out to be among that bright remnant because I allowed my children to steal my time, narrow my compass, and curtail my freedom, I’m all right with that. Once they’re written, my books, unlike my children, hold no wonder for me; no mystery resides in them. Unlike my children, my books are cruelly unforgiving of my weaknesses, failings, and flaws of character. Most of all, my books, unlike my children, do not love me back. Anyway, if, 100 years hence, those books lie moldering and forgotten, I’ll never know. That’s the problem, in the end, with putting all your chips on posterity: You never stick around long enough to enjoy it.

Michael Chabon, “Are Kids the Enemy of Writing?” GQ (Apr 26, 2018)

Via Alan Jacobs.

Small b blogging is learning to write and think with the network. Small b blogging is writing content designed for small deliberate audiences and showing it to them. Small b blogging is deliberately chasing interesting ideas over pageviews and scale. An attempt at genuine connection vs the gloss and polish and mass market of most “content marketing”.

And remember that you are your own audience! Small b blogging is writing things that you link back to and reference time and time again. Ideas that can evolve and grow as your thinking and audience grows.

Tom Critchlow, “Small b blogging” (Feb 23, 2018)

This is how I make a book: by hiding from writing by drawing, or the other way around. …

So much of the business of writing is spent in avoiding it in a hundred different ways, and drawing is another of these. I push the computer away, get out the pad, sharpen the pencil and a nose starts to appear. (I always start with the nose, it’s in the center of the face.) And then, fairly quickly, someone is there in front of me. Ah, there you are. Who are you?

Edward Carey, “Drawing Inspiration,” The New York Times (Mar 11, 2016)

… if you want to use a system as an aid to writing and as a thinking tool you should opt for a system that is powerful enough for a lifetime of thoughts. So, watch out for folders and projects. They are the means for dealing with encapsulating and limiting complexity. In addition, they hinder the most productive way of knowledge production: the interdisciplinary part.

… I think that this is one of the reasons why many retreat to project-centered solutions, curating one set of notes for each book, for example. The problems that come with big and organic (= dynamic and living) systems is avoided. But so is the opportunity to create something that is greater than you.

Sascha Fast, “A Tale of Complexity – Structural Layers in Note Taking” (Mar 27, 2018)

I liked the suggestion of hashtags and double-hashtags to indicate layers of structure in an interdisciplinary note archive. I suppose, in some systems or software, two layers of structure could be indicated without hashtags but with tags (structure) and categories (super-structure).

Alan Jacobs, “text three ways” (Feb 23, 2018)

To speak personally, the very reason I write is so that I might not sleepwalk through my entire life.

—Zadie Smith

In The Guardian (Jan 13, 2007). As quoted by Alan Jacobs, who added: “This comes closer than anything I have ever seen to describing my own reasons for writing.”

Doug Toft, “Writing Compelling Stories — Insights from Jon Franklin, Master of the Nonfiction Short Story” (Dec 23, 2017)

What well-written writing advice from Kevin Kruse.

In Justin Taylor, “A Historian’s 5 Tips on Writing,” The Gospel Coalition (Nov 21, 2017)

Doug Toft, “How a Simple Shift in Mindset Can Help You Make a Better Living From Your Ideas” (Nov 25, 2017)