My drug of choice is writing––writing, art, reading, inspiration, books, creativity, process, craft, blogging, grammar, linguistics, and did I mention writing?

Saturday, February 9, 2013

A Potpourri to Inspire You

Shakespeare would have written over 50 plays if it weren't for Facebook.
Yes, of course they didn't have Facebook back then.
I just wasn't sure you'd even know what Friendster was.

There are, of course, some truly miserable writers out there, and some of them are (or were) absolutely incredible writers.  I like this quote not because it has a happy dog, happily happifying the happy landscape.  But the actual text seems more inclined towards seizing life by its soft parts and not letting go.  Writers might not all be happy, but most of them do know how to drive like a guided missile towards opportunity.  So if someone leaves a metaphorical gate open around you....well, you know what to do!

Kindles aren't going anywhere.  People mistake the medium for the message.  The "smell of books" crowd have ignored the figures that Kindle book sales are up to 15% of the market while simultaneously wondering why their sales are down 15%.  However....all that said, books aren't going away in our lifetimes.  And they do smell kind of good.

Book Snippets.  A simply charming collection of short excerpts from books the Snippets author is reading (or read) that she posts each day. What a capital idea--useful to any writer who wants to be able to go back and take a look at the sentences that take their breath away. No author uses anything but the same 26 letters and 14 pieces of punctuation, and taking a look at how to combine them into something magical is always worth a moment or two. http://booksnippets.tumblr.com/   I always find the careful attention to a single breathtaking sentence to be particularly inspiring.

There is a question, especially in America, about the "utility" of art. A long recession, as long recessions tend to do, has many "more pragmatic" people wondering about anything that has no "practical value." Don't you listen to it for a second.  Art changes the world. It has done so before. It will do so again. It is doing so now. Don't ever forget this when you're wondering why you're turning yourself inside out for something that probably won't ever make you enough money to live on. Art is its own reward.

Conquer the shit out of yourselves, writer peeps!  Conquer the absolute fucking shit out of yourselves.

Meet a fellow blogging peep (who has nothing to do with this Michelangelo quote). That Blond Mom is the blog of one of my old high school friends who has been a journalist for years. It's mostly a personal journal, but there is some intersection with her career as a working writer that I find very insightful. Though journalism is a shrinking field and a changing field, a writer could do worse than to cut their teeth on the regimented discipline of daily deadlines, the sense of official but not overly formal that makes print media generally an agreeable read, and the ability to do revision practically on the fly. Plus there's something to be said for those writing careers that offer a steady paycheck. Nothing cuts down on the romance of being an artist like having to sell your plasma. http://thatblondmom.com/

Let's let Ray Bradbury take us out by talking about writing persistently.

[Do you want to be featured in potpourri along with a few words from me about how awesome you are? Do you know a great writing link that I should share? Please send it to me at chris.brecheen@gmail.com, and I will post it along with a shout out singing your praises (unless, of course, you don't want one). There are four caveats to this. Please read them before you send me stuff. If I've posted anything that you feel is your creative effort in any way that you are not okay with, please just ask and I will take it down if you wish or preferably give you credit and a link back to its source.]

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