After reading “My Family’s Slave,” Alex Tizon’s story in the Atlantic, my mind has been a cauldron.
As I prepare for my company’s annual meetup, I revisit my past flash talks and (not surprisingly) amass a list of abandoned topics for my next one.
Notes on editing, writing, and working — and a Q&A with writer Richard Gilbert, who recently published “Why I Hate My Dog” on Longreads.
From an essay by Teju Cole on his time exploring and photographing the landscape of Switzerland: Light from the world could be fixed on a surface: It was possible to take the shadow away from the body and show it elsewhere. I always enjoy Cole’s musings on photography and the wandering quality of his prose. AndContinue reading “Surface”
It’s cool today. Looking out of my tiny house’s window, I see fog in the valley. It meanders. It lingers. I behave the same when I think, when I write. As I stare at it, the fog takes me places: places unknown, places I’m trying to reach. The fog is freeing, but overpowering. We have an interesting relationship, theContinue reading “Fog”
I’ve needed a more private space to write. I’ve enjoyed having a readership here over the years, but always facing outward — imagining a mass of people on the other side of my screen — continues to paralyze me. It’s not that I’m done with blogging. But I need to write for myself again, to write without thinking, to write and not have to answer to anyone. Sometimes it’s hard to do this when you have all these followers who say they read you because you have something to say. Or because they look up to you as some sort of model for blogging.
At first I thought, hey, this might be a miserable journey, but I’m a writer! This is material! I’ll have stories to tell! But I’m not even sure I’m motivated enough to convert this stress and frustration into something else.
Master a simple story with just a few elements. Don’t try to do too much too quickly. I say all of these things very generally, referring to anything we might undertake in life, but also very specifically, when it comes to writing a certain story.
Inspired by Jessica Gross’ blog, Things We Like, I’ve published a longer list of things I like. I knew I could add to this list and never stop, so I gave myself an hour and stopped when my timer went off.
Our three minutes is up. We don’t share our work aloud. I ask if anyone free-writes by hand like this regularly, and no one raises their hand. I tell them, and I remind myself, that we should allow ourselves this private time to write. That despite a life that unfolds on the internet, we can still write with no intent to publish.