Greetings, loved ones. LET’S TAKE A JOURNEY.
First up in links this week, we’ve got The Spectator with a compilation of the worst analogies imaginable, as submitted by their readers. My personal favorite: “The accountant had the world-weary air of a ferret that had been up so many trouser legs that life held no more surprises.” More where that came from.
Numero dos is the indomitable Chuck Wendig, who this week gives us 25 things every writer should know. It’s good stuff (though I don’t fully agree with his advice in #10, “don’t work for free”). For my money, the best one is #9, Storytelling Is Serious Business: “Treat it with respect and a little bit of reverence. Storytelling is what makes the world go around…Don’t let writing and storytelling be some throwaway thing. Don’t piss it away. It’s really cool stuff. Stories have the power to make people feel. To give a shit. To change their opinions. To change the world.”
Meanwhile Nathan Bransford has an intriguing take on confidence versus self-doubt, and how they are – in a way – the same thing. “To be able to spot your own flaws requires confidence.” Of course, while self-doubt can be a tool when applied in healthy amounts, it can also destroy you if you let it go too far. He makes that point too.
Finally, we’ve got this advice for artists: Don’t just do something, sit here. It’s about living in the moment, and it’s good advice, but I’m linking to it mainly because of the poem at the end of the article, which I would not otherwise have discovered. It’s so beautiful that I’m reproducing it here in full, because I’m afraid you might not read it otherwise.
In her room at the prow of the house
Where light breaks, and the windows are tossed with linden,
My daughter is writing a story.
I pause in the stairwell, hearing
From her shut door a commotion of typewriter-keys
Like a chain hauled over a gunwale.
Young as she is, the stuff
Of her life is a great cargo, and some of it heavy:
I wish her a lucky passage.
But now it is she who pauses,
As if to reject my thought and its easy figure.
A stillness greatens, in which
The whole house seems to be thinking,
And then she is at it again with a bunched clamor
Of strokes, and again is silent.
I remember the dazed starling
Which was trapped in that very room, two years ago;
How we stole in, lifted a sash
And retreated, not to affright it;
And how for a helpless hour, through the crack of the door,
We watched the sleek, wild, dark
And iridescent creature
Batter against the brilliance, drop like a glove
To the hard floor, or the desk-top,
And wait then, humped and bloody,
For the wits to try it again; and how our spirits
Rose when, suddenly sure,
It lifted off from a chair-back,
Beating a smooth course for the right window
And clearing the sill of the world.
It is always a matter, my darling,
Of life or death, as I had forgotten. I wish
What I wished you before, but harder.
Have a good weekend, everybody.