i need to drive somewhere. i need a good trip. that sound of wheels rolling over on the highway, skirting the bumpers on the inside shoulder…
okay. maybe i just want a time machine.
The rolling hills of Alsace, France, and its wine country (the “Route des Vins”). Photo by this week’s featured photographer, @hagopphoto. #alsace #france #takemethere
I have kids [so] my routine has to fit in around being a dad. But that’s okay — in real life you can’t wait around for the Muse to show up, you have to look at the clock, think “I have 45 minutes before I have to be at the school gates”, and work out a scene or polish a piece of dialogue, etc. Oddly enough the time constraint can focus you and bring out the best in you. More generally, the things you think are stopping you writing — being ill, or having to do a dull part-time job, or looking after a relative — are things that can feed into your work in the future. Utility is largely a matter of perception.
In a Reddit AMA about his new book, novelist David Mitchell reflects on the role of daily routine and work ethic in writing, echoing Isabel Allende’s memorable words: “Show up, show up, show up, and after a while the muse shows up, too.”
Anthony Trollope put it in even more unambiguous terms a century and a half earlier in his advice on how to be a successful writer:
My belief of book writing is much the same as my belief as to shoemaking. The man who will work the hardest at it, and will work with the most honest purpose, will work the best.
In the end, it wasn’t death that surprised her but the stubbornness of life.Jeffrey Eugenides, The Virgin Suicides (via observando)
(Left to Right): Peter Buffett, Jimmie Briggs, Joe Ehrmann, Tony Porter,
Dave Zirin and Moderator Eve Ensler.
She wouldn’t realize it until after it was all over, after the last door had slammed and the last penitent e-mail had been launched across cyberspace, that what she had loved most about Jo was her boldness. It didn’t necessarily manifest itself in terms of daredevilry or extroversion; she simply possessed a rare immediacy: what occurred within the strange locks and bolts of her mind, the musical and dark forest of her heart—she allowed so much of it to seep from herself. She tossed it from herself sometimes, right into the light for Holly to see, and all the while Jo’s eyes remained steady. Of course, one paradox of Jo’s—of which there were many—was that you could know much about her while missing who she was entirely. She lined up facts, and backstories, things she had survived, struggles she’d mounted, what she had loved and things she had come to hate. It was all enough to convince you that you knew her. But Holly told her once that she knew there was a difference—that Jo could tell a million stories in which her shame or humiliation starred, her past unraveled, but there was an inner chamber, a deeper one, in which the real Jo resided. Not just anyone was granted access to that place. Not just anyone knew the ineffableness of it—that no language existed for the fantastic and primordial shapes within. But in many ways she was bold, yes. Before they had even kissed, before Holly could string together an entire sentence of admitted feelings, Jo had put her head on her lap and looked up at her with eyes Holly could never unsee. She lay out before her. Though her nerves were frayed by excitement and newness, Holly remembered clearly the resounding cymbal that clashed behind her eyes, its note said who is this creature and what am I in for…