“The Ultimate Guide to Writing Better Than You Normally Do.” by Colin Nissan
Published by the good folks at Intellectual Refuge.
—Adam Haslett, in response to the question: “Can you recall early challenges you faced, writerly or otherwise?”
It’s been told to me that writing is one of my gifts. Yet despite this, I still spend a lot of time wondering if it’s a worthy pursuit of my time. And then last night, I heard someone talking about gifts and how gifts are something that should be celebrated. Celebrated, and therefore probably not ruminated over or doubted, but exercised.
It’s ten o’clock at night. I have three-and-one-quarter pages left to finish for this new ten-page play I’m writing for tomorrow’s workshop. I’m writing it in lieu of finishing the full-length play I’ve been working on for almost two years. I don’t want to be that person who gets really close to finishing things and doesn’t. I don’t.
If I tried to come up with the number of Friday nights I’ve sacrificed to the writer gods instead of going out and living it up in my late twenties, I think I might cry. But here I am, typing away, at home, alone, at ten o’clock at night.
I’m alone in Palm Springs for a couple of days before Christmas in order to get the first draft of my novel finished (or get to 75,000 words, whichever comes first) before the end of the year.
I wrote over 4,000 words tonight and have just under 11,000 to write tomorrow.
I’m also enjoying the $20 minibar wine and a marathon of the Police Women of Dallas.
A pretty awesome holiday, I’d say.
I hit 20,000 words on my manuscript yesterday. It was like watching my car odometer tick over.
“British Left Waffles on Falklands.”
“Eighth Army Push Bottles Up Germans.”
“Google Fans Phone Expectations by Scheduling Android Event.”
Writers: So glamorous! So tragic! Just like Willy Faulkner up there.
LIFE Magazine features a fun/depressing list of literary figures (titans, many of them) who struggled with drugs and alcohol throughout their careers. Seems like good company to keep, doesn’t it?! (*)
When you get to the end of the slideshow, there’s a link to a gallery of writers who dabbled in another favorite literary pastime: suicide. Fun!
LIFE: Famous Literary Drunks & Addicts
(*) Just kidding, Mom!
Found from The Awl.
My favorite requirement states that, “Articles must be at least 100% original.” Got that? At least 100% original, but 120% originality is preferred!
—Arthur Miller in The Paris Review, Fall 1999
(via Daily Routines)