That’s it. Everything else is meaningless. You can take all the classes in the world and read every book on the craft out there, but at the end of the day, writing is sorta like dieting. There are plenty of stupid fads out there and charlatans promising quick fixes, but if you want to lose weight, you have to exercise more and eat less. Period. Every writer has 10,000 pages of shit in them, and the only way your writing is going to be any good at all is to work hard and hit 10,001.
Wonderful advice, isn’t it? If you’re a Redditor, go give the OP some karma love, won’t you?
Patton Oswalt experiences the joy of the LES in August
“‘I gotta stay in the West Village, or I gotta stay in the Lower East Side. I want someplace real.’ And then after a month in the Lower East Side, during the New York heat wave, I was like, ‘Okay, you know what? I’m 42 years old. I think I’m done. I’ve had enough of the “real.” This would’ve been great when I was 19, this is friggin’ horrible now.’ I would open the doors to the hotel in the lobby, and even the two doormen would look back, like, ‘All right, dude, here it comes,’ and just this wave of garbage air would pummel you. It was like a shockwave of stink. I was almost excited to do it in the morning to see what new, horrible smell would come down there.”
—Patton Oswalt, in an interview with the A.V. Club
It did not, as a matter of fact, start from happy for either of them. Imogene Gilfeather had just had a cruel haircut and for this reason, or maybe another, expressed little interest that night when the fellow sitting next to her on the bus down Broadway said he knew the perfect guy for her.
"Perfect," said Imogene Gilfeather, "is not my type."
“What refuge is there for the victim who is possessed with the feeling that there are a thousand new books he ought to read, while life is only long enough for him to read a hundred?”—Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr. (via penamerican)
“On another platform entirely, one of the reasons I love following WW Norton on tumblr is their ability to make me laugh. They find wonderful bite-sized quotes that make literary fiction sound funny. They pick out the most light-hearted book reviews. They are community contributors to the tag #lit. They understand that sometimes, posts are better with cat pictures. As a poetry and literary fiction reader myself, it’s the not-so-serious stuff that I love—not all poetry readers want to hear about how cruel the month of April is or what’s going on with the best minds of our generation destroyed by madness. For certain, Norton includes a bit of that too, but it’s the right balance that I always stop to read. Norton does a good job of this. They not only keep me as a follower, but they go one step beyond by ensuring that they keep my attention as well.”—
Really nice piece here on social media and book publishing. Norton’s Tumblr is indeed great, as Scribner, and the I Heart Classics Tumblr that was the brainchild of the excellent Emily Meithner. The point here is applicable to any business—everyone is ultimately in the business of storytelling, and those that do is well can prosper.
“Time is the substance from which I am made. Time is a river which carries me along, but I am the river; it is a tiger that devours me, but I am the tiger; it is a fire that consumes me, but I am the fire.”—
Jorge Luis Borges, Argentine writer, essayist, poet and translator (and now Google doodle subject!), born today in 1899 (via overlookpress)
“Mostly we authors must repeat ourselves—that’s the truth. We have two or three great and moving experiences in our lives, experiences so great and moving that it doesn’t seem at the time that anyone else has been so caught up and pounded and dazzled and astonished and beaten and broken and rescued and illuminated and rewarded and humbled in just that way ever before. Then we learn our trade, well or less well, and we tell our two or three stories—each time in a new disguise—maybe ten times, maybe a hundred, as long as people will listen.”—F. Scott Fitzgerald, from “One Hundred False Starts” in A Short Autobiography
"I used to think…that I had to be careful with how much I lived. As if life was a pocketful of coins. You only got so much and you didn’t want to spend it all in one place….But now I know life is the one thing in the world that never runs out. I might run out of mine, and you might run out of yours, but the world will never run out of life. And we’re all very lucky to be part of something like that."
—from “The Deep,” included in the paperback of Memory Wall by Anthony Doerr
Demme is slated to direct, write, and produce the film of King’s new novel, 11/22/63 - a novel about a man from Maine (of course) who travels back in time to try and prevent JFK’s assassination. The books goes on-sale on November 8.
"And then, there are the rules of the store. First, you can only get in when it is open. Second, no cell phones. This is a book store and not a phone booth. Third, there are words and phrases that you can’t use in my store: like, oh my God, neat, sweet, have a good one, that’s a good question, totally, whatever, perfect, Kindle or Amazon. These words give me brain damage. I’m serious. When people use them in here, I tell them to get a thesaurus and stop being so mentally lame."
"As I turned pages, incessant philosophical debates raged inside me over why my brain deserved to be treated to all the stimulus the media and academe could offer while my body, so energetic and full of senses, went unused. My back wanted to bend, my nose and tongue ached to have something asked of them."
“According to the budget we will be allowed only three-quarters of a servant, so we are on the lookout for a one-legged cook who can come six days a week.”—F. Scott Fitzgerald, “How to Live on $36,000 a Year” in A Short Autobiography
“I was now a successful author, and when successful authors ran out of money all they had to do was sign checks. I wasn’t poor. They couldn’t fool me. Poverty meant being depressed and living in a small remote room and eating at a rotisserie on the corner, while I—why it was impossible that I should be poor! I was living at the best hotel in New York.”—F. Scott Fitzgerald, “How to Live on $36,000 a Year” from A Short Autobiography