Just Slap Something On It

The Paris Review blog has a wonderful, tiny little excerpt from Vincent Van Gogh’s letters about what to do when the blank canvas (or page or whatever) is staring back at you menacingly: Just slap something on it when you see a blank canvas staring at you with a sort of imbecility. You don’t know how paralyzing it is, that stare from [Read More...]

The Perfect Essay

This is a great essay – about essays, and about what a mother can teach a kid who think his writing is flawless. Criticism, at its best, is deeply personal, and gets to the heart of why we write the way we do. Perhaps you’re a narcissist who secretly resents your audience. Or an elitist [Read More...]

Living in Obscurity

My dear friend Katie is wise, and wrote a great little blog post about choosing to live in obscurity: Even if you have a modicum of success you’ll be just one of many. That is good. You should want it that way because notoriety is fickle. When you write you expose a bit of your [Read More...]

Why Do We Procrastinate?

Writers are, apparently, the worst procrastinators, though they’re hardly the only ones. Procrastination is a widespread practice. (You’ve probably already procrastinated today.) Megan McArdle is looking at the surprising psychological reasons for procrastination at The Atlantic, through the lens of writers: This teaches a very bad, very false lesson: that success in work mostly depends on [Read More...]


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