My Favourite Quotes from Several Short Sentences About Writing

My Favourite Quotes from Several Short Sentences About Writing

Page 45:

A cliché is dead matter.

It causes gangrene in the prose around it, and sooner or later it eats your brain.

Page 57:

Many people assume there’s an inherent conflict between creativity and a critical, analytic awareness of the medium you work in.

They assume that the creative artist works unconsciously and that knowing too much about matters like grammar and syntax diminishes or blunts creativity.

This is nonsense. You don’t need to be an expert in grammar and style to write well.

Page 68:

The difficulty of writing isn’t a sign of failure.

It’s simply the nature of the work itself.

For the writer, flow” is a trap.

So is any word that suggests that writing is a spontaneous emission.

Writing doesn’t flow, unless you’re plagiarizing or collecting clichés or enlisting volunteer sentences.

Page 80:

One of the few sad parts about writing is that it’s almost impossible to surrender to the manipulation of your own prose.

Page 89:

A belief that the writer’s real work is making newness out of nothing.

As if creativity only takes place where the ink stops and the blank page begins.

Where the cursor starts blinking.

As if newness couldn’t originate between sentences or within a sentence.

As if revision were essentially secondary and uncreative.

Page 100:

Resist the temptation to start organizing and structuring your thoughts too soon,

Boxing them in, forcing them into genre-based containers.

Postpone the search for order, for the single line through the piece.

Let your thoughts overlap and collide and see what they dislodge.

Page 100:

How do you begin to write?

Look for a sentence that interests you.

A sentence that might begin the piece.

Don’t look too hard.

Page 103:

The piece is now two sentences long.

Not two sentences plus the missing pages that haunt you.

Page 117:

Writing doesn’t prove anything,

And it only rarely persuades.

It does something much better.

It attests.

It witnesses.

It shares your interest in what you’ve noticed.

It reports on the nature of your attention.

Page 121:

Novels contain far less chronological narrative than you think.

Take a page from almost any novelist.

Look carefully at each sentence.

How many propel the story forward in time?

And how many are devoted to enriching our sense of place and character?

Page 134:

Discipline is nothing more than interest and expectation, a looking forward.

It’s never hard to work when you’re interested in what you’re working on.

Today is today, September 9, 2020

I’m reading Wow, No Thank You by Samantha Irby. It’s super quick and definitely makes me want to write like her. But I can’t write like her and that’s okay. I borrowed it from my library and it’s probably in your library too.

Men’s magazine writers are in pure fuck-it mode, it seems. Mac and Cheese for breakfast is insane. It reminded me of a video I did like about breakfast, though. I watched this Johnny Harris video a few months ago and it jostled something in me. I tried a more Japanese-style breakfast a few times this summer and it was nice. I still revert to the laziest possible breakfasts, but occasionally I’ll try to fix my life with protein. It never works.

I watched some phone porn. It’s not even aspirational phone porn. I don’t want an android phone, or anything by Samsung, and I definitely don’t want to spend US$2000 on anything if I can help it. So why am I watching videos like this? Is it just Dieter Bohn’s tech review charm? Maybe. I think I have a sort of tech review inertia. My iPhone XR is only 16 months old, and should last me another 16 months if I don’t drop it on bathroom tiles or try to take a picture with it at 1am on New Years, or try to take a picture in a bathroom at 1am on New Years. Anyways my shit still feels brand new and I’m barely hungry. I wonder what would happen if I turned off all my tech websites for a month? I’d definitely lose out on all those hot takes.

Speaking of, there’s an Apple Event next week. They’re usually pretty fun to watch, but it’s been quite a few of them since they revealed something I actually wanted. I’m an elder tech person now. I want some refinement and I want a think to last a long time. It’s why I bought a Surface 4 and an Apple Watch 5 and a Logitech M720. Those first 719 mice were for beta testers.

The G1 Climax 30 bracket was released. I made my bracket. I’ve got Jay White and Evil winning both Blocks and doing a Bullet Club finale, with White winning back his leader position. It feels right for 2020.

I’m recording a new Fran’s Not Here on Instagram Live at 5:30. We did two of these in the Spring, but Instagram deleted both videos immediately. They’ve since added a feature where you can download the video. Part of it being a podcast” is you need to be able to archive the damn file somewhere.

My Favourite Quotes: Drive Your Plough Over the Bones of the Dead

My Favourite Quotes: Drive Your Plough Over the Bones of the Dead

These might not be in order. And because I read on a Kobo, I have no idea what pages” they’re from. But I loved this book and highlighted many passages.

  • The result is a neat stack of golden proportions
  • Set the wheels in motion. Punish the culprits. Change the law.
  • The most precious memories will dissipate. Everything will sink into darkness and vanish. I noticed a pregnant girl sitting on a beach, reading a newspaper, and suddenly it occurred to me what a blessing it is to be ignorant. How could one possibly know all this and not miscarry?
  • I don’t share your trust in the authorities.
  • I find this division of people into three groups — skiers, allergy sufferers and drivers — very convincing. It is a good, straightforward typology. Skiers are hedonists. They are carried down the slopes. Whereas drivers prefer to take their fate in their hands, although their spines often suffer as a result; we all know life is hard. Whereas the allergy sufferers are always at war. I must surely be an allergy sufferer
  • In any case, I know the date of my own death, and that lets me feel free.
  • Try to keep your theory to yourself. It’s highly improbable and it could do you harm,’ said Oddball,”
  • Dizzy was adamant that it must have been Murder. Every instinct is telling me. We were the first on the scene. Do you remember the sense of crime that was hanging in the air?’
  • He accepted the near full tumbler of vodka proffered by the Dentist and downed it in one. I was sure he wouldn’t feel any pain after that much anaesthetic.”
  • Later that day I thought about his drawer again, about how peeping into it brought me total calm, and how I would really like to be one of those useful Utensils.
  • I blinked. I had never heard one woman referring to another as my wife’ before. But I liked it.”
  • I’m going home. I’ve run out of strength.