[N]o one needs to watch the news every night, unless one is married to the anchor. Otherwise, you are mostly going to learn more than you need to know about where the local fires are, and how rainy it has been: so rainy! That is half an hour, a few days a week, I tell my students. You could commit to writing one page a night, which, over a year, is most of a book.
One of the places you can really see the influence of “Operating Instructions” is in the proliferation of mommy blogs. I wonder if you read any — or if you think, if you were a young and single mom now, you would be blogging?
I don’t think I would have ever blogged. I am not even sure how you find someone’s blog. What I loved were all those years of doing shaped, crafted essays about my life and spiritual or political pursuits — but those 1,200 or whatever words took a full week to get just right. They were the length and the topics I love to read. I always used to tell my writing students to write what they’d love to come upon — and I love deeply honest, authentic writing about the things that really matter in our lives. I asked Sam the other day if people could make money on Twitter or blogging, and he said, not really. Plus, my friend Mary saw a T-shirt at the airport that said, “No one reads your blog.”
What I think is great is everyone writing their truth, keeping a written video of their lives, their families’ lives — growing up, and seeking connection with others in this very jarring and disconnected world. But I don’t think I’m a blogging type — I’m-too much of a perfectionist. I keep trying to capture moments and passages just right, so other people might find a little light to see by in my work. And that takes forever.
in an interview with Sarah Hepola
Anne Lamott calls them “the shitty first drafts”. Nancy Slonim Aronie writes “great work comes after good work which comes after lousy work which comes after no work. remember that order.” please do.