I’ve known several cases of writers who decide to write about something and they research the hell out of it and when they’re ready to write, they can’t move because they are so burdened. I start writing. Whatever I need somehow comes to hand.
Yes, lists of writing tips are dime a dozen, but funny lists of writing tips - that’s a silver coin.
"Poem" - Frank O’Hara
This vessel I’ve chosen
is a zebra in the open
so quick to the finger
and curiously limber
whenever my dreams’ eyes
conceal all courses
a flashing uncertainty
floods my caprices
only by hazardous
pain can I choose
tears I am still crying
wake my tired rowing
A child-like man is not a man whose development has been arrested; on the contrary, he is a man who has given himself a chance of continuing to develop long after most adults have muffled themselves in the cocoon of middle-aged habit and convention.
- Aldous Huxley
On a sidenote, did you know Huxley was 6’4” and lived under the first ‘O’ in the Hollywood sign? How nuts is that.
Perhaps no one in contemporary American cinema is as serious about exploring the literary possibilities of film as James Franco.
Hate him (I do) or love him, apparently James Franco did a pretty ok job on As I Lay Dying, so check it out if you’re interested in seeing an attempt at translating a fragmented text narrative into film.
On that note, David Cronenberg’s Naked Lunch is the best attempt at the aforementioned feat I’ve ever seen, so Netflix it if you can!
In the eyes of others a man is a poet if he has written one good poem. In his own he is only a poet at the moment when he is making his last revision to a new poem. The moment before, he was still only a potential poet; the moment after, he is a man who has ceased to write poetry, perhaps forever.
I think the popular perception that we’re a lot like the Victorians is in large part correct. One way is that we’re all constantly in a state of ongoing technoshock, without really being aware of it—it’s just become where we live. The Victorians were the first people to experience that, and I think it made them crazy in new ways. We’re still riding that wave of craziness. We’ve gotten so used to emergent technologies that we get anxious if we haven’t had one in a while.
But if you read the accounts of people who rode steam trains for the first time, for instance, they went a little crazy. They’d traveled fifteen miles an hour, and when they were writing the accounts afterward they struggled to describe that unthinkable speed and what this linear velocity does to a perspective as you’re looking forward. There was even a Victorian medical complaint called “railway spine.”
White breast of the dim sea. The twining stresses, two by two. A hand plucking the harpstrings, merging their twining chords. Wavewhite wedded words shimmering on the dim tide.
Everyone thinks writers must know more about the inside of the human head, but that’s wrong. They know less, that’s why they write. Trying to find out what everyone else takes for granted.