It’s Saturday morning and I’m so happy to be sitting at my keyboard, getting this post ready to share. The sun is rising behind me and I can see its reflection on the wall just to my left. Sometimes this is a bad place for the computer because of glare issues, but in this moment I have to believe that it was meant to be!
I’ve read some really inspiring articles this week and wanted to share a few with you. It’s been a hard week — holiday weeks usually are — and it feels so nice to know that I’m not rushing off to my day job after I click “publish” this morning. I hope you aren’t rushing anywhere either and can take a few minutes with these links and enjoy them.
First up is the TED Talk by Anne Lamott. You can find a link here or you can watch the video embedded below:
This video isn’t just about writing, but life in general. I have to say that I disagree with her sentiment about the dark chocolate, but I really enjoyed the rest! If you’ve read Bird by Bird, then you’re familiar with some of this material already, but it’s great to hear it in her own voice.
It must have something to do with everyone buying school supplies, because both LitHub and Brain Pickings had articles on letter writing.
On LitHub, Meghan Forbes wrote about our vulnerabilities laid bare while letter writing.
Maria Popova shared some of Sam Shepard’s letter writing habits. My favorite snippet:
One thing I realize I love about the ‘letter’ as a form is that it’s conversation; — always available. You can just sit down any old morning & have a conversation whether the person’s there or not. You can talk about anything & you don’t have to wait politely for the other person to finish the train of thought. You can have long gaps between passages — days can go by & you might return & pick it up again. And the great difference in all other forms of writing is that it is dependent to a large extent on the other person. It’s not just a solo act. You’re writing in response to or in relationship to someone else — over time. I think that’s the key — over time. We’re very lucky, I figure, to have continued the desire to talk to each other by mail for something like 40 years. But then again, what else were we going to do? It is probably the strongest through-line I’ve maintained in this life.
Anne Bogel wrote about turning a corner this week. You know that moment when all of your hard work just seems to click? Anne described it beautifully in this essay. I’ve been thinking about the things that I do that seem to add up to nothing. Well, they add up to something. What a heart-felt reminder.
Maria Popova also wrote on Susan Sontag’s thoughts on what it means to be a writer. I would quote this whole article if I could. There’s a great section in which Sontag compares literature and television. Popova challenges us to replace “television” with “internet.” When we think of the information overload we get from the internet, it’s not surprising how much anxiety is pinging around the atmosphere.
And some good news in the world? NYC Public Schools are providing free lunches to all children. This is what tells children they are valued. We don’t care what your home life is like or how much money your parents have in their bank accounts. We want you to succeed and we want to give you everything we can to make it happen. When a belly is empty, we can’t fill a head with knowledge. We know that. Good work, NYC!
I hope you find something you love and can use today. Feel free to share your favorite bit of inspiration from the week in the comments – I’d love to read it!