For a dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight…
Wed, 23rd May — 1 note
Every writer is a thief, though some of us are more clever than others at disguising our robberies. The reason writers are such slow readers is that we are ceaselessly searching for things we can steal and then pass off as our own
Wed, 23rd May — 619 notes
Nobody knows you.
You don’t know yourself.
And I, who am half in love with you,
What am I in love with?
My own imaginings?
Wed, 23rd May — 1,106 notes
— D.H. Lawrence, Complete Poems of D. H. Lawrence (via serialstranger)
Thank you, Mr. Gaiman
Someone had told me once that the words are perfect when they seem to talk to a reader as though they were meant precisely for that one person. Ok, so he was talking about horoscopes — those bits of whopperdash that the newspapers and magazines have to have because it’s the first thing we read whether or not we believe in astrology — but what he said stayed with me because I do think there’s some truth there. It happens so rarely that something really speaks to you (and if it’s only a horoscope that does this for you, then it may be a good idea to expand your reading horizons). This
spoke to me and some words resonated more than others.
First of all: When you start out on a career in the arts you have no idea what you are doing.
This is great. People who know what they are doing know the rules, and know what is possible and impossible. You do not. And you should not.
Not that I’m on my way to redefining the possible or the impossible, but it’s always reassuring to hear that there’s isn’t a destination that I should have at the end of my imaginary spyglass or a stage that I should have reached by now. I was never a genius, but now I’m well past the age when I could even be described as promising, and I have managed very little. I don’t have much of a career, I don’t have much of anything really. All I have is this dream that I will write, that I will write well. So I scribble and it adds up to nothing. But maybe it’s ok; maybe one day it will.
I confess, I puffed out my chest like pigeon’s when I heard this fragment:
…so I became a journalist, because journalists are allowed to ask questions, and to simply go and find out how the world works, and besides, to do those things I needed to write and to write well, and I was being paid to learn how to write economically, crisply, sometimes under adverse conditions, and on time.
There are days when I lie down at night and I wonder whether I made a huge mistake by trying to be a journalist. I wonder if I shouldn’t tried to be a receptionist or a librarian or really anything else. Because yes, I can write under adverse conditions and I can (sometimes) write crisply and yes, I do respect deadlines. But I don’t know if it’s made me a better writer. I wonder if it hasn’t become my straitjacket, one that I’ve strapped around myself, restraining myself from taking that plunge towards writing stories.
Sometimes the way to do what you hope to do will be clear cut, and sometimes it will be almost impossible to decide whether or not you are doing the correct thing, because you’ll have to balance your goals and hopes with feeding yourself, paying debts, finding work, settling for what you can get.
I’ve compromised and I’ve tried and I’ve failed. I still don’t earn enough to get by; I curse myself every night for not having had the gird-your-loins-and-jump sentiment to just write, and write without thinking about the money I need every month, about the rent that I can’t afford. Should these things feel important? Should I be able to flick them away and just write? Have I not become a writer because I don’t have the ability to write? When I’m sitting there, notebook or computer open before me, they sit as heavily on my shoulders as Odin’s ravens. They shouldn’t, I know, but they do.
There’s so much in Neil Gaiman’s keynote address that I loved (the man with the clipboard, the bit about the castaway bottles with messages in them), and perhaps predictably, what I’m going to pin on the inside of my head is this:
Husband runs off with a politician? Make good art. Leg crushed and then eaten by mutated boa constrictor? Make good art. IRS on your trail? Make good art. Cat exploded? Make good art. Somebody on the Internet thinks what you do is stupid or evil or it’s all been done before? Make good art. Probably things will work out somehow, and eventually time will take the sting away, but that doesn’t matter. Do what only you do best. Make good art.
Make it on the good days too.
And I’m going to try. Because when it all crumbles around me — which it will any day now because it has to; because there’s only so long that I can do my impression of Samson and hold the pillars up. Also because given I’m short and fat, I’m not a very convincing Samson even on a good day so it’s a miracle I’ve managed for this long. Wait, is that a man with a clipboard I see in the distance… — I want to feel the satisfaction of having made something worthwhile of these withered years.
Mon, 21st May — 1 note
The vulva goes on pilgrimage ↘
Fourteenth-century badges. There were also little penises who went about having fun. Someone needs to revive this trend.
Mon, 21st May — 1 note
A freelance life, a life in the arts, is sometimes like putting messages in bottles, on a desert island, and hoping that someone will find one of your bottles and open it and read it, and put something in a bottle that will wash its way back to you: appreciation, or a commission, or money, or love. And you have to accept that you may put out a hundred things for every bottle that winds up coming back.
Mon, 21st May — 1 note
Have you ever happened, reader, to feel that subtle sorrow of parting with an unloved abode? The heart does not break, as it does in parting with dear objects. The humid gaze does not wander around holding back a tear, as if it wished to carry away in it a trembling reflection of the abandoned spot; but in the best corner of our hearts we feel pity for the things which we did not bring to life with our breath, which we hardly noticed and are now leaving forever. This already dead iventory will not be resurrected in one’s memory.
Sat, 19th May — 14 notes