I read this story six months ago, on the plane from Las Vegas to Austin, and it struck a chord with me then.
That I found myself referencing it last week (“that’s very Raj, Bohemian,” I remarked to a friend who had also read it), given the sheer number of words we all consume each day, and that my friend immediately understood what I was referencing, is reason enough to suggest that you also read it, and let me know what you think.
if it doesn’t come bursting out of you in spite of everything, don’t do it. unless it comes unasked out of your heart and your mind and your mouth and your gut, don’t do it. if you have to sit for hours staring at your computer screen or hunched over your typewriter searching for words, don’t do it. if you’re doing it for money or fame, don’t do it. if you’re doing it because you want women in your bed, don’t do it. if you have to sit there and rewrite it again and again, don’t do it. if it’s hard work just thinking about doing it, don’t do it. if you’re trying to write like somebody else, forget about it. if you have to wait for it to roar out of you, then wait patiently. if it never does roar out of you, do something else.
if you first have to read it to your wife or your girlfriend or your boyfriend or your parents or to anybody at all, you’re not ready.
don’t be like so many writers, don’t be like so many thousands of people who call themselves writers, don’t be dull and boring and pretentious, don’t be consumed with self- love. the libraries of the world have yawned themselves to sleep over your kind. don’t add to that. don’t do it. unless it comes out of your soul like a rocket, unless being still would drive you to madness or suicide or murder, don’t do it. unless the sun inside you is burning your gut, don’t do it.
when it is truly time, and if you have been chosen, it will do it by itself and it will keep on doing it until you die or it dies in you.
Mostly because it seems that the only people who really identify with it are people who aren’t writers, but who want to be. Everyone I know who actually writes for a living, be they a journalist or a novelist, knows that good writing is bloody hard work, and at times a painful struggle. It’s not always fun and passion. Often it’s like giving birth to a big baby when you’d rather be sleeping, hanging out with your friends or watching Gossip Girl.
But you know what? That struggle is just part and parcel of great “art” of any kind. It doesn’t always come easy, and frankly, it’s not supposed to.
Thank you. I like Bitch in theory, but every time I read it, it makes me want to die. Totally humorless, pedantic, and frequently, not all that well written. I’d love to support a feminist analysis of pop culture, but I think that Bitch is just not that particular analysis.
Thank goodness for this article. I never liked Bitch, being more of a Bust girl myself, and felt like a bitch for feeling that way. Hah.
I’m genuinely surprised by all the Bitch hate. I think it’s stellar mag* (as, for that matter, does my non-Gender Studies major mother): well written, smartly analytical, but also the kind of magazine I’ll read for the pleasure of it, rather than because I “ought” to (a category one of my frequently untouched subscriptions falls into).
Bust, on the other hand… started out really, really well (the Bust Guide to the New Girl Order, which I picked up when I was 18, was instrumental in my later choice of a Gender Studies major), but has neared Dullsville for several years now. And that isn’t anti-commercialism - I love New Cleo and old school Jane, both of which are far more mainstream than Bust.
Each to her own, I guess.
*That being said, I haven’t bought it in around a year, because it retails for upwards of $17 in Australia, and the only place I know that stocks it is Borders on Pitt Street.
It’s hard to believe these adorable lads aren’t getting any action, especially since oldest brother Kevin is nearly 21; but they’re far from the first teen idols to adopt a pristine persona. A warm, fuzzy image is key when your target audience is young girls tentatively exploring their own budding desires. Anything more aggressive would be icky, to use a term popular among Jo Bros fans.
Elvis Presley kept his jail-bait girlfriend Priscilla under wraps for years to prevent damage to his mama’s boy image. Elton John was a 16 Magazine cover boy until outing himself as a bisexual in the more adult-oriented Rolling Stone. Britney Spears, the other news at Sunday night’s VMAs, claimed to be a teen virgin until her old beau Justin Timberlake hinted otherwise; she’s still dealing with questions about exactly when she lost her innocence, even after bearing two kids.
“Arrogant private school students abound, especially arrogant boys from Sydney Grammar, one of the most expensive and selective private schools in the country. ‘It’s just a sense of entitlement,’ Emma says. ‘They know how it works and they’re right.’ Emma knows one boy whose decision about which political party to support was based not on principles but on where his networks lay.”—
Lisa Pryor on Sydney University law school, in The Pin Striped Prison.
I studied the lesser degree of media and communications, but many of my friends studied law, and it seems some things remain perpetual. (Guess which school the boys I refer to in this post went to?)
A well-written status report on the Always On Generation by Clive Thompson. The fundamental question here, which he alludes to, would be “Is having a lot of weak ties a good thing? Does it take away more from my life than it adds?”
I write on these issues a lot (need to upload a recent story for the Walkley Magazine when I get the chance), and I thought this piece was really good.
Personally, I’m a fan of the “ambient awareness”: while there are definitely downsides to it (hello perennial distrations, and privacy concerns) on balance I’ve found both the information I’ve taken in and the information I’ve put out there to have a net positive effect on my life. My favourite thing about Tumblr, for instance, is that it puts me in touch with interesting people who are into similar things I am all over the world. And that’s really cool and exciting.
I’m not convinced that the strengthening of weak ties distracts us from our stronger ones - work, romance and general exhaustion are more likely to do that. I have found, though, that it gives me little patience for the middle ground, though: if I’m going to put in the effort to give someone my full, extended, one-on-one attention, I strongly prefer for it to be in person, where I can do it properly and get the most out enjoyment from the situation.
“I know it’s going to tank, but there are two really hot guys in the first episode… The girls get to pick apart what they do and don’t like about them. My sister was like, “That’s what we do in real life!”—kapookababy on Taken Out, screening on Channel 10 tonight