30 Pages 30 Days: Day 10 Progress Report

It’s been 10 days since I started this crazy moderate writing experiment, and I’m feeling really good. I haven’t missed a single day and I’ve been posting photos to document each day of writing on Instagram. I’m also (gasp!) happy with the work I’ve done. Wow. Just saying that gives me anxiety, like I’m going to jinx myself. Jinx! JINX!

Things I’ve noticed: 

Constant interruptions don’t make for easy writing. (I know— mindblowing!)

If I actually give myself the opportunity to focus, I can write pretty fast. Faster than I imagine I write, anyway. 

It becomes easier to make time for writing with each passing day that I’ve insisted on making time for it. 

I like structure, though I often resist it. 

Writing doesn’t come easy every day, but it comes easier more often than not. 

Maybe this whole thing is about tricking myself into forming a daily writing habit for the long term. I don’t know. I’ve never been the kind of writer who sits down to write at her laptop every single day. Part of my process is letting things percolate in my head for a while before I write, but maybe writing every day is allowing for a faster percolation process? Before I started this experiment, I was curious if writing a page a day would work better for me than writing two pages per day five days out of the week, which I’ve tried before with less success. For whatever reason, this seems to be working for me so far, so I’m going to try my best not to overthink it.   

Total pages written: 13. I know! Without trying, I wrote more than a page a day. Maybe by consciously trying to lower the stakes I’ve made myself more productive? I hope so. Trying to lower the stakes for yourself is like an exercise in self-delusion, so let’s see how much longer I can delude myself for. 

Days it felt most difficult to write: 3, 4, 8, and 10. 

Days it felt easiest to write: 1, 2, and 9. 

Most written in a single day: A little over 2 pages on day 5.


Well hello there, tumblr

I’ve been MIA for a while. Sometimes you have to drop a few things to keep from dropping other things. Things no less interesting or valuable, but perhaps less momentarily necessary? So here I am. 

The problem is that I’m writing a novel. It’s the first draft of what will (hopefully) be my first novel. The other problem is that I can become obsessive about totally unnecessary things way too easily (see Twitter, Facebook, and, ahem, tumblr). We all know the internet is miraculous and fascinating and infuriating and also a terrible timesuck. So, yeah. Sometimes it’s hard to determine what matters and what’s helpful and what’s just sucking the energy out of the room. 

I have this idea for an experiment. I’ve always admired the people who go all out for NaNoWriMo (I totally had to look that up. I was like…NoNiNaPo? Wait, no…) and even though I’m writing a novel and have wanted to write a novel for a good long while, I’ve never been one of them. I know I’m not that kind of writer. I know my process. I’m slow. I’m actually slow at a lot of things. I read slow. I eat slow. I walk through museums slow. I like to savor things—words, flavors, feelings. I like to think a lot before I make a decision or speak in a group conversation. Believe me when I say that this can be frustrating. I wish I was a faster writer. I wish I could bang out a whole novel in a month. And I know that the point of things like NaNoWriMo is just to get it down, no matter if it’s good or bad, to get the train moving and show yourself that you can do it. I get that, and I think it’s great. It’s just not how I work. I’m the tortoise, and I’m okay with that. 

So my experiment will be one of moderation. Maybe extreme moderation. I’m challenging myself to write 30 pages in 30 days. I know what you’re thinking. What kind of challenge is that? It’s so not that hard to write 30 pages in 30 days. That’s what I’m hoping. Because a page a day is totally doable, I’m banking on the fact that I’ll actually like these 30 pages by the end of these 30 days. I’m hoping that by giving myself permission to be slow, I’ll actually work faster and produce higher quality work than if I were pressuring myself to work fast. As Jon Winokur quoted Richard Rhodes in his @AdviceToWriters Twitter feed: “A page a day is a book a year.” Maybe that’s pretty slow considering we’re just talking about a first draft, but that’s still faster than the rate I’ve been going for the past year.

I also want to keep myself accountable. That’s why I’m writing about the experiment here. That’s why I’m going to be taking a photo each day when I sit down to write a page. A photo per day, a photo per page. I’ll be posting the photos to my Instagram account and periodically here. I was inspired to do this by Cathy Day’s tumblr "Every Day I Write the Book." Here’s Cathy explaining the reasoning behind her tumblr at her excellent and inspiring site "The Big Thing."

So, that’s it. 30 pages. 30 days. Photos daily. Moving the train along, just at a tortoise pace. Slow and steady. I’ve already written nearly a page of my novel today. Here’s the first photo. I really need to wash my hair. 

image


William Burroughs on his technique of recording dreams


smashedagain:

if you follow the paintbrush with your eyes while not moving your head, it forces you to use emdr which is a therapeutic technique to calm anxiety/panic. watching fish swim causes the same effect.

Maybe I need a fish. 


We’re face to face with images all the time in a way that we never have been before. And that’s why I believe we need to stress visual literacy in our schools. Young people need to understand that not all images are there to be consumed like fast food and then forgotten—we need to educate them to understand the difference between moving images that engage their humanity and their intelligence, and moving images that are just selling them something.

As Steve Apkon, the film producer and founder of the Jacob Burns Film Center in Pleasantville, New York, points out in his new book The Age of the Image,* the distinction between verbal and visual literacy needs to be done away with, along with the tired old arguments about the word and the image and which is more important. They’re both important. They’re both fundamental. Both take us back to the core of who we are.

When you look at ancient writing, words and images are almost indistinguishable. In fact, words are images, they’re symbols. Written Chinese and Japanese still seem like pictographic languages. And at a certain point—exactly when is “unfathomable”—words and images diverged, like two rivers, or two different paths to understanding.

In the end, there really is only literacy.

So Beyond the Valley of the Dolls. 

So Beyond the Valley of the Dolls. 

(via samhumphries)


emilyvgordon:

This is the unrated video for Blurred Lines, which features some incredibly hot models in only panties literally just walking around. I invite you to watch it when you’re not at work. I’ll wait.

Now, I am not going to be talking about the whole “rapey” thing that’s been bandied about in regards to this song. There are works of art that do give me the heebie jeebies, sure, but this is not one of them. I am not going to tell you that you can’t find the song rapey if you really want to, but to me, there isn’t anything inflammatory about singing “You know you want it”. Because most of the time, you’re right, I do want it! I’ll let you know otherwise!

My point is that I absolutely fucking love this video. I love it. I think the women look ungodly hot, and rather than being accessories of the video, they are 100% the stars.  They stalk in and out of frame, being alternately sexy or silly, they dance, they hold goats, they ride stationary bikes, and they genuinely seem to be having fun. You can see their personalities, and you can tell that they were told just to get into the music. The one brunette is dancing like a goofy middle schooler for most of the video, and it’s incredibly sexy to see her not trying so hard to be sexy. Her looks are doing the work for her and she’s just breaking it down. 

The reason I can’t stop talking about this video is that for once, the girls aren’t being directed to look soulless or bored or dead inside, which is what a lot of women seem to do in music videos. It has bugged me for years, watching women writhe around slowly with dead eyes, or hanging on men like they’re on a heroin nod. They move as little as possible, lest they tip over in their stilettos. They are objects.

I’ve always thought that women are like this in videos because the musicians cannot handle the idea that someone in their videos would be more interesting to look at than them, so the more objectified the hot ladies are, the less attention they’ll draw. You need them there for people to watch the video, but they can’t steal focus.  Just look hot and keep your mouth shut. I did not glance at Robin Thicke, TI, or Pharrell once, and I think they’re actually okay with that. 

Could I have enjoyed different body types in the video? Sure. But they weren’t there, and I would rather encourage positive things than just bitch about what I see as negative things. So good on you, Robin Thicke. Good on you for making sexy look so fun and so active. You’re right. I do want it. 

(Full disclosure: Kumail puts this song on literally every time we are in the car together)


Talking about race is hard. Talking about race is hard both within and across racial and ethnic communities. But we have to talk about it to make things better, not so much for ourselves, but for those who come after us. It’s what our predecessors did only they had a lot more skin in the game.

2013ayearinmovies:

#89-MAN OF STEEL
Man of Steel is an inexcusable mess and this is evident within the first five minutes. I would say that Man of Steel falls prey to the issues that dismantled the new Star Trek (namely the radical over-explication of EVERYTHING), but I actually think that Snyder’s Man of Steel is unredeemable and for a few reasons of its own. And this is not to knock the man as an artist, because he’s undeniably talented. However, Man of Steel is lazy, hackneyed, and boring. As one of DC’s two biggest properties, Superman deserves more than to be the company’s shitty response to Thor. The film opens with a sequence on Krypton that is literally five times longer than it should ever have been and then travels to Earth, where the disjointed temporality of cutting between young Clark and old does nothing but halt the film’s sense of momentum. This heavy-handed exposition meanders for one-hundred minutes before the film’s final forty showcase a long and incomprehensible slew of familiar set pieces that are not thrilling, but actually incredibly tedious. The finale is not only frustrating because it’s incredibly derivative, but because the film has no stakes. Sure, Earth is hanging in the balance, but it never appears to be in any real danger. There is no shifting of power. The film is, for lack of a better word, static from start to finish. The characters have no arc, Clark is just as noble and essentially aware of his cosmic purpose as an abnormally powerful twelve-year-old as he is at age thirty-three. Sure, he figures out that he’s from Krypton and that he is mankind’s last hope, but he kind of knew that when he saved a bunch of kids from drowning in a bus while he was in grade school. The other characters are just as flat and the film is mostly without a narrative. There are lots of big, gorgeous backdrops with nothing to contribute to the world that the film tries and fails to create. The irony of it all, is that the whole thing is meant to set up this character as a major DC property, but he is paper-thin even after an obscene run time. I don’t want a sequel. Maybe I don’t want anymore Superman. Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel is a bad movie, but that’s not even what frustrates me most. This isn’t an episodic issue—it’s kind of become a systemic thing.
I don’t want to see another skyscraper tumble in a third act.
Why does it seem that every blockbuster has to end with the destruction of a major urban area? Transformers nailed it. The Avengers took it to the next level. Now it’s time to try something else. Isn’t it a bad sign that a summer movie is elevated in my mind simply because it ends in a shipping yard or on an airport runway? I’m not even asking for new ground to be broken; I’m just asking for crop rotation.
I don’t want another superhero movie that just rehashes its most successful contemporaries.
I’m not interested in seeing the way that you can combine your favorite elements of the Spider-man films with a completely miscalculated Nolan-esque tone. I’m just not. The Dark Knight did it. Try something new.
These complaints are by no means exhaustive, but filmgoers deserve better. And I’m not pitching for something unattainable. I fairly liked Iron Man 3. I kind of loved Fast & Furious 6. And I have high hopes for The Lone Ranger and Pacific Rim. I wanted to like Man of Steel, but I just couldn’t. If you want to win over an audience, you’ve got to respect their intellect. And your own. Then we’ll talk.
Not Recommended.


Amen, brother.

2013ayearinmovies:

#89-MAN OF STEEL

Man of Steel is an inexcusable mess and this is evident within the first five minutes. I would say that Man of Steel falls prey to the issues that dismantled the new Star Trek (namely the radical over-explication of EVERYTHING), but I actually think that Snyder’s Man of Steel is unredeemable and for a few reasons of its own. And this is not to knock the man as an artist, because he’s undeniably talented. However, Man of Steel is lazy, hackneyed, and boring. As one of DC’s two biggest properties, Superman deserves more than to be the company’s shitty response to Thor. The film opens with a sequence on Krypton that is literally five times longer than it should ever have been and then travels to Earth, where the disjointed temporality of cutting between young Clark and old does nothing but halt the film’s sense of momentum. This heavy-handed exposition meanders for one-hundred minutes before the film’s final forty showcase a long and incomprehensible slew of familiar set pieces that are not thrilling, but actually incredibly tedious. The finale is not only frustrating because it’s incredibly derivative, but because the film has no stakes. Sure, Earth is hanging in the balance, but it never appears to be in any real danger. There is no shifting of power. The film is, for lack of a better word, static from start to finish. The characters have no arc, Clark is just as noble and essentially aware of his cosmic purpose as an abnormally powerful twelve-year-old as he is at age thirty-three. Sure, he figures out that he’s from Krypton and that he is mankind’s last hope, but he kind of knew that when he saved a bunch of kids from drowning in a bus while he was in grade school. The other characters are just as flat and the film is mostly without a narrative. There are lots of big, gorgeous backdrops with nothing to contribute to the world that the film tries and fails to create. The irony of it all, is that the whole thing is meant to set up this character as a major DC property, but he is paper-thin even after an obscene run time. I don’t want a sequel. Maybe I don’t want anymore Superman. Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel is a bad movie, but that’s not even what frustrates me most. This isn’t an episodic issue—it’s kind of become a systemic thing.

I don’t want to see another skyscraper tumble in a third act.

Why does it seem that every blockbuster has to end with the destruction of a major urban area? Transformers nailed it. The Avengers took it to the next level. Now it’s time to try something else. Isn’t it a bad sign that a summer movie is elevated in my mind simply because it ends in a shipping yard or on an airport runway? I’m not even asking for new ground to be broken; I’m just asking for crop rotation.

I don’t want another superhero movie that just rehashes its most successful contemporaries.

I’m not interested in seeing the way that you can combine your favorite elements of the Spider-man films with a completely miscalculated Nolan-esque tone. I’m just not. The Dark Knight did it. Try something new.

These complaints are by no means exhaustive, but filmgoers deserve better. And I’m not pitching for something unattainable. I fairly liked Iron Man 3. I kind of loved Fast & Furious 6. And I have high hopes for The Lone Ranger and Pacific Rim. I wanted to like Man of Steel, but I just couldn’t. If you want to win over an audience, you’ve got to respect their intellect. And your own. Then we’ll talk.

Not Recommended.

Amen, brother.