Jacob Charles Wilson

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✓✓ Read Receipts: Not Writing

When I write these posts I often wonder whether my enjoyment lies in publishing my thoughts to the world or simply the ritual of sitting down at my desk, gathering my sheets of paper, and typing up my thoughts. I sincerely doubt it's the former. I've found myself welcoming these short, calm hours as much as I often feel overwhelmed. But there's something to be said about the illicit joy of breaking a self-imposed rule, of not writing, of saying to myself, "I'll just do it tomorrow."

  • Writing is exactly that, and there is no work like it because it is so complicated to know when you are done. So You've Decided to Write: Advice from a Great and Notorious Editor by Terry McDonell for Literary Hub. The question of when to continue and when to stop plagues my mind, then again so does the question of when to begin, at least the question of when to begin can be deferred easily.
  • Here's how I write: I don't, much. I read, I look at the internet, I drink, I go to parties, I take long baths. I remember things I should be writing, I keep not writing them. I agonise over not writing them. They haunt my leisure time and my thoughts before I go to sleep. On not writing by Megan Nolan. I am not a writer, Megan Nolan certainly is. So it's encouraging to read that even she doesn't write.
  • Black Flags. How badly I even read. And with what malice and weakness I observe myself. Apparently I cannot force my way into the world, but lie quietly, receive, spread out within me what I have received, and then step calmly forth. 8 Famous Writers Writing About Not Writing by Emily Temple for Literary Hub. As much as I hate the fetishisation of writers' diaries, it can be comforting to read that even they had their days off.
  • If you're a freelance journalist and don't want to feel like an embed in a routed and retreating army you have to be opportunistic. It's about survival. So, too, is writing an online column for little or no money just for the exposure so you can charge more for speaking engagements. So You’ve Decided to Write: How the Hell Do You Get Paid? by Terry McDonell for Literary Hub. Writing for a living is less a case of sitting, quill in hand, than of deleting increasingly irate emails demanding payment. Avoid all the hassle by simply not writing.
  • So what do contemporary poets know, or seem to know, about war? One of the best answers is: Not much. But knowing what you don’t know can turn out to be more than enough. What Does a Poet Know About War? by David Orr for the New York Times. One of the continual barriers I've come across is the demand to 'write what you know', the problem is, what do you truly know to begin with? Some of the most interesting things I have written came from a point of ignorance, the process of writing led me through it. Next time, try writing about something you don't know.