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Reading about Writing

draft 4
“Draft 4” by Leon Chan

This week’s links are about the process of writing. I have always felt a little insecure about my writing, that I’m an impostor just playing with words. In light of last week’s update on mindsets, I decided to shift my thinking and dedicate some of my focus to the the craft of writing. Below are reads from some of the writers and poets that I admire.

What I’ve Read:

Draft No. 4 | The New Yorker – John McPhee is an amazing creative non-fiction writer and a journalism professor at Princeton University. I believe he is the only one that can make a long essay about copy editing seem exciting. I enjoy how he weaves personal examples to help explain the processes of writing. I really liked the idea of using a dictionary instead of a thesaurus. So much so, I tried the replacing words in boxes technique in one of my latest essays.

What I’ve Heard:

Mary Oliver | On Being – I’ve been expanding my reading to include more poetry. One of the poets that keeps being recommended is Mary Oliver. Her interview with Krista Tippett is enlightening in more ways than one. Mary Oliver says that the writer/poet has to make an appointment to write. This focus on process reminded me of Steven Pressfield’s philosophy in the The Wart of Art: the artist has to show up and “fate” will reward her with inspiration. I was also in awe of her poems and the stories behind them. My favorite poem of hers is the short one below titled Don’t Worry:

Things will take the time they take. Don’t
worry.
How many roads did Saint Augustine follow
before he became Saint Augustine?