Gordon Lish, Hilary Mantel, Bonnie Nadzam, Matthew Salesses, Jane Smiley, Melissa Febos, Montesquieu
Love all of this. So much wisdom I wish someone had imparted on me early in my writing. Sharing with all my students now.❤️
Love this. Perfectly timed.
Love every word of this! I will try to re-read it regularly so I can stay in the positive, forward-looking mindset it gave me. Thank you!
This was the perfect thing to read as I find myself staring back at the year and wondering what I accomplished. All that writing. All those hours of not-writing. But I look back at the things that were joyful to write and where I felt like myself, and I can call those successes at least, because they made me a better writer.
I love this. So wise and succinct. I've felt all these things. Thank you for sharing them!
What a great and generous post. Thanks!
I feel as if you were seeing right into my soul with this one! I can already tell it will be one I’ll come back to months and years from now. Thank you for the wonderful newsletters this year, Matt!
I love this view of writing as cultivating yourself - your attention, honesty, hope, persistence, and all the other good stuff - because that's both how the work can bring you joy throughout the long process AND how you can actually, someday, create good art. They go together! I love it. I really enjoyed Refuse to Be Done and am looking forward to further writing/life thoughts to munch on.
Love this all and will share with my students! ❤️❤️❤️❤️
Struck by so much but this especially:
“The culture at large is invested in homogenization of want: if we all want the same things, it's so easy to sell those things to us. Writing toward your own particular, your own weird, is a way of standing free—and, paradoxically, the more individual and specific the work is to you, the more other readers will find of themselves in your words.”
What a perfect title: “No Failure, Only Practice.” It caught me right away and delivered on its promise. You inspire while educating and pointing to THE truth: Writing is doing it. Thank you!!! I attended the James River Writers’ Conference this past October and a panelist mentioned your name and your fabulous book on writing, “Refuse to Be Done.” It was so exciting to recognize your name and book (I have it). I can’t remember the panelist’s name, but he teaches creative writing at the University of Virginia.
This essay, by the way, reached me exactly when I needed to hear every thought you expressed. Thank you for sharing the good news about the value of our sustained efforts, the merits of a unique calling, solitary and communal and essential to brains that perish without a vessel to hold what they absorb.
This hit hard for me. Especially Section 8. And Section 7. OK, all of it. But, yeah... Thanks, Matt.
This is the best. Thank you so much!
I needed to read this today! Thank you for this.
That’s a great and exhaustive post. Many thanks.