Drawing badly and loving it
#9: Featuring writing about love while the world falls apart, an illustrated guide to writing a novel, a video short story from Stuart Hardy and more
Apologies, but I cannot think of anything worth saying to introduce this issue. So let’s just skip to the good stuff.
Here are 10 things from the past two weeks I thought were worth sharing:
I’ve always considered myself terrible at drawing. This has always put me off from building a drawing habit, despite how much I was compelled to put pencil to paper. But Syllabus: Notes from an Accidental Professor by Lynda Barry ( who I discovered through Austin Kleon) has helped me reconsider what a bad drawing is and enjoy drawing even if I am bad at it.
As mentioned in my last newsletter, I re-read Charlie Jane Anders’ All the Birds in the Sky. I’ve since signed up for Anders’ newsletter and shared 10 thoughts on her wonderful novel.
Considering *gestures at the chaos* it seems absurd to even think about — let alone write about — anything else. The world appears to be falling apart, and yet we’re supposed to carry on like it’s business as usual. Fortunately, Sasha Fletcher’s piece for Joyland on writing about love while the world falls apart was exactly what I needed to read.
James Greig wrote an excellent piece for Mental Hellth about a trap even I fall into occasionally: correctly identifying systemic failings and their impact on all our mental health, but then falling into nihilistic thinking “whereby any action short of revolution is framed as hopeless.” As Greig rightly explains: “There Is No Moral Imperative to Be Miserable.”
I love this illustrated guide to writing a novel from Swan Huntley.
Thanks to Rob Walker, I discovered Rubi McGrory has said exactly what I’ve tried to tell several people whenever they say they’re not creative. In “Every Day Is Creativity Day,” McGrory explains: “Every single thing in our world is the result of creativity…”
In my seventh newsletter, I recommended Hussein Kesvani’s excellent article on how LinkedIn is “on a mission to kill off good writing.” Well he’s written another good article for the Independent, this time exploring how Facebook has become a hellscape. Relatedly, Cory Doctorow also wrote about how he’s been waiting 15 years for Facebook to die for The Guardian.
I added several books to my evergrowing wishlist from a couple of great LitHub reading lists, including 10 books for being alone and the best women-authored science-fiction and fantasy of the 70s and 80s.
Another person I must thank Austin Kleon for introducing me to: Lucy Bellwood. In addition to her notes on the conversation Kleon had with Sarah Ruhl, Bellwood’s collection of small things drew my attention to Kori Michele’s very cool infinity zine: “every morning, we ache.”
A video short story from Stuart Hardy: “End Credits.”
Thank you so much for reading! If you haven’t yet subscribed, you can do so below. And if you enjoyed reading, I’d love it if you could share it with anyone else who you think would like it, too.
Hopefully, I’ll be speaking to you all again on March 15th. Until then…