“Most writers were the kids who easily, almost automatically, got A’s in English class. (There are exceptions, but they often also seem to be exceptions to the general writerly habit of putting off writing as long as possible.) At an early age, when grammar school teachers were struggling to inculcate the lesson that effort was the main key to success in school, these future scribblers gave the obvious lie to this assertion. Where others read haltingly, they were plowing two grades ahead in the reading workbooks. These are the kids who turned in a completed YA novel for their fifth-grade project. It isn’t that they never failed, but at a very early age, they didn’t have to fail much; their natural talents kept them at the head of the class.
This teaches a very bad, very false lesson: that success in work mostly depends on natural talent. Unfortunately, when you are a professional writer, you are competing with all the other kids who were at the top of their English classes. Your stuff may not—indeed, probably won’t—be the best anymore.
If you’ve spent most of your life cruising ahead on natural ability, doing what came easily and quickly, every word you write becomes a test of just how much ability you have, every article a referendum on how good a writer you are. As long as you have not written that article, that speech, that novel, it could still be good. Before you take to the keys, you are Proust and Oscar Wilde and George Orwell all rolled up into one delicious package. By the time you’re finished, you’re more like one of those 1940’s pulp hacks who strung hundred-page paragraphs together with semicolons because it was too much effort to figure out where the sentence should end.”
“It’s OK not to be a genius, whatever that is, if there even is such a thing…the creative life may or may not be the apex of human civilization, but either way it’s not what I thought it was. It doesn’t make you special and sparkly. You don’t have to walk alone. You can work in an office — I’ve worked in offices for the past 15 years and written five novels while doing it. The creative life is forgiving: You can betray it all you want, again and again, and no matter how many times you do, it will always take you back.”
“It took her 17 years after his death, but 81-year-old Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is finally aware of the Notorious B.I.G. Ginsburg’s law clerks informed her after first showing her the “Notorious RBG” Tumblr that was created in the summer of 2013. Ginsburg revealed this and other fun facts in an interview with Katie Couric that touched on her women-hating male colleagues, her longevity on the court, and, most important, her new awareness of the Brooklyn hip-hop legend and her own meme-ification.
“I will admit I had to be told by my law clerks, what’s this Notorious,” Ginsburg said, phrasing that sentence in the most perfect way imaginable.”
My goodness. Hiroaki Samurais all. If only more mainstream comics displayed this level of staging/sequencing with their super powered, perfectly fit heroes ( 22 page limitations, advert-filled, overwriting obstacles notwithstanding). I’d read a lot more of them!