I just completed Day 1 using #30DaySquatChallenge App. http://bit.ly/Z80Z50
I’ve just now arrived in Phrae, a low-key town with airy teak houses and unpretentious local food. A car backfires in the distance every ten minutes or so. Locals emerge out of their dark shops as they see me walking by; they smile and wave while encouraging their timid children to do the same.
The lady who owns this guesthouse has a scattered mind. She is bustling around the place while posing me questions: What’s my name? How old am I? Do I have a boyfriend? she asks while absorbed in her tasks. No, I say. She stops her bustling and looks at me intently with thick glasses that make her eyes look comically large and says: Freedom.
I will never claim to be on a spiritual journey; I will also never attempt to “find myself” via travel. Knowing oneself has less to do with one’s geographical coordinates and…
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1. You are the work. The work is you: both an articulation of the self and a possibility for self-reflection. Be honest in creation: allow yourself to bleed into the work, but also allow it to work on you. Your work can show you things: illuminate and clarify your own thoughts, motivations, actions. If you do it right, you will find the work changing you, too.
2. Thinking is process. Laying on the floor. Sitting on park benches. Getting lost on purpose. These are all working. Learn the difference between mindless distraction and mindful wandering.
3. Go down the rabbit hole. Sometimes the work isn’t about what you think it is. Allow yourself to get lost down alleyways, to follow a train of thought around a corner. Don’t feel you need to reign yourself in. Too much focus squeezes all the possibility for revelation out of the work.
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i couldnt even finish reading it because of the tears in my eyes. – http://pinterest.com/pin/571394271448369502/?s=3&m=wordpress
Like bread dough, my writing seems to require time to rise in a warm, draft-free place. The long proofing period is necessary; turn up the heat to hurry the rising, or don’t leave it long enough, and I get a stodgy, dense loaf.
Under ideal conditions—solitude, free time and excitement about what I’m writing—the words pour forth quickly. It’s exhilarating. But normally, I write when I can. I like to have control over an essay or story as it forms, and I edit as I write, considering each sentence as I put it to paper—does it say what I want it to say, or does it imply something else? I read what I’ve written aloud—does it have the right rhythm?Is my translation of Vietnamese dialogue as true to the original as possible? Does it sound natural?
The second proofing of the dough is as important as the first. Even when…
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Longtime reader Sarah asked in the comments on my post about Edith Pearlman if I could share my thoughts on how I skate the inevitable line of doing work for work sake and doing work to be seen. To which I say:
Oh boy–how much time do you have?
Every artist I know struggles with this dynamic–don’t you? Isn’t this at the very core of wanting a life in the arts? You have something to say and don’t you want someone to hear it/see it? This seems like a very simple idea, though we know it is not. The minute someone DOES hear/see/notice your work is when things get really FUNKY.
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