So…haven’t posted in a while. It’s 6 p.m. on a Tuesday night, so I’m not going to post anything all that incredible, so let me just clear out some things I’ve marked in my Google Reader account in the last few weeks.
The first thing is that writers should in fact be voracious readers. We live in a narcisstic age, which means that many want to have the praise that comes from having written, without the antecedent labor of actually writing, or the antecedent labor before that of having read anything. Mark Twain once defined a classic as a book that nobody wanted to read, but which everyone wanted to have read. It is a similar situation here. Wanting to write without reading is like wanting to grind flour without gathering wheat, like wanting to make boards without logging, and like wanting to have a Mississippi Delta without any tributaries somewhere in Minnesota. Output requires intake, and literary output requires literary intake.
Most aspiring writers/literature aficionados know what it feels like to write or read in order to say “I’m a writer,” or “I’m a big reader.” It’s a cultural badge of significance to say you are well-read, and it’s cool and mysterious to say you like to write (whatever that really means). Wilson does well to remind us: Save yourself the time of trying to look like a proficient reader and actually read carefully and sufficiently in order to be a good reader. Ditto for writing. Wilson’s son, N.D. Wilson (a children’s fiction writer) once wrote that he knows all kinds of people who call themselves writers but have never actually written a full short story. Don’t be that guy.
Wizard of Westwood. As you likely know, legendary basketball coach John Wooden died last week at 99 years old. Here’s an incredible video by SI’s Rick Reilly on Wooden’s commitment to his late wife, even years after she passed away. Wooden was also a strong Christian with faith he was not afraid to pass on.
Convergence Journalism. For my journalism friends, check out this piece in digital journalism — an interactive documentary that tells the story of Canon City, Colorado, a small town with 13 prisons. The content is interesting, but the style is fascinating. Check it out.
(HT: 10,000 Words)
Follow Friday. It’s not Friday and this isn’t Twitter, but my journalism prof from Cedarville is reading through the Harry Potter books for the first time. Observe his thoughts at the provided link. I think he’s somewhere in the third book right now.