distraction no.99

Nova Ren Suma | On Writing & Writing Distractions

Not an Author Newsletter… something else.

Weekend Inspirations

Here are some things inspiring me this weekend:

Tayari Jones always has a great honesty when it comes to writing and publishing that I tend to drink up from her blog. This post, “Tough Love from Tayari,” speaks to those insecurities that flutter in your gut and must be smashed for you to write the best you can. She says, “…Writing is what makes you a writer. And when you feel like a writer, you are less worried about the latest celebrity book deal. Your mind is on your characters, on your poetry, on your art.” Read the whole post here.

My editor has inspired me to reread a book I haven’t read in forever, The Haunting (or The Haunting of Hill House) by Shirley Jackson. Erase from your mind all thoughts of any recent movie and return to the book, to the words on the page, as I did, and you’ll find yourself caught up in the growing, crawling unease that breaks out into pure fear. The intensity, and the way it builds, is amazing. There is a moment in that book, which I won’t type up because I don’t want to spoil it, that had me gasping out loud in my empty apartment just the other night—terrified, absolutely terrified, though I had all the lights on. Now that this book has been devoured, what else should I read or reread for inspiration? A trip to the library is in order.

This is a post from some days ago, but I still love coming back to it (and you’ll see my response to it in the comments), where Molly O’Neill ponders what you can belong to and feelings of connectedness. As I pare down my life this summer, I keep thinking of this. Do I belong here, or do I belong elsewhere… maybe somewhere I haven’t let myself go yet? Her must-read post can be found here.

If you’ve come across anything inspiring, let me know. I’m starting up a collection from both real life and online. This summer feels like the time to do it.

9 responses to “Weekend Inspirations”

  1. Yes—this is the summer of “be kind to yourself while inspiring others!” i’m also building up a collection on the side, inspired by your comment to search for what inspires you…I will share!

  2. Can’t wait to see! One thing I will miss about Twitter is how it sometimes brings me very inspiring links… I’ll have to come across them another way, I guess. And also go out into the world and find inspiration that way, as well…

    Looking forward to seeing your inspirations!

    • yay! i am already writing all my inspirations down in a journal–and did you see Tayari’s blog? it was so nice, and addressed the whole “penvy’ thing. logging off of Facebook has helped me SO much with ridding myself of toxicity. I’m already beginning to see that Facebook is the source of much toxicity in my life. Twitter is not so much toxic as it is a distraction. 😉

  3. Shirley Jackson = happiness. Have you read We Have Always Lived in the Castle? I think it’s my favorite, but it’s so hard to choose.

    • I haven’t read it! I know some very important people in my life who love that book, and now I’m also taking your mention as a recommendation. Going out to get it… maybe even today.

    • I love randomly coming across things I need on the internet at just the moment I need them… so, yes, I know what you mean. And I’m glad this fit for you!

  4. Thanks for the link, Nova! If you haven’t read the recent comments, they’re wonderful, so go back and do so. Best comments on a post ever, I think!

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