Wouldn’t you know it, @Studio360show and @rameswaram, I found one last Twix. (at New York Public Radio)
Anonymous said: Do you ever write something and hate it? Or do you ever find it difficult to find inspiration? I work at a book publishing company and go home to write at night a lot of the time, but the demands of a full-time job often leave me too fried to produce anything worth a damn sometimes. I've gotten some great bylines recently and would love to just write for a living. How the hell did you survive in NYC as a freelancer? How does anyone do it?
1. Yeah, you gotta push through that. Take care of your work and do the best you can, but if you don’t like something in retrospect then oh well. People change. Ideas change. Beliefs change. Your writing improves. Keep it moving.
2. If you’re having trouble feeling inspired just go live your life and make mistakes and visit new places and talk to new people and you should come up with something. I feel like writers struggling to find inspiration spend too much time in front of their computers worrying about how to feel inspired.
3. One way I survived in NYC as a freelancer was by not eating as much food as I would have liked to eat on some days.
4. I was talking to a guy last week who is now an editor at a big website based in LA, and he was telling me that when he moved to New York to be a writer, around 2001, he could do something like three or four record reviews a month for alt weeklies and that would be enough to pay his rent. After that, he could focus on finding other more fulfilling writing gigs without stressing about being evicted. I think there was a time before ours—when rates were higher and rents were lower—that getting by as a freelance writer in New York City wasn’t easy, but was easier. Nowadays, I don’t know how anyone does it. You have to really hustle hard, I’d assume. I also don’t think it’s any surprise that I’ve heard from four different New York writers recently who have told me they’re planning on moving to LA.
Anonymous said: hey, cord. really enjoy your writing! i was curious, what websites and/or blogs do you visit daily/consider essential reading (other than gawker, ha)? thanks!
Hi, thank you.
Telling you what websites I look at every day is boring because they’re the same ones everyone else looks at every day, and I don’t really think they’re “essential” to my life. I’m not sure I subscribe to the idea that there is such a thing as essential reading. Or, if there is, what’s essential for me is changing constantly. Sometimes I’ll go away on vacation, ignore all news, and read only novels written in the 1950s, and that will seem essential. Sometimes I’ll wake up and devour NYTimes.com before 8 AM, and that will feel essential. Sometimes a post from a stranger on Tumblr will be the best thing I read all week, including the stuff published in all the important magazines and newspapers. Probably one of the most “essential” outlets in the world today is the AP, and doing a deep read of that website can feel like watching paint dry.
I figure what’s essential is deciding what you’re lacking in the moment and then feeding yourself on that. Easily the most inessential website I look at regularly is a blog I stumbled upon that documents a man and his partner’s trips to the grocery store and their restaurant dinners. That’s all it is, pretty much: pictures of their chain restaurant meals, pictures of the grocery store, and pictures of their dog, with short captions accompanying each photo. It is such a boring blog and it makes me feel a little uneasy to read it sometimes, but I look at it probably twice a week, and in those times it’s essential.
There was no shortage of bad news on Twitter this week, but there was the occasional glimmer of hope too: