Kristan Hoffman - Writing Dreams Into Reality
Tue Dec 25 2012

Another “mini-post sampler”

Blogging on Christmas Eve feels a bit like shouting into a cave. It’s dark and lonely and no one’s listening. But don’t we all like to shout into caves sometimes? Isn’t it nice to imagine that you can say anything?

Regaining youth

When you’re young, you think everyone reads what you read. You think everyone will like what you write. You think it’s just a matter of finishing. It’s just a matter of doing your best. You don’t think about luck, or taste, or money. You just think about what you want, and what it will be like when you get it. Not all the potential obstacles in your way.

Maybe we need to be more like our younger selves.

The contradiction of “noise”

On the one hand, we are supposed to “make noise, be heard.”

On the other hand, we don’t want to “be part of the noise” or “get lost in the noise.”

As always, I suppose we have to figure out how to walk that fine line, how to find the right balance.

Consume, curate, or create

I think I read somewhere that there are 3 types of people on the internet (and perhaps, I would argue, in life): consumers, curators, or creators.

Consumers take it all in. They’re happy to click, browse, Like. They don’t need to blog or Instagram or get a million retweets in order to be happy or feel satisfied. They come, they see, they leave.

Curators are the reason we invited the Share button. And Pinterest. And Tumblr. They sift through the endless sites, pages, and posts to find the best stuff; they pan for gold. But their true fulfillment comes from sharing the treasures with their friends (real life or online). Spreading the wealth. And, like Robin Hood, gaining a name for it.

Creators, well, create. They write, photograph, design, investigate, report, innovate, sell. They make, so that you don’t have to. Sometimes it’s personal; sometimes it’s just business. (Sometimes it’s quality; sometimes it’s not.)

There’s no right or wrong here. It’s all personality. (And sure, you can be more than one, but odds are you lean in one direction more than others.) So the question is, how do you spend your time?

And, how do you want to be spending your time?

Happy holidays, y’all.

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Mon Feb 20 2012

Sampler

I’ve had a bunch of notes in my Drafts folder for months now, snippets that I keep intending to turn into full posts. But at this point I don’t think that’s ever going to happen. So here are three “mini-posts,” somewhat related, somewhat not.

Writers often hear the advice, “Kill your darlings.” Typically that means delete the bits of writing that you love the most, because odds are, they are self-indulgent. Beauty is not reason enough if the words don’t add to your story.

For me, the biggest darling is the internet, and killing the internet leads to an exponential increase in productivity. I always forget that, until I hit rock bottom and have to find a way to pull myself up out of it again.

It’s “easier” for me to write at night, because there are fewer distractions even when I’m looking for them, and because by that point I’m so mad at myself for wasting the day that I finally buckle down. But I need to learn how to work under more normal and more positive conditions.

“Every girl wants a bad boy that will be good just for her. Every guy wants a good girl who will be bad just for him.”

(Or as Usher and Ludacris so eloquently put it, “We want a lady in the streets but a freak in the bed.”)

I’ve seen variations of that quote all over. Twitter, Facebook, emails, songs. And I see versions of it over and over in romances. Everyone wants to be special, to be the exception. In Twilight, Bella’s mind is the only one Edward can’t read. In Knocked Up, Seth Rogan gets the girl, even though he’s a gross schlub. Even in the classics. Plain Jane (Eyre, that is) manages to captivate Rochester, and in turn she sees past his grouchy demeanor.

I can’t decide if this is a good thing or not. On the one hand, it sort of reflects reality, in a way. None of us are perfect, but we could seem perfect in a certain someone’s eyes. Through love, ordinary people become extraordinary.

But on the other hand, as Justin Long tells Ginnifer Goodwin in He’s Just Not That Into You, we can’t count on being the exception.

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