Stuff worth reading

“Loud, Ugly, Wild, Free” by Veronica Roth

For me, it doesn’t really help to decide to write a shitty first draft and let that be the end of it, because it goes completely against my nature and the core of my person— it’s too hard for me, in other words, to just say “oh well. It’s going to be bad.” That means traveling too far away from who I am.

I think, instead, that I should try to make it as BIG and as LOUD and as CRAZY as possible. Just like in voice lessons, when I was honking out those notes as loudly and as comically ugly as possible, like a goose with a throat infection, and somehow, I found my way to something more beautiful. The trick for those of us who are such strong perfectionists that we can’t even conceive of writing something deeply flawed on purpose is not embracing error but embracing something else: freedom.

 “Why Lady-On-Lady Hate Makes Me Sad” by S.E. Sinkhorn

I couldn’t see this for what it was when I was living it, but now that I’m more removed (and frankly way more involved in social issues and being a real live woman), I see this for what it is. It’s internalized misogyny, ladies. Not only that, it’s self-hatred. When you truly believe that ALL or MOST or even MANY other women are *insert all negative stereotypes about women here* and that you alone are unique because you are more “like a guy” and like more “guy” stuff, which is better and more interesting than “girl” stuff? You are hating your own sex/gender. You are divorcing yourself from anything that might be considered feminine and seeking approval from men in the context of maleness. You’re saying “even though I identify as a woman, I’m not like a WOMAN-woman. I’m like a *cool* woman who likes non-womanly things.”

“Things I’ve Learned” by MJ Levy (a college classmate & friend)

  • The fear of humiliation is a powerful motivator, but it can’t be the only motivator.
  • Your first idea is probably the wrong one, but even if it isn’t, you have to prove it.
  • Your uncertainties are just as valuable as your certainties.
  • Completely objective criticism is impossible, but try.
  • Finding the right problem to solve is harder than solving the problem itself.

7 responses to “Stuff worth reading”

  1. Anthony Lee Collins Avatar

    I think the point about “Loud, Ugly, Wild, Free” is really important. Otherwise, you just second-guess yourself and play it safe. You can’t just add the wild and free later, after all. It has to be there in the bones.

  2. Emy Shin Avatar

    Thank you for these links, Kristan, especially the first one. :)

  3. Sonje Avatar

    “Finding the right problem to solve is harder than solving the problem itself.”

    Oooh, good one! Scary good!

  4. Anthony Lee Collins Avatar

    Sonje: I was reminded of that quote when I read this article:

    It’s about Corning, where they invented a glass back in 1971 that had incredible properties, but there was no need for it, so they put it away. “It was a solution that would have to wait for the right problem to arise.”

    Then, decades later, Steve Jobs came to them and he needed a specific type of glass for iPhones. A glass which they happened to have. :-)

  5. Kristan Avatar

    Glad you guys enjoyed them!

    And that’s a very cool anecdote about the iPhones, Anthony. :)

  6. Mary Avatar

    I actually went and read the whole post that S.E. Sinkhorn wrote. It’s so very true. Me, I highly value my female friends, because I don’t always know exactly how to relate to men, at least men I don’t already know well. And my comfort level now is worlds better than it used to be, too.

  7. Kristan Avatar

    Glad you enjoyed it! FYI, S.E. (aka Steph) is regularly brilliant. I think you’d like her blog.

    You know, I always thought I was one of “those girls” who had more close male friends than female, but then I did a count. Lol whoops. Guess I’m a different kind of girl after all. And just fine with that. ;)