Stand up Blogging : “What begins commands” & Lost Branches

There are many ways to blog. You can write a novel chapter by chapter, or you can “react” to news in the world, or comment fashion, or new trends in food. You’re good.

My article talks about bloggers who needs ideas and inspiration. This is what I try to do, and I like this way, because it puts your brain in alert. You glean

Gleaning in loop : the “Gathering Seashells” Type

Finder Keeper Sharer, “What is my blog about?”

Blogger’s Words Horniness & consequences

You read a magazine, you talk with a friend, you got and email, you have a walk around the block, you bake, or you take a shower : Bim! (this is the sound of an idea coming to you).

Bim!

(The symbol is a bulb over your head, right?)

You hurry to sit in front of your computer. You click on “Write”, while your brain is already organizing things…

What begins commands. We all have our patterns, and when you start you more or less know where you’re going.

My tool here is :

Dial : Beware of “What begins commands”, because it’s too easy. You follow one path but :

  1. you could lose branch points
  2. you could ignore good bypasses
  3. your steam can hide possibilities.

Lever : Stand up, for blog’s sake! Finish your article if you’re too excited, but at one point, don’t publish. Stand up. I mean for real! Stand up and go away. Open a window. Wash a cup and a fork. Pet a cat. Breathe.

 

 

Flaubert, the French author who wrote Madame Bovary, had “un gueuloir”, a “scream room”. He was walking and yelling his texts in this room. It’s crazy? Not that much. You’ll have to find your own way. Just do something else while you think about your article or your page. Maybe print it and take a pen. You’ll find ideas, “furthers”, new branches, words, style nuggets, inversions, interesting bypasses, etc.

OK, go back writing now, you fool 😅

Thanks for reading!

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Essays & Acknowledgments (& Types)

I read much more essays than novels, therefore I read introductions, prefaces, and… acknowledgments. I read them, because the list – and the way the author presents the list – tells something.

There are Types :

  1. The assistant (who helped to gather or organize informations)
  2. The editor (who brought energy and I-believe-in-yous)
  3. The colleague (who pointed out problems in the text or provided ideas for chapters)
  4. The spouse (for his/her unfailing support)
  5. The friend (who helped blossoming with his/her constant questions)
  6. The friend (and his/her potential enthusiasm)
  7. The influencer
  8. The predecessor (“this essay takes over from…”)
  9. The ignorant (towards whom (oh crap, is this even English?) the author had to explain, therefore helped to think “readers”)
  10. The collaborator (who provided elements or parts of the essay)
  11. The spellchecker (can be the friend or the spouse, ha)
  12. The leader (who asked the author to write for a bigger project, for example)
  13. The muse (just being him/her – radioactive influence)
  14. The Obi Wan Kenobi figure (a master who can propel you with a single sentence)

 

Who else?

 

Do you have any of these for your… blog? Would you need one? Why?

 

Have a nice day!

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“Write a book!” & fiddlesticks answers

We all know someone who has new ideas AND who is great in thinking & expressing them. Thus we harass her/him this way : “Write a book!“.

More, these thinkers are exhausting, because along the conversations you have with them, you realize (and they too – pardon my French) that they have not one book but two or three books ready in their stubborn head.

But it’s worse, because life is life, people around are not very supportive, one run out of gas, one is empty, tired, parked or/and forgotten. Therefore no writing and no books – even if you whisper “Fiddlesticks!” to their busy bee ear, bzz bzz…

I just discovered “Fiddlesticks” (I suppose it sounds vintage and probably southern, right?) and I like it so much I’ll put it everywhere in this blog for a few days, sorryyy…

– Fiddlesticks!

 

What is worse indeed?

  • The person who really deadly WANTS to write a book and never writes it?
  • The person who writes a book, which is published and nobody buys it?
  • The person who has success with a published book – which is crap?
  • Or a thinker full of ideas and visions, who verbalizes them when you’re present, and writes nothing, and will die with the whole package?

 

Endearing, but “people should come to their own realizations”…

When do you begin?

 

Have a nice day!

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“Le Dénicheur” is the Hit Uponer

I work in a bookstore. Yesterday a guy asked me where to find books about dance. I showed him a little shelf under a table.

– Ah ah, he said in a smile, well hidden, right?
– Yes, I answered, but not the way you think it is.

You can show books in a bookstore in many ways.

  1. Big news are on front displays
  2. New books are on tables
  3. The “regularly stocked books” are on shelves
  4. What booksellers put on shelves under a table are those books which people come to buy

 

Yes of course, Medieval poetry, or books about dance are not in the top selling lists. But books about wedding or competitive exams training are good sells and they ARE under tables. People don’t come along in a bookstore hit uponing like “Oh, a book about how to become a customs officer, I’m suddenly interested!”. Wedding organization books are all the same : you come in order to find these. Therefore it’s not useful to put it at eye-level height. Voilà.

With this man, we talked about les dénicheurs.

A nest is called in France “un nid”. Thus “un dénicheur” is someone who removes birds (or eggs) from a nest. As it’s pretty rare to have this strange activity, for the verb “dénicher” (it could be : “To denest”), we French all understand “To hit upon”, “To unearth”.

Here we are!

In a store, are you the Mainstream Type, following marketing and medias, buying best sellers and prized titles, overpresented books under spotlights? Or are you the Unearthing Type, called also the Hit Uponer, forgotten corners prone, exploring the deserted alleys of Anthropology, International Situationism or Avant-Garde Jazz?

Probably both, right?

 

Thanks for reading!

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What I read

What do I read? What am I reading? I don’t know. Not novels in any case. Not anymore. Shortly, I’d say they fall off my hands – because of “I feel the author behind the story” thing – but that’s another story.

 

Nietzsche had a great mustache, right? This dictionary is like an infinite reservoir of ideas. I open it at a random page from time to time. Even if you’re not a scholar, but just a seeds seeker. I don’t need more than five minutes to find a brilliant idea.

This Goya‘s biography is perfect. It’s written by a great Spanish writer. I learn a lot about painting, Spain in 18th Century, Art, cities, history, and… a great personality!… Another universe is good to explore from time to time.

Billeter wrote these three little essays about translations. It’s a field I really always love to dig in. It’s about Chinese-French translations, and it’s full of delightful subtleties… This “Art” requires to activate thin and precise tools of the mind…

Arthur Miller went to China in the eighties to direct of one of his plays (Death of a Salesman). He wrote his diary about all of it. The play is considered one of the best American plays of the XXth Century, and the book is really delicious : intelligence at work. Cultural differences, directing a play, meeting professionals…

The Pléiade of Paul Valéry is exhausting. 1700 pages (and it’s a half of his “Notebooks”!) of good ideas (sorted by topics : eros, poetry, conscience, arts, etc). Brief notes, ideas, concepts, etc. This poet was a huge thinker. He amazes me with his original intelligence. Each paragraph (OK : almost) has the power to drop you in a pool of ideas. He taught me this huge thing : “To see is to forget the name of the thing one sees.” (think : labels, photography, poetry, invention, serendipity, refining intelligence… : see?).

Paul Jorion is a Belgian economist, and he has big common sense. This diary is very, very smart. The kind of bulblights which give smiles.

OK I’m fond of Proust, but sometimes you don’t want to plunge into the “too great” In Search of the Lost Time. I just pick up these essays, then. Lighter. Ideas everywhere, like seeds in the wind. This man had many brains. He is exhausting, generous, and you have to run (to try) to follow. This is a great experience though. You’ll know very few humans in your real life capable of that generosity : enlargingactivating your brain.

Koolhaas is a architect-thinker. This should just be enough to make you salivate, right?

Yalom (the psychiatrist) wrote a few novels, but here it’s an essay. NO mercy for anybody : he talks “at his level”. It’s wise, hard, and exhilarating!

I have this little book about Caillebotte, an impressionist painter, for me a genius of light. If you want to study a good example of “what is new” in Art, try Manet.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gustave_Caillebotte

François Jullien is a French philosopher. Obsessed by China (again?!) he invented concepts based on the fertile differences between occident and this country. I wrote many times about him : The Propensity of Things – for example. He’s a tools provider.

Reading the diary of Gide is like watching a brain at work. He sees, he writes, he travels, he thinks, wonders, doubts. This diary is like… adorable, dense, and always surprising.

Duras was a great French writer, with a real strange gorgeous style. I love her excesses. She’s weird, paradoxical and marvellous. She talks here about her life, her choices.

Deleuze is always not far from my shelves. For me he is the best French philosopher, full of ideas, new concepts and a bit of searchy craziness and virtuosity of the mind.

Charles Juliet is a French writer. He’s dark but quiet, calm, precise, shy, humble. His diaries are like hugging you – with acuteness. He also is a tracker (of himself, of other’s tropisms too).

Edward Said astonished me with this idea of the “Late Style” – what great artists do when they are after maturity. It’s GREAT and the preface ditto (can I say that?).

Bryson borrowed a car, travelled across the USA, wrote this little book about “everything OMG” he saw. It’s hilarious!

Roustang is an hypnotherapist and wrote this whole book about the contrary of every self help book (which all say : move your ass). “Know how to wait”. Hmmm?

 

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Thanks for… reading!

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Benefits of annotating your books

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Wood pencils. 5B is my preferred grading. It’s gorgeous bold.

Annotating. What for?

  1. It’s easier to find back interesting ideas after a while, OK.
  2. It’s interesting to discover, if you reread the book, that the ideas you underlined before were maybe not “that” interesting now, and that you did not notice some greater ones in the middle. The book didn’t change. You did.
  3. Each annotation is like a micro time-capsule which someone (your kids? an unknown person?) will find one day in the future.
  4. Annotating shuts off the solemnity, putting instantly the book out of the wrong-way-up idea of collecting perfect objects, making the book just what it should be : a text container, a tank of ideas , and certainly not a “precious thing”. Putting some life into it.
  5. Linking some parts of the books with your experience, with other books.
  6. Finding the “big picture” – at least linked to your own life.

 

I have my own code. I circle a A, it’s an idea for an article. I slice a square, it means I have to find the book quoted here. Etc.

What about you?

 

Thanks for reading!

 

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