July 26, 2011
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“It’s too long.” I get that often, about things I write. And I do think about it. I do try to shorten stuff, cut away things that aren’t relevant, just keep the essentials. Take the criticism to heart as they say. And yes, sometimes it’s true, the texts do need to be shortened, but sometimes it’s just a load of bullshit. A thing people say because they are too lazy to make the effort it would take to get through the whole text. I hear it about books too: “No, I haven’t read Dostoyevsky, his books are too long.” And no, I’m not comparing myself with Dostoyevsky, I’m just saying that by being lazy, you’re most definitely missing out. Sure, some things can be said in just a few sentences, but some things really need a longer and more elaborate type of argumentation. Some things are too complex to allow themselves for brief summarized types of presentations. It all depends on what the theme and the topic is. For instance, it’s really easy to define the meaning of life, in fact all it takes is one word: enjoy. But if you want to dig a bit deeper and really examine what that would mean you will need a lot more words. It all depends on the objective.
But I suppose the objective is indeed the issue. If you really want to give readers an opportunity to think for themselves you have to give them a bigger set of facts and/or arguments. I was reading a humungously long essay by Arundhati Roy in India Online about the Maoist guerilla in central India (here) and even though it took me well over an hour to read it I guarantee that this essay couldn’t have been any shorter because that’s exactly how complicated this situation really is. And if the objective is to provide your readers with an understanding of the level of complexity in this situation, which I’m pretty sure is the case, you have to give them the fully story. If you don’t you’ll just be another voice in the choir of ignorance. And as a reader, my obligation is to take this information in and draw my own conclusions. To use my own intellectual capabilities to try to make sense of it all in my own head. That’s the whole point; to actually think. It’s what we’re supposed to do with information; process it. Use our brains. Read more of this post
January 6, 2011
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I have spent the past 5 hours reading. Not leisurely browsing various online articles or skimming through a magazine but reading. Passionately. The kind of reading where you all of a sudden realize that the room is completely dark apart from your reading lamp and that you desperately need to go to the bathroom and haven’t had a cigarette for hours. That kind of reading. As a child I used to do this all the time, but the older I get the less I do it. Time issues I suppose. When you are a kid you have more time to get devoured by books. Or if it’s the other way around, I am not sure. Probably both. I also think there’s an element of sin to it as you get older. Like it would somehow be a waste of time. You are neglecting not only your bodily functions, but also your other tasks and duties when you dive into a book for hours on end. But seriously, so what? Considering all the time that’s wasted on watching TV in this world it seems strange that getting sucked in by a book for a couple of hours should be a bad thing. Reading is almost never a waste of time. I say almost, because I have wasted a number of hours on books in my days. Not many, but there have been times when I have felt like writing to the publisher to demand a warning text on the cover of the book. But mostly it’s not a waste of time.
I’m not sure if this is true for everyone, but in my world there is nothing that can capture me as a book can. Nothing. When I watch movies either my thoughts will start to wander or I will start improving the plot in my mind. I will do this either by just thinking about how the story could get better, or I will really think that the story is better than it actually is and get all excited. That’s when my best friend will usually shake his head and tell me that “no you’re just making the story better again. It’s not that complex”. And he’s always right. It never is that complex. But the reason I’m doing this is because I am bored. Read more of this post
October 20, 2010
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I am greedy when it comes to art. Very greedy and very curious. If I like something I always want more. This presents itself in what can only be described as gluttony. I will devour everything the artist has done. Be it paintings, books or songs. I want to take it all in. I am not a collector in the sense that I need to own it all, for me it’s all about the experience. I don’t mind if I only have the music as mp3 or if I borrow the book from a friend or see a painting at a gallery. The important thing is that I do get to experience it somehow. All of it. Particularly when it comes to music and literature, my two biggest passions. There I will get completely obsessive. I will read all the books and listen to all the recordings that exist. I will dig my way through the entire body of work. Passionately. But not blindly. When it comes to art I don’t believe in unconditional love. Even the most talented people will do things that aren’t brilliant. And people develop. Sometimes in a good way, other times in a not so good way. Very few people manage to present a body of work that’s amazing all the way through. There are some, but they are not many. And of those, most are dead. Read more of this post
January 18, 2010
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I am a writer. But I am also a dyslexic. And if you have read some of the previous post here, you may have noticed that. And yes, I love spell check programs, but they don’t catch everything. (Spell check program. Isn’t that a fantastic name by the way? A program that makes sure that your magic is correct.)
So, writing and dyslexia. Strange combination one might think. And in a way I suppose it is, but at the same time I think my dyslexia has actually made language and writing even dearer to me. The fact that I had really had to struggle for it and never took it for granted made me realize just how valuable it is. Because learning how to read didn’t come easy to me. I was not one of those kids who just pick it up on their own. For me it was a fight. But I wanted it so badly that there was never even a question about the outcome. I entered that fight to win. And I did. I finally conquered the art of written communication and there hasn’t been a day since that I haven’t cherished and celebrated that victory. Read more of this post