I discovered a magical combination of writing tricks that have changed everything. Well … changed my writing life. And sometimes that feels like everything. While all of these tips are clearly aimed at writers, and at breaking that thing we call writer’s block, the same principles can be applied to almost any craft.
Steinbeck used pencils while they were long and slender, when they felt to him to provide the correct balance—a shape that could propel him forward, like good running shoes; a size to help him pick and prod the right forms, like chopsticks.
That simple yet purposeful act unearthed a new terrain in my life, one that made me feel like I wasn’t wasting that life, or wasting myself.
There is a pause that takes us into the heart of any truly beautiful thing: the swell. When something touches us, makes us stop, makes us live in that moment a little longer and a little more deeply so that we can know it, makes us think about life and perhaps also death and in so doing makes life actually feel like a precious thing, makes us know gratitude and weightlessness. We only know that feeling in rare, lucky pockets. Norman knows it here. And he invites us in. In 11 words. My god, that is everything.
A letter isn’t a book. A letter is simple. A letter is something you can write throughout the week or in one great, long breath. And if a few people expected it at a certain time on a certain day—well, that I could do. And I have loved it.