“You write in isolation and a rejection doesn’t give you a lot of feedback.”—Kim Kankiewicz (@kimprobable)
“What I have to process is my own thoughts and experiences; does that matter to anybody else? The reason I write is to make connections with other people.” —Kim Kankiewicz
Here we are again, picking them off one by one.
Kim Kankiewicz’ essay “Rumors of Lost Stars” won Creative Nonfiction’s best essay contest for Issue 32’s theme of “Joy”. It’s an essay about communal acceptance, overreaching, and then personal acceptance and redemption. She threads this around the mythology of three stars. The parallels between the myths and her story make this essay sing.
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“You need some sort of structure because you’re inviting strangers to hear you talk for an hour.” —Tom McAllister (@t_mcallister)
“I said, ‘Oh, shit, I have to learn how nonfiction works!” —Tom McAllister
“I hadn’t realized there was this thing sneaking through. Anyone who’s written nonfiction has those. In early drafts you realize, ‘Oh, wait, I thought I was writing an essay about going to night school, but it’s about this other thing.'” —Tom McAllister
Tom McAllister returns!
He has a new book coming out, a novel, titled The Young Widower’s Handbook, and since I haven’t read it yet, we didn’t talk about that, though we did talk about the process of writing it a bit. He also wrote Bury Me in My Jersey (2010), a memoir, which we do touch upon.
We riff on his podcast, Book Fight, which he co-hosts with Mike Ingram (@mikeingram00), and that was fun to nerd out on a few audiophile stuff. But largely we talk about dealing with ugly middles (not those middles, you perverts), making big cuts, and knowing when a piece of writing is done.
Subscribe to the podcast on iTunesor (!) Google Play Music. All you raving Android users can now enjoy what the world now refers to as, “Yet another podcast.” They didn’t say that, but they were saying that about blogs about 10 years ago. The podcast is the new blog. Whatever.
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Why waste anymore time? Here’s my good friend, Tom McAllister.
Melissa noted how fun it was to be edited by Maggie Messitt, a former guest on #CNF.
We’re keeping the good times rolling, so let’s not waste any more time. Please subscribe to the podcast, share it with someone you think will dig it, and subscribe to my book recommendations newsletter. It’s all free!
“I just went after it, man, what’s the worst thing that can happen? I strike out? I don’t get a hit?” —Kevin Wilson
“You can’t compare yourself to anyone else.” —Kevin Wilson
“I’m big on teaching the person first and the player second.” —Kevin Wilson
Kevin Wilson (@KWBaseball), president of Kevin Wilson Baseball, LLC and a former switch-hitting professional baseball player, wrote The #Goodbatting Book, a slim volume that is about way more than hitting.
That’s why he’s on the show. Plus, during my playing days, hitting was everything. I mean, everything. Don’t worry, we don’t nerd out on hitting, but rather the principles behind what makes his approach to teaching and coaching so effective.
As many of you know, #CNF has a problem with consistency. No excuses. It’s a failure on my part.
I’d love to see it keep growing, which it has ever since its inception in 2013.
And, as the saying goes, “What gets measured gets managed,” so I plan on sharing a few of the analytics of the 2016 run of the podcast.
NONE of these numbers are staggering. To some, they may even be embarrassing. To that I say, Who cares? You have to start somewhere. I’m choosing to remain positive and to encourage the best out of people. EVERY conversation I had felt meaningful and I enjoyed every second.
I understand he, like everyone, has flaws. I read his blog every day, and I’d be disappointed if even one blog post didn’t land in my inbox each morning. I know I’m not alone.
But as he writes in the opening of What Does It Sound Like When You Change Your Mind? in a “post” titled “Is It Selfish?”:
I wrote this book for me.
Day after day, year after year, my blog shows up. And I’m delighted if people read it, thrilled if it resonates with you.
But the truth is, even if you didn’t read my blog, even if no one read my blog, I’d still write it.
It’s through that daily practice that people tuned in. It’s antithetical. He doesn’t hustle. He shows up; and we do.
It’s his generosity of spirit that feeds the soul, just like Maria Popova’s Brain Pickings. She too started her wonderful blog not to gain an income or gain followers, but in being true to her own self, she writes about what nourishes her own mind.
She’d probably write the blog even if no one was reading, but through consistent production and thoughtful curation, Popova and Godin have legions of people who deeply hunger to be part of their minds.
To that I raise both hands.
In the spirit of Godin, who would write the blog if no one was reading, I too wish to do the same.
Writing a blog post about moving forward is a great way to persuade oneself to move forward. Writing a blog post about the past, the future, the things we miss—this is how I work to keep myself on track.
Seeing a blog post a year or two after I’ve written it is a bit of a jolt, a chance to remember a moment in time, and mostly, an opportunity to push forward. Again.
So I plan to use my blog as a daily practice to improve 1% Better (s.o. to Joe Ferraro)—I’d love for you to join me (see monthly book recommendation newsletter and podcast. Phew.)
I won’t invade your inbox. If you like this blog, merely bookmark it and check it at your leisure. I’ll be here. I hope you will too.