by Fiona Crawford - February 25th, 2013
Technology-induced complete loss of zen means only one thing: retreating to the stationery cupboard and re-reading some fave books. I’m too time poor to revisit whole books, especially after spending over six hours yesterday trying to get a PDF to a readable stage on my iPad Mini. It’s an issue I blogged (read: ranted) about yesterday and which I still haven’t been able to, for the record, resolve.
My happy-place happy medium then will have to be McSweeney’s, Dave Eggers’ genius of an online journal. It will specifically have to be the following four entries.
The title itself guarantees that every doubt-wracked writer will click on the link in the hope of finding snippets of writing-tip gold. And horrifying, vaguely hysterical chuckling-inducing gold snippets it indeed contains, not least:
Think of your laptop as a machine like the one at the gym where you open and close your inner thighs in front of everyone, exposing both your insecurities and your genitals. Because that is what writing is all about.
For the record, I wrote this blog wearing pants. Many thanks to Judi for making me aware of this guide’s existence.
McSweeney’s has truly mastered the Onion-like art of delivery hilarity completely deadpan. Case in point, realistic-sound interviews with hamsters:
There’s really only so long that a hamster can sleep each day, you know? […] I like to groom myself, and others, of course. But I’ve often got a spare ten minutes and once you’ve read the newspaper lining the cage, you’ve got to do something with your time, right?
It’s the one time that I get to think, just for myself. Between the repetitive motions and the squeak of the bearings, my mind just kind of goes blank, and I don’t worry so much about everyday things: will we get fed, where is the cat, has someone pooped in my corner, you know? Stuff like that.
I discovered this one only recently thanks (or rather, no thanks) to McSweeney’s dangerous rabbit hole of Suggested Reads, which lurks just below the end of its stellar articles. It yields such gems as:
The arrival of a baby can be a joyous experience for the entire family. However, [… writers] can find it difficult when a new member enters the ‘writer’s group’, especially if the new member is perceived as being of higher status or as a drain on writing time and resources. Never leave the writer alone with the baby. Ever.
Then there’s my favourite favourite, I’m Comic Sans, Asshole (belated warning, there’s a bit of coarse language and innuendo contained within these entries).
It opens with:
Listen up. I know the [sh%t] you’ve been saying behind my back. You think I’m stupid. You think I’m immature. You think I’m a malformed, pathetic excuse for a font. Well think again, nerdhole, because I’m Comic Sans, and I’m the best thing to happen to typography since Johannes [f&%king] Gutenberg.
It subsequently moves on to oneliners such as:
‘While Gotham is at the science fair, I’m banging the prom queen behind the woodshop.’ and ‘I am a sans serif Superman and my only kryptonite is pretentious buzzkills like you.’
Happy (but hopefully Comic Sans-free) Monday, everyone.