I wanted to share some interesting stories about writing I've come across recently, as well as some photos of my insanely cute new dog, Rufus. (He's the gray one--Chloe is our black lab, whom we've had for 3 years.)
Last night, I heard a great piece on NPR about creativity. It was a speach by Carol Becker, Dean of Columbia University School of the Arts. She talked about living the artist life--with all the fears and loneliness that can come along with it. One of my favorite parts was when she talked about how important it is for artists to play--to let themselves get immersed in something that interests them, even if it might not seem like something that will pay dividends in the near future. She talked about a student traveling (to the Mid East, I believe) who got obsessed with the many shades of gold used in the regional archictecture. He spent the whole trip photographing examples of gold, and I'm sure he gained a sense of the depth of color that he couldn't get any other way. I find myself doing this in more literary ways when I can get obsessed with the root of a word, or when I can read a novel or short story again and again, always finding something new to marvel at.
Dean Becker also talked about how perfectionism can just kill an artist, so I was intrigued when I saw this article about perfectionism in the Boston Globe this morning. Though I'm certainly not as bad as some of the perfectionists profiles, I do have my share of perfectionist tendencies. I really liked this analogy: Say you pay $2 for five minutes at a do-it-yourself carwash, and clean away about 80 percent of your car's dirt. That makes sense. Then you pay another $2 for a second round, and clean away another 10 percent. Your returns are diminishing. Then another $2, which yields only about 5 percent more. At some point, though having a clean car is a fine goal, you are clearly wasting your time and money.
And lastly, an interesting article on the copyright issues that are arising for the Kindle because it allows users to listen to e-books aloud--and it isn't paying writers or publishers for audio rights.