Have you watched the Australian comedienne Hannah Gadsby’s “Nanette” on Netflix? I’d started some months ago, found her amusing but light and a bit one-note, was interrupted after about 15 minutes and didn’t think it worth going back to. But friends insisted and so I did – and wow, what a knockout punch she delivers, suddenly veering from amusing anecdotes about being gay in rural New Zealand to telling the truth about how heartrendingly hard it was, and is, to be different in a nasty, judgemental world – and then to find a way to make her story funny. Truth – that’s my business, and I loved, just loved watching this brave, intelligent woman deliver hard, honest truths after making us laugh. “I need to tell my story properly,” she says. “Stories hold our cure.”
Gotcha, Hannah. Highly recommended.
It’s Sunday, so there are no men in my house, thank God. The last few days – a horde of electricians chattering, sometimes shouting, in Cantonese, as they attempted to figure out the arcane wiring of this house. I just went upstairs, a bare skeleton with tangles of wires everywhere and holes in the outside walls; at this stage, it’s hard to believe anyone will ever live up there again. But Kevin is ordering drywall, and next week, apparently, it’ll start to go up.
My bedroom yesterday
A few of the wires
The second floor looking west
I’ve been reading this “The business of being a writer” book – and though I am attempting to take it seriously, am putting in sticky notes to go back to, still, I wonder if it’s a generational divide. What are Influencers? People with blogs or websites with lots of Likes, I gather. Content strategies? I think that means what you write about. Yes? No? No idea. But I’ll try to develop some Content Strategies, though my days of being an Influencer are long gone, now that my children, whom I desperately attempted to influence, have left home.
My current Content Strategy: I am rewriting two essays for literary competitions. Though I was long-listed for one a few times, I’ve only ever in my writing career won one prize, was co-winner one year, in a not-too-crowded field, of the Canadian Jewish Playwriting Competition. I stopped entering competitions years ago, focussing on books but also thinking that my writing was not the kind that shines in competition. Well, that is undoubtedly still true, but a competition provides a deadline and a word count, so I’m off. Yesterday, I took a piece written years ago and cut more than 700 words so it’ll fit the 3000 word limit. It hurt and yet was surprisingly satisfying to see how much the piece could lose and still stand. At the moment, it’s 2995 juicy, delicious words.
One problem these days, as I join more websites connecting writers and about writing, is that I could spend my entire life reading about writing. And that’s not books and articles, just what’s pouring out online. Some limits needed.
More coffee and toast and a fried egg needed.
From my little life to yours – Happy Sunday.