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Dolnick, “Stupid Writer Tricks”

by on May 5, 2013

“In the imaginary author interviews I occasionally conduct with myself while brushing my teeth, I very happily expound on these techniques and a dozen others. But I also take care to note that the important thing is not the techniques, but the spirit in which you take them up. If you reach out, as I spent all those years doing, like a drowning man for a scrap of wood, then you’ll most likely flail until you and your technique sink together in an unhappy mass. If, though, you can reach out from a position of calm, as a swimmer reaches out for a kickboard before turning to begin his next lap, then you might find yourself feeling what all the tricks and tips are finally pointing toward: freedom. You might surprise yourself — roll onto your back, do a flutter kick, or just float for a while. The water, after all, is the point, and not how you scratch away at it.” [Ben Dolnick, “Stupid Writer Tricks, New York Times, April 15, 2013, http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/04/15/stupid-writer-tricks/%5D

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