Hope Index Vol. 7: Birth, Life, and the Creative Process
What a week at Upwrite! And even more talented writers, and a new interview series, coming at you next week! To say we've been starting August off by showcasing tremendous writing here feels like an understatement. But what about the journey to getting your writing from "good" to "great"? We focus a lot on craft over meager Internet noise, but the path to intentional, poetic and unforgettable writing is paved with a slow gestation process, something that happens over and over and never truly reaches an end. Which leads us to our weekend reading...
Talk about nourishing soul in an age of "branding". Chance the Rapper continues to dance in the ashes of traditional music industry success tropes, and I'm here for it. Some great quotes here on his work process (“When I write, I work off of a theme, an emotion, a narrative — thinking of it and then expounding on it"), and collaboration over competition ("I never really liked the idea of rap being a competitive thing. It’s not. I can’t gain anything off of anyone else not succeeding.") Chance demonstrates in this interview that while he may be clever, but he is also wise, and we're feeling it.
Prolific and esteemed painter Joan Miró gave her thoughts on the artistic process in an interview that became a rare book published in 1964, revisited this week by Brain Pickings. Connecting these musings to Saul Bellow, Susan Sontag, and Cheryl Strayed, this article breaks down the way Miró's own conclusions echo those of other poetic geniuses, negating the idea that "fast art" can be good art and reiterating that art is a living thing that must be developed at its own pace. "I start from something considered dead and arrive at a world," she says.
Can rejection be hopeful? This little round-up at LitHub gives the rejection advice of several of our favorite writers, as well as some real-life anecdotes of times where a kind rejection can be more beneficial, in the long term, than the joy of an acceptance. While being told "no" can feel like a tiny death, it's actually an essential part of your creative, soul-nurtured, fully-advised and honest life. And we can't get anywhere worth going without being rejected a few times along the way.
In keeping with our theme of nurturing our writing craft with slow, careful attention, Ashley and I have a SPECIAL BIRTHDAY WEEKEND ANNOUNCEMENT. After numerous tries, I finally got Ashley pregnant. Well, I guess her husband did, as far as we know. But I'm the real force at work here and probably the person she curses in the morning as she fights her nausea. All of that to say, I'm just gonna leave this here: While birthing our own joint little "baby" magazine, we've also been hosting our own individual projects, namely the ones in this picture.
Let the record show that I, Kate Watson, would never have posted a sonogram picture in public without the influence(.net) of Ashley Abramson. Cheers to the weekend!