Photo: Matese Fields
A stranger changed my life. Someone whose identity I’ve forgotten. I don’t remember the byline, neither do I remember his face in the pictures, but he’d single-handedly set me on a path I didn’t know I would take.
I was a hairdresser, going through the motions every day just to pay the bills. On a particularly quiet day, while I was flipping through all the FHM magazines, I came across this story about an unfit writer’s journey to fighting an amateur boxing match.
Photo: Simone Pellegrini
It takes 80,000 words to make a novel, about 10,000 words to be fluent in another language, and 52 kilometres of running to complete a marathon.
These are daunting figures in their own right, but perhaps less intimidating when viewed from this perspective: writing 250 words, learning one sentence, and running for 15 minutes each day.
Photo: Priscilla Du Preez
It seems as if my life’s just about making one blunder after another.
Things have took a turn for the better compared to ten years ago, but the mistakes keep coming. I still have issues to work on, wounds to heal, and a life to improve, yet I often mess them up by doing the wrong things.
Looking back, I wish I’d studied harder, worked harder, and didn’t waste so much time just loafing around. Who knows what I might’ve become had I applied myself much earlier in life?
Photo: Greg Rakozy
The universe will end not with a bang, but with a whimper. —Neil deGrasse Tyson
Time has a weird way of passing us by—the boring and routine tend to stretch it to oblivion, yet it takes only moments for the years to pass. For me, this becomes a problem in goal setting. I write down my plans, I set the deadlines, and then I realise how long it takes to achieve them little things.
I’ve started putting down books more lately. I’ll give them one chapter of boredom before I cut my losses and move on to the next book. I used to be a completionist when it came to reading, but as I grow older, I realise how little time I have to read all the books I want, so I’m learning to be more meticulous with my reading time.
It’s not the books, it’s me. I’m aware that different authors have different styles, and not all of them are going to suit me. I’m fine with that. The literary world is entirely subjective, and the path to bestsellery often consists of just craft and luck—both unmeasurable.
Photo: Ivan Karasev
“I suspect more damage has been done to my sanity in jail, in months; than years, decades, in the woods.” —Christopher Knight
The first time I heard about Christopher Knight, I thought I had found my spirit animal. He’s the last true hermit who ran away into the woods, just so he could be alone.
He braved harsh winters and survived in the wilderness for 27 years, before he was finally caught for trespassing and burglary.
I had mixed feelings about his arrest, because on one hand, he did steal people’s belongings, but on the other hand, there’s only so much food and gas you can find in the wild.
So you’re just gonna quit writing?”
Jim shrugged, taking a deep breath. “I don’t know,” he exhaled. “There’s just… nothing to write about anymore, you know?”
“What about the shitty things you face at work?” I asked.
“That’s the thing,” Jim replied. “Work has been great.”
“Have you ever tried writing without emotions?”