30 Things is a meditation. A practice of gratitude and love. At its most basic and heartfelt level, the practice is pretty simple:
- Write a list of 30 Things You Love Right Now.
At first blush, it might not seem hard to come up with 30 Things You Love Right Now. But, you know, sometimes it really is. Click here to continue reading…
Writerly profundities penned or uttered by various luminaries—sometimes accompanied by prompts to get us writing (profoundly or not)—to remind us, the writers and aspiring writers, to forget every rule we’ve ever learned about writing and to trust our guts.
Notes-to-Self are real-life excerpts of resurrected insight from real-life notebooks. (What do your old notebooks still want you to know? Feel free to share it in the comments section to these posts, if you’re feeling generous…)
If you want to go, go. Anywhere. You’ll know where. It’ll be obvious. If you want to make art as you go, make art as you go. If not, don’t. Do notice. Be open. Try to document. Somehow. (When in doubt: a 30 Things can work wonders.)
Cook people food. People you love, food you love.
Note anything and everything related to where you live. Honor the literal signposts of where you live, the loves and hates (neighbors, loud vents, weather, ghosts, abundant storage!, too few restaurants, too many parades [or not enough of them!], the dullness/serenity of suburbia). Stretch the definition of “live/living” and “where.” We live in bodies and our apartments and at the mercy of our skewed or apt perceptions. Notice things. Collect them. Document them here. Tell us—in the comments section—where you live.
Exercises to get us writing prose or poetry or both, of the fictional and non-fictional varieties.
Who can resist a list? At Try we have our signature “30 Things I Love Right Now” list, but what about lists that fall outside of (or inside of) “30″ and we want to hone down “things” to something more specific? “Listing” offers a nice double entendre too… leaning to one side, something a tad off center. List away (in the same vein as the editors) in the comments section!
Simple: Pictures, art, images. Inspiration for the eyes. What do the images remind you of? What memories does it recall?
Let’s harken back to the good ol’ days of 10th grade English and cite the dictionary:
Riff (rif) n. 1. Music A short rhythmic phrase, especially one that is repeated in improvisation. 2. A clever or inventive commentary or remark.
Spiel (spil, ʃpil) n. Informal. 1. a usu. high-flown talk or speech, esp. for the purpose of selling or persuading; pitch. v.i. 2. to speak extravagantly. [1890–95; < German Spiel or Yiddish shpil literally, play, game]
Think of it as an entry in a punk-rock tour journal (a la Henry Rollins or Mike Watt or Patti Smith), heavy on the earnest passion and self-disclosure, light on self-censorship, and 86 the cynicism entirely. It’s what you really want to say to yourself and the rest of the world. The long and/or the short of it.
Practice is what we do around here. Yes, practice can mean, like, soccer practice or piano practice, etc. Something you do regularly with the ultimate aim of getting better at it. Depending on what that something is, we can get into that kind of practice. Getting better at something can be fun (as long as you really want to get better at it).
But there’s also the “labor of love” angle, the — we’re not afraid to say it — spiritual pursuit the word practice can suggest.
The cool thing we’ve discovered is that the two kinds of practice aren’t mutually exclusive. In fact, around here, our favorite kind of practice helps us to do both: to get better at something we want to do well and to feel closer to something larger and more numinous than ourselves. (Win-win!)
With that in mind, up above you’ll find a few of the tools we use to engage in that sort of practice. Please feel free to join us, at your own pace, on your own terms.