At the Rumpus, author and poet Musa Okwonga discusses In the End, It Was All About Love, a book that required him to be comfortable with the unknown. “For me—I don’t want to be universal—for me as a writer, the frightening thing about writing is that I often don’t know where I’m going to end up,” Okwonga says. “Not in terms of a plot, but I’m not sure what I’ll discover about myself, and the thing about writing a memoir, it’s about being seen. People write memoirs and they emerge being hated. So, when you’re writing, sometimes you’re afraid of what’s going to emerge.”
“Symptoms included a frenzy for culling and hunting down first editions, rare copies, books of certain sizes or printed on specific paper.” Lauren Young writes in Atlas Obscura about the phenomenon of bibliomania, “a dark pseudo-psychological illness” that afflicted upper-class victims in Europe and England during the 1800s. And for a first-hand account of more contemporary book theft, read John Brandon on his high school pastime: “The first time was nerve-racking, a rush, but by the third book I was already settling in.”
My student and friend Paria Kooklan pens a guest piece at the Vroman’s Blog about the popularity of novels about Iran–and penning her own. “I mean, the American public has a short attention span – Iranians are hot right now, but I can’t help wondering when the trend is going to die out. Next year, there may well be another trendy nationality: Iraqis, maybe. Or Tibetans. Or…I don’t know – the Bhutanese? Anything is possible.”
It’s already mid-morning, but have you really started writing yet? If you’re procrastinating, it might be because you see your future self as a stranger. Psychologists believe that because we don’t know who we will be years from now, we fail to make good decisions for the long term. Perhaps both your current and future selves can agree you just want to finish that novel already.