What do you write? And how?

A selfie is worth 1,000 words about yourself.

Sometimes I sit down at my computer thinking I’ll write something, but nothing comes out and I wonder, “How do you write?” And then I think, “Not at all.” 

Hamilton Nolan recently wrote an article for Gawker called, “Journalism Is Not Narcissism,” in which he urged young journalists to write about other people instead of writing about their own breakup or getting the wrong thing at the coffee shop.

To this I say, what are other people but more confusing versions of me? It’s like if I had gold in my backyard, but instead of digging for that gold I went into someone else’s backyard and asked them what gold is. Isn’t having actual gold better than just asking someone a bunch of questions about gold and maybe writing their answer down wrong? 

Sure, other people probably have lives worth living, but if that’s the case maybe they should be the ones doing the writing, since after having lived in my brain and written about what’s going on there I usually only have enough energy to watch a season of “Prime Suspect” and go to bed. 

Nolan makes the point that writing about oneself is narcissistic, but isn’t writing about someone else just enabling narcissism in other people? By only writing about themselves aren’t today’s Lena and Leonard Dunhams saving other people from secondhand narcissism?

Nolan is concerned that “journalism” has become conflated with “memoir” but isn’t that better than if “journalism” had become conflated with “dick pic.” That would suggest that people didn’t know the difference between journalism and photojournalism, which would be troubling indeed.  

The fact is that writers love it when other writers write about themselves because then you can basically read about yourself without having to write anything. This is a win-win proposition because if there’s one thing writers do truly hate, that thing is writing. Why not make it a little more fun by reading about someone else’s HPV scare?

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“That was fun. We should do it again.”

5 interpretations of, “That was fun. We should do it again”:

  • That was fun-esque. If you text me I might do it again, but that would probably be the last time.
  • That was fun, but I don’t find you attractive, so this won’t happen again.
  • I’m so glad that that’s over that I can’t stop smiling at you!
  • Not fun. I do not want to see you again.
  • Bye.
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June 2012

I can’t talk. My heart is beating really fast. There’s something weird going on with my eyes. I know my face is making a weird face, and I’m starting to wonder if people die from this and yet I’m coherent enough to know that the most important thing is to act chill. I’m good. I’m cool. I’m molding my face into a totally noncommittal expression that’s somewhere between aloof and asleep. Everyone is looking at me pretty normally as though they’re buying it, but there is like no conceivable way that they are, which must mean they are so freaked out that they feel the need to pretend not to be.

This is what happens to me every time I smoke marijuana, and yet I keep trying it since supposedly if you work hard enough at something you can achieve it. I’m in San Francisco for a month, and I’m staying with a guy who smokes a lot of pot and he has this “tincture” sitting on his nightstand. He told me it doesn’t make you high so much as put you in a good mood like Xanax, which, great. It turns out someone who can’t smoke marijuana should also not drink liquid THC.

I dropped some on my tongue, and within 10 minutes was saying things like  “Why am I even here?” while looking at my hands. He said, “I think you’re just high” and I said, “I’m not high. I’m morose. The bottom has fallen out of my world. I need to go stand in the bathroom and think.”

Which is what I did. I stood there and stared at the sink and thought, “This was a mistake,” and as a person who really doesn’t understand cause and effect, the mistake I was referring to was not taking a drug that I knew made me feel like I was going to die, but every other decision I had made in my life ever — starting with not sticking with piano and culminating in standing in this bathroom. I was still thinking about thinking when I went back into his room and said, “I feel like I’m going to cry.” If I was going to overdose on marijuana I might as well be cinematic about it. It felt weirdly feminine to be having a “bad trip” instead of taking drugs and having fun, which is what I usually do (with other drugs). So, I cried, or rather, I wept prettily on his chambray shirt, while saying things like “Having a lot of sex after not having sex for awhile is a lot. It’s just a lot.”

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11 Other Best Of Lists Of 2012

25 Most inscrutable Infographics 

22 Numbers That Changed The World This Year

88 Things We’d Like To See Happen Before 2014 (call Delta re: voucher, etc.)

14 Words We Never Want To Read Again And Will Now Skip Over When We See Them

The 9 Most Recently Released Albums That Are Also The Best Of Those 

3 2 Moments That Restored Our Faith In Humanity

The Best Almost Memes

Cats Ranked 1-10

The 8 Best Examples Of Cats Trying To Get Inside A Walnut

The Year’s Most Timely Retweets

The Biggest Books Physically Of The Year (And Also One Tiny Book That Is Adorable)

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MTA Hurricane Repair Timetable For Non-Transportation Related Problems

Starting at 8 a.m. Monday, New York residents are once again allowed to smile. Chuckling/chortling will be restored by 10 a.m., with belly laughs coming back online at 3 p.m. that same day.

By 9 a.m. Monday, residents of Brooklyn and Manhattan should once again be wearing pants. You will no longer be allowed in bars and restaurants in your “stretchy” or “house” pants.

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At The Wedding

All of my friends from high school are blonde and extremely nice. When we get together they say things like, “That’s because you dislike people until they do something to make you like them.” This in comparison to themselves. They are more in the innocent until proven guilty vein, which is to say they are more American. They also say things like, “It would be hard to be a maid,” and then ask me if I’ve ever been a maid, and I have to stop for a minute because I’ve had a lot of jobs, but it turns out not that one.

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the earth looks better from after

The only calm people on this airplane is the 80-year-old couple sitting next to me.The turbulence is worse than before, and everyone’s gripping the armrests and sitting up straight (we can pull it together for you God!), except for this couple who’s glued to the episode of Mike & Mindy that’s playing on the seat back in front of them and laughing. Like really cracking up. Everybody else is praying, “I have so much left to do. I’m going to that party in Brooklyn tomorrow.” But here, in the face of death and dismemberment and the possibility that the drink cart has made its last round, this couple is laughing, not at life, or the futility of it all, but at a not even cool TV show about an overweight couple planning their wedding.

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Porgy and Bess

It was Sunday morning and Bess and I were walking around the Upper West Side after a night spent eating pretty good delivery Italian and struggling to stay awake through Saturday Night Live in her parents’ apartment. She was killing time with me before my 4pm open mic in Queens. We got croissants and Bess pointed out where she used to do yoga in high school, which I guess is what people who grow up in New York do instead of JV volleyball.
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Everything Happens For A Reason

Even though things may seem random at times, each event, no matter how small or horrible, happens so that another thing can happen that may also be small or horrible, but at least is a thing that there is a reason for. The reason might be to bring you closer to an even smaller and more horrible event that will inevitably drop you right at the doorway of another event that, while it may be big and horrible or small and dumb, is something that was part of God’s plan, or if not an actual plan-plan then at least a bullet point on the quick memo about your life that He sent to accounting when you were born.

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Rejected Social iPhone Games

Gnaw Something

Drawl Something

Crawl Somewhere

Draw Somewhere Else

Draw Something And Keep It To Yourself

Draw Me But With A Tiny Hat On My Head

Take A Picture of Your Handwriting, See Who Can Decipher It

Sob Somewhere

Take A Picture Of Yourself Sobbing And I’ll Tell You Why I Don’t Like You

Say You’d Like To Hangout Again But Then Don’t Return My Texts

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