Ever finished a book? I mean, truly finished one? Cover to cover. Closed the spine with that slow awakening that comes with reentering consciousness?
You take a breath, deep from the bottom of your lungs and sit there. Book in both hands, your head staring down at the cover, back page or wall in front of you.
You’re grateful, thoughtful, pensive. You feel like a piece of you was just gained and lost. You’ve just experienced something deep, something intimate… Full from the experience, the connection, the richness that comes after digesting another soul.
It’s no surprise that readers are better people. Having experienced someone else’s life through abstract eyes, they’ve learned what it’s like to leave their bodies and see the world through other frames of reference. They have access to hundreds of souls, and the collected wisdom of all them.
“For centuries, the myth of the lone genius has towered over us, its shadow obscuring the way creative work really gets done. The attempts to pick apart the Lennon-McCartney partnership reveal just how misleading that myth can be, because John and Paul were so obviously more creative as a pair than as individuals, even if at times they appeared to work in opposition to each other. The lone-genius myth prevents us from grappling with a series of paradoxes about creative pairs: that distance doesn’t impede intimacy, and is often a crucial ingredient of it; that competition and collaboration are often entwined. Only when we explore this terrain can we grasp how such pairs as Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, William and Dorothy Wordsworth, and Martin Luther King Jr. and Ralph Abernathy all managed to do such creative work. The essence of their achievements, it turns out, was relational. If that seems far-fetched, it’s because our cultural obsession with the individual has obscured the power of the creative pair.”—
just wanted to write a quick note telling you how much i have enjoyed being on tour this month (and this entire year!). meeting my australian fans at the shows and afterwards has been such a cool experience for me. i keep every handmade bracelet, every letter and shark-shaped bookmark and…
“if you had a friend who spoke to you in the same way you sometimes speak to yourself, how long would you allow that person to be your friend?”—one of the most eye opening things i’ve read in a while (via agirlnamedally)
“Woolf often conceives of life this way: as a gift that you’ve been given, which you must hold onto and treasure but never open. Opening it would dispel the atmosphere, ruin the radiance—and the radiance of life is what makes it worth living. It’s hard to say just what holding onto life without looking at it might mean; that’s one of the puzzles of her books. But it has something to do with preserving life’s mystery; with leaving certain things undescribed, unspecified, and unknown; with savoring certain emotions, such as curiosity, surprise, desire, and anticipation. It depends on an intensified sense of life’s preciousness and fragility, and on a Heisenberg-like notion that, when it comes to our most abstract and spiritual intuitions, looking too closely changes what we feel. It has to do, in other words, with a kind of inner privacy, by means of which you shield yourself not just from others’ prying eyes, but from your own. Call it an artist’s sense of privacy.”—
I have sort of an...odd question perhaps but perhaps you can answer it. When you were on that street corner, or when you were starting to gain notice with The Dresden Dolls, how did you deal with those people who looked down upon you? Those who thought you were 'weird' or 'bizarre'? How did you not let it push you to the point where you just gave it all up?
there’s 3 chapters in the book about that. don’t make me do it on tumblr. book out November, after much suffering to write it. :)
As a new fan of your music (I've been listening to Theatre is Evil nonstop thanks to my dad) and as a young songwriter myself, do you have any immediate advice for me? I try to write what I feel and I feel rather sad often times. I don't want my songs to have similar lyrics. Any tips? Thanks so much :) xoxo
you’re not alone, there. lots of songwriters get inspired by a particular emotion (sadness, angerness, whateverness) and that’s fucking fine - whatever fires up the songwriter in your head. a big challenge of writing good songs is putting different words to the same emotions.
it’s not sexy to admit but i use a thesaurus. all the time. I also make up words. I also stretch the truth and write songs that are half real and half fiction. it’s all allowed.
also, listen to other songwriters and notice how you can attack a feeling from 1000 angles. listen to Elliott Smith. same vague topic in so many songs but the lyrics are so opaque that you can’t follow - it’s more stream of consciousness. listen to Leonard Cohen. listen to Robyn Hitchcock. all different ingredients.
Thoughts on Potato Salad kickstarter? Figured you might get a kick out of it. People getting mad about it kinda makes me giggle; I, for one, am pumped that a dude will get to throw a bomb-ass potato salad party. <3 Hope your book is going well.
I have thoughts.
I posted them here on the blog, and the comments as usual have been excellent. I loves the blog.
“I am awfully greedy; I want everything from life, I want to be a woman and to be a man, to have many friends and to have loneliness, to work much and write good books, to travel and enjoy myself, to be selfish and to be unselfish… You see, it is difficult to get all which I want. And then when I do not succeed I get mad with anger.”—
For the last week, I have been fighting furiously something I was 100% confident about: that we would not make it. That $5M was too big. That I was mistaken in setting the goal to high. And that this incredible movement of now close to 25k contributors would stop.
Hi Amanda, what is marriage? How does one know when one is ready to be in a marriage?
I don’t know. I know that I got married after only being with someone for a year, and it was looked on with suspicion by some, but so far, it’s lasted, because me and the Other Person are pretty committed to Making it Work.
I’ll tell you a story that I think I just deleted from my book that may help.
anthony said this to me once.
after you get married, there eventually comes a night when you can’t sleep and you find yourself awake in bed, next to your partner, looking at their sleeping, snoring, human face in excruciating detail, thinking
HOLY FUCK, WHAT THE FUCK HAVE I DONE, WHO IS THIS STRANGER I’VE COMMITTED MY WHOLE FUCKING LIFE TO
I've always been a relatively positive & happy person, but am having destructive thoughts I've never had (cutting, suicide). Have you ever dealt with this and how did you get through it? I have no idea what to do. Listening to your music, I have a feeling you've had some similar experiences. None of my friends can relate to what I'm going through & I feel very alone. Your music is the only thing that gets me through it some days, so thank you. Bottomfeeder and Want it Back are so fucking good!
1. make sure you’re getting exercise.
2. if you drink or drug, cut down.
3. meditate. yoga.
4. assess your immediate company and stay away from toxic people.
5. if it stays bad, seek a therapist. there’s always something underneath.
love. this too shall pass.
and yes, I’ve been there.
i’m actually right on the knife-edge of dark as we speak, and trying to remember all of the above on an hourly basis.
i am so pleased to announce that i will be heading back out on the road in the usa at the end of the summer!! the tour dates are on the poster attached. for this tour, i’m working with a service called artist arena, which filters out ticket scalpers.