Lock-down. The word has been gaining wider and wider use over the past two decades. But while till a couple of months ago it was related almost exclusively to fiction and some occasional circumscribed crisis, now it's enjoying sudden and widespread use in everyday discourse. However, today I'm not going to look at how we use this word, nor am I going to debate whether or not governments have the right to declare a lock-down -- so limiting their citizen's freedom. My scope is way more specific. In fact, I'm going to tackle a simple question -- one that comes up pretty often among the … [Read more...] about So Much Time, so Little Writing — and a Thought About Freedom
These are difficult times. Of sudden and unforeseen change. Of fear. Of loss. We are not in a videogame where a game-over is always followed by a new game. In the here and now of our life we don't have second chances -- biologically speaking. Of course, we can debate about karma and reincarnation, and resurrection all we want. But irrespective of the outcome, no faithful I've ever spoken to believes we'll just keep on living as we did before -- as if after a banal game-over, where you only have to insert coin to start a new game. I'm writing this trying to be as cool-headed and objective … [Read more...] about Thoughts On Resilience
The last time I went for a walk was around the middle of March. The day was a glorious one and I went for a couple hour hike not far from my home. Among the woods, I hiked up to a secluded church sitting on the top of a small mountain. I felt alive and energized. I felt happy. Even if I was alone, due to the recently enforced social distancing rules. Unfortunately a few days later, in the attempt to curb the Coronavirus pandemic as much as they could, Italian authorities decided you could no longer go out. Not for a solitary hike and not even for an (equally solitary) running … [Read more...] about A Creative Lesson From This Coronavirus Madness
There are many ways we can call them. Neuroses, obsessions, unresolved conflicts — you choose. But of something we can be pretty sure: everybody has some inner demons. Psychologist often suggest that their clients keep a personal journal. They claim personal journals can help people successfully delve with such inner demons. Even if this can have some drawbacks, I’m sure in general this journaling thing is good advice from a medical point of view. Life and Fiction However, we should never consider our personal journal as a sort of literary work. The reason for … [Read more...] about Inner Demons — Should You Use Them to Fuel Your Work?
Creative writing is a complex and demanding activity. Saying this I don't mean only few and talented individuals can become well-rounded writers. In fact, while a grain of talent is essential, what matters most is grit and motivation. And deliberate practice. A lot of it. However, it's clear that the more complex an activity is, the more resources it requires of us. For example, even if you have a mild headache, you can go for a walk and have a chat with a friend. Yet, the moment a pebble slips inside one of your shoes, you immediately start to walk awkwardly. And, as soon as you … [Read more...] about Keep Running to Keep Writing
Words I hate… There are so many of them I can't even start listing them. But I can definitively tell you one thing. As a rule, the words I hate are the ones which I fail to use. The ones I'd like to use to accurately describe something, but ultimately elude me. In short, for me it's like in the famous fable by Aesop, The Fox and the Grapes. The truth is I covet the very words I end up disparaging, and that I would rejoice at being a sort of perambulating dictionary, able to spit out the right word for any occasion. Mark Twain said it exquisitely when he said "The difference between the … [Read more...] about Hunting for Words — the Words I Hate