Writing Inspiration | 4 | Jan 21 — Jan 27

from Unsplash

Weekly inspiration for writers, readers, and anyone who thrives off great content


  • id (the part of the mind in which innate instinctive impulses and primary processes are manifest)
  • malaise (a general feeling of discomfort, illness, or uneasiness whose exact cause is difficult to identify)
  • ephemera (things that exist or are used or enjoyed for only a short time; items of collectible memorabilia, typically written or printed ones, that were originally expected to have only short-term usefulness or popularity)
  • parapraxis (a Freudian slip; a slip of the tongue or pen, forgetfulness, misplacement of objects, or other error thought to reveal unconscious wishes or attitudes)
  • fatuous (silly and pointless)


Critics have noted that many McEwan novels hinge on a single, transformative event: the balloon, the abduction, Briony’s accusation. (In “Black Dogs,” in what may be a self-inoculating gesture, McEwan has his narrator tweak the idea: “Turning points are the inventions of storytellers and dramatists, a necessary mechanism when a life is reduced to, traduced by a plot.”) Yet the story of his parents conforms to this template. It may be true that some of McEwan’s novels are overplotted; it is also true that some lives are overplotted.

from The Background Hum by Daniel Zalewski in The New Yorker

Ads looked like news and so did propaganda and so did actual comedy, on both the right and the left — and every combination of the four was labelled “satire.” In a perverse twist, Trump may even have run for President as payback for a comedy routine: Obama’s lacerating takedown of him at the 2011 White House Correspondents’ Dinner. By the campaign’s final days, the race felt driven less by policy disputes than by an ugly war of disinformation, one played for laughs. How do you fight an enemy who’s just kidding?

from How Jokes Won the Election by Emily Nussbaum in The New Yorker

People are in general not candid over sexual matters. They do not show their sexuality freely, but to conceal it they wear a heavy overcoat woven of a tissue of lies, as though the weather were bad in the world of sexuality.

from The Impossible Profession — I by Janet Malcolm in The New Yorker