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Creativity Productivity & Work

Keep them guessing

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What does it all mean? (Image via James Douglas)

They say write to be understood. But what’s the point in spelling it all out?

It doesn’t hurt to make an obscure reference here and there to keep the reader guessing. Said author Jonathan Franzen in lunch with the Financial Times:

“I think you have to have a few things that you have to kind of chew on to get.”

When you first listen to a new Radiohead song, something about it sounds off. But after a few listens, the sounds in between become just as important as Thom Yorke’s lyrics. Nothing makes sense, but the emotional tug works.

It shouldn’t be the author or musicians goal to demystify everything. The maker is often still figuring it out himself, going against their own interpretation.

If you're an artist, photographer, writer, etc., I highly recommend creating your own blog and publishing something new every day (read my post on how to set up a FREE blog on Wordpress).

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Only the literary elite can afford not to tweet

If there is a problem in literary fiction, it may be that some of our best writers have missed out on one of the most exciting and transformative moments in American letters. Social media is primarily text-based; it propels people to write more than they have in decades – centuries, perhaps – and it is complex, fluid and resistant to simple conclusions. No wonder so many writers love it. Luckily, I now know many of them, and with them I talk, alone in my study.

Social media forces us to get to the point, to write short and succinct sentences.  More importantly, it’s a great way to connect with like-minded people.  

I don’t think established authors like Jonathan Franzen who rip social media remember what it’s like building a fan base from the ground up.  But if you’re looking to build a name for yourself, use self-promotion sparingly and share interesting content that lends credit to others. 

If you're an artist, photographer, writer, etc., I highly recommend creating your own blog and publishing something new every day (read my post on how to set up a FREE blog on Wordpress).