Fresh out of finishing school, with a name that appeared on the social registry of Washington D.C.’s debutante parties, Marie Manning was fascinated by true crime stories. She got a job as a newspaper reporter in 1892, but was soon sidelined to the “Hen Coop” to work on the “women’s page.” There, they received letters from people looking for advice, and Manning cooked up the idea to run the letters and answers as a regular column.
Dear Sugar, Ask Andrew W.K., Ask Polly, and others challenge readers to reimagine the classic advice column as a place where adult problems are considered with dignity, and where feelings are taken seriously.
Great advice from Heather Havrilesky to a woman who gets obsessive crushes about unattainable men.
Then about halfway through I realized abruptly that Heather’s advice is relevant to more than just people in that woman’s particular situation. Heather isn’t just talking about romantic crushes. She’s talking about fantasizing about a better life and living in that fantasy world, rather than appreciating what you have and working to make your life better.
Heather gives great advice on her correspondent’s major problem. But she neglects a relatively minor point: The correspondent’s roommate needs to chill on the PDAs in the living room. Nobody wants to sit in the same room as that.
Ask Polly: Why Do I Always Want Unavailable Men? – Heather Havrilesky, New York Magazine
First, it’s important to never assume that your baby-boomer colleagues, born between 1946 and 1964, are unfamiliar with new technology. It’s far more likely that they’ve read about it, tried it once and decided they hate it.
Also, let the Boomers know that you’ve heard of Fleetwood Mac.
The Guardian asked several writers to list up to ten rules for writing (inspired by Elmore Leonard’s little book, 10 Rules of Writing).
I’ve bookmarked the Guardian’s articles for later reading. For now, this:
“You know that sickening feeling of inadequacy and over-exposure you feel when you look upon your own empurpled prose? Relax into the awareness that this ghastly sensation will never, ever leave you, no matter how successful and publicly lauded you become. It is intrinsic to the real business of writing and should be cherished” (Will Self)