There are few writers who are touted by pretentious readers more than James Joyce. Maybe David Foster Wallace? Or William Shakespeare?
But when I first came across Joyce in my high school senior year English class while reading A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, I had no idea that reading this guy’s work was considered pretentious. I didn’t even know who he was, what else he had written, or why anyone studied him at all.
Heck, the very first line of that book is “Once upon a time and a very good time it was there was a moocow coming down along the road and this moocow that was coming down along the road met a nicens little boy named baby tuckoo ….”
How could pretentious people get behind a guy who writes the word “moocow” or about a “baby tuckoo” (whatever that is)?
Isn’t that essentially gibberish?
“Copying is the highest form of flattery,” my parents would tell me whenever I was annoyed about my friends “copying” me. I didn’t believe them. (I was 8 years old at the time; can you blame me?)
But then I started college, and this “copying is flattery” came back to haunt me. My literature professors would tell me, “If you want to write like an academic, you need to read a lot of academic writing.”
So, essentially, if I wanted to do well in college literature courses, I had to figure out a way to copy these writers.Continue reading
Some people say that you are your worst critic. There’s a lot of truth in that, and at least for me, I hold myself to higher standards than are necessary.
But there are times where others are sort of the worst.
Or, at least, they aren’t helpful in encouraging you to pursue what you’re really interested in. Maybe they didn’t mean to be your worst critic, but offhanded or thoughtless comments can sometimes be as hurtful (or at least as unhelpful) as an intended one.
As writers and entrepreneurs, we put ourselves out there—our words, our voices, our ideas. We’re in a vulnerable spot to be judged. Though honestly, there’s a lot of good, constructive criticism that comes our way, to even out the negativity.
You’re probably familiar with–and often use–emojis and emoticons in your text messages and emails unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last decade.
In case you have been under a rock: Emojis are those small digital images we use to express the emotions behind a text message. There’s even a whole Emojipedia that helps you understand what each icon means. Emoticons are simply the “old school” version of emojis, made by a combination of keys, like this: : – )
I’ll be honest: I’m not the best at using emojis in my messages. If anything, I don’t know what most of them mean, so I stick to the classics: ? ? ??
Though I’m not great at using those little pictures instead of words myself, that doesn’t mean I don’t understand when others use them.
There’s a type of “emoji literacy” that’s become necessary in recent years, where a string of emojis can tell a story. Even better, emojis are often understood across languages.