11 reasons I couldn’t finish this blog post

A Short Manifesto

By Andy Cyca

For immediate release among the peoples of good will

May it help lost souls find their way among a sea of bad prose, poor journalism, deplorable editors, click-based editorial policies, wannabe writers that don’t apply their butts to their seats—hoping inspiration alone to be sufficient for that unique idea floating in their minds and editing be damned—, and clickbait. And spoiled seafood.
Hear hear!
  1. You are about to begin reading Andy Cyca’s new essay, «11 reasons I couldn’t finish this node—and why you can’t finish that damn manuscript either»
  2. Call me Andy. Some years ago—never mind how long precisely—having little or no interest in my job, and nothing particular to interest me on Reddit or Metafilter or HackerNews, I thought I would write about a little thing and see if the internet liked it.I created my blog and my «About» page. My blog was without form, and void; and spamming crawlers crawled upon the face of the World Wide Web. And the Aspiration of being a Writer moved upon the face of the waters. And I said «Let there be a «First post!»: and there it was.
  3. Now, I hold these truths to be self evident, that all «working title»-s, unnamed project-s and «to-be-titled»-s are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain ideals of quality and desires of greatness, that among these are lively prose, liberty from clichés and the pursuit of a Pulitzer or Nobel.
  4. It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a human in possession of a good idea, must be in want of its release.
  5. All happy essays are alike; each unhappy essay is unhappy in its own way. I begin with writing the first sentence—and trusting to Almighty Eru Ilúvatar for the second. The third is often suggested by the Devil or a pressing need to use the restroom. The rest is silence, for inspiration only carries me so far. I must write without inspiration, for it’s a feeble power source.
  6. That bright Idea floating around your head? Your Idea is dead: to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that. The register of its burial can be signed by the editor, the proofreader, the beta-reader, and any writer who has actually published in whatever form. Andy will sign it: and Andy’s name is good upon ’Net, for anything he chooses to put his hand to. Your precious little Idea is as dead as a door-nail.Mind! I don’t mean to say that I know, of my own knowledge, what there is particularly dead about a door-nail. I might have been inclined, myself, to regard a coffin-nail as the deadest piece of ironmongery in the trade. But the wisdom of our peers is in Wikipedia; and my non-bureaucrat hands shall not disturb it, or the ’Pedia’s done for. You will therefore permit me to repeat, emphatically, that your precious little Idea is as dead as a door-nail.
  7. I write this sitting in the porcelain throne. I write this sitting in the bus, on my phone’s note app. I write this sitting in my office cubicle, the Institute’s auditorium, the University’s cafeteria. I write this waiting for my date, waiting for the dentist, waiting for Steam to finish downloading and installing Civilization (but I don’t write this while playing it because I just need one more turn…)
  8. In my younger and more naive years my teacher gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since. Whenever you feel like writing anything, he told me, just remember that all the people in this world has tried what you’ve tried and few have succeeded.
  9. If you really want to write about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to write is where your Character was born, and what their lousy childhood was like, and how their parents were occupied—or dead—, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don’t feel like reading it, if you want to know the truth. This will be your favorite book in all the world, though you have never even written it.
  10. All this happens, more or less. That’s why you can’t finish. Get writing.

Starting is easy, young man. Finishing’s harder!
–A certain version of George Washington, probably (?)

  1. «If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler»
  2. «Moby Dick»; The Book of Genesis
  3. The [United States] Declaration of Independence
  4. «Pride and Prejudice»
  5. «Anna Karenina»; «The Life And Opinions Of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman»
  6. «A Christmas Carol»
  7. «I Capture The Castle»
  8. «The Great Gatsby»
  9. «The Catcher In The Rye»;
  10. «Slaughterhouse-Five»

Publicado originalmente en E2

Admonición desde el pasado

Mantén tu cabeza baja, no sea que una bala o una mirada te alcancen en los ojos.

Mantén tu cabeza baja, no sea que una bala o una mirada te alcancen en los ojos. Quédate agachado, hincado, postrado para hacer de la tierra un escudo contra el resto del universo. Cierra los ojos, ciérralos y no dejes que la promesa de la luz ni la amenaza de la lluvia los vuelvan a abrir. Quédate quieto y no te muevas hasta que alguien venga por ti. No dejes que el mundo te asalte, no permitas que manchen tu ser, tu ser auténtico, tu ser individual. Crece en este capullo alimentado sólo por las piedras que llegues a morder y por los rayos cósmicos que el cielo te quiera regalar. Haz de ese agujero un hogar, siémbrate en tu madre y confía en ella para darte lo que necesitas.

Olvídate de los que te dieron vida, los que te nutrieron y te ayudaron a crecer. Olvida también los frutos que te robaron los muchachos sin dejar que sus semillas llegaran siquiera a germinar. Olvídales, ya están todos muertos para ti. Esos frutos sin descendencia, esos ladrones veraniegos, esos jardinero hipócritas ya pertenecen a otro mundo, ya no te necesitan.

Llora y alimenta con tus lágrimas en la lluvia, que a su vez te alimentará a ti. Come, déjate llevar por el viento, por el riachuelo. No saltes de gozo, no cantes, no te dejes ver ni por la niña fresca de primavera, ni por el cuervo hambriento y sin conciencia del otoño.

Debes yacer ahí, caminar a tu paso, pero nunca apresurado. Encuentra tu nueva vida en medio de la corriente, entre miles de hojas, de hormigas y de ojos. Encuentra la paz en el ruido constante, en la suciedad, en lo roto y en lo incompleto. Aduéñate de las grietas, de las orillas gastadas, de los caminos agotados, de los párpados cansados. Hazlos tuyos, conviértete en un amo de lo roto, lo abandonado, lo decaído. Llénate de vacíos y úsalos para aislarte de lo que ya es, de lo que crece, de lo que llena e invade sin distinción. No uses tu nuevo espacio como si solo fuera tuyo, más bien respeta esa Nada, sepárate de ella y no busques apropiarte de su terreno. Crece a la par de ella, mantén tus fronteras y cierra tus oídos también.

Así debes continuar, defecando esa furia hacia la Nada, para secarte poco a poco, para vaciarte y obligar a tu hogar a cuidarte como tú lo has cuidado. Te cambiarán la cara y la voz, perderás tu cuerpo y usarás tus memorias para atraer nuevos nutrientes, consumiéndolos en el proceso. alimentarás las llamas y de las cenizas compactadas te volverás a hacer semilla. Aléjate de todos y renace como un gris abierto a los colores, dispuesto a disiparte con la más mínima brisa sin llamar a ningún lado «hogar»

Ciudad de México. 26 de abril, 2016. Encontrado al escanear papeles viejos.

We Have No Idea [review]

We Have No Idea: A Guide to the Unknown UniverseWe Have No Idea: A Guide to the Unknown Universe by Jorge Cham
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Wonderful pop-science book. While it might be dismissed as not being technical enough, books like The Universe: Leading Scientists Explore the Origin, Mysteries, and Future of the Cosmos are sometimes so technical (and badly formatted) that all the scientific rigor gets in the way of actually conveying information for the reader. Continuar leyendo «We Have No Idea [review]»

El diablo de los números [Reseña]

El diablo de los númerosEl diablo de los números por Hans Magnus Enzensberger
Mi califiación: 4 de 5 estrellas

El mejor libro de matemáticas recreativas que no está escrito por un ruso ni por Martin Gardner! Continuar leyendo «El diablo de los números [Reseña]»

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