Every day, I try a different writing exercise, to varying results. For a while I was using a website that replicates the Oblique Strategies cards. Unfortunately, while I love them, they’re imperfect for guidance in writing. Now I use this service called Figment, which is the project of two former New Yorker staffers. I’m not familiar with the actual website, but their mailing list offers daily creative prompts by email that I do like a lot. It can be tempting to ignore them along with the literally thousands of emails from overzealous PR people that are currently choking my inbox (please, please fuck off, you guys), but I’ve been trying to persevere. The one I chose today was the following:
“Make a list of 20 angry words — they can be words related to anger or words that just sound mad. Now write about something you love/cherish/revere using as many of these words as you can.”
And I did that, but only the first part. Not even the whole first part, either. I typed sixteen words out before I realized that I didn’t want to hitch them to the song above, which I was listening to at the time and do truly love, cherish, and revere. I thought it was a really good coincidence that it started playing right as I was straining to come up with “blister,” “scam,” “chain,” and thirteen other clumsy examples of what might get pulled alongside anger.
The exercise probably would have worked out really well if I had seen it through with this song in mind. But you know what? I’d prefer to apply those negative ideas to things that truly deserve them, like incessant messages from publicists. What I’d rather say about this song, and almost everything else that ever came out on Creation Records, is just that it’s really the best music I know. And, accordingly, that this also makes me really happy: