Inspired | April 2020

Every month, I share the articles and sites that I found most interesting. Here’s what caught my attention in April: what might happen to the novel, film vs. digital, journalling and goalsetting, Norman Rockwell, and more.

What Will Happen to the Novel After This? by Emily Temple

According to my therapist, the pandemic hasn’t really changed the personal landscape of any of her clients—whatever was going on before is still there, only intensified. That is, right now, we’re all ourselves, but more. We have been stripped of the comforting, blurring patterns of daily life, and have been boiled down to our purest versions. Maybe the same thing will happen to the novel—the trajectory won’t change, only the intensity.

Why ‘niching’ your blog is a creativity killer by Helen Redfern: “When you are writing about what you love; a wealth of different topics purely for the love of writing, you are writing for you. An audience will come along with you because they enjoy your style of writing. They will read about anything you write about, even if they have no interest in the subject matter, because they love your writing.”

Our Fascination With Canon Is Killing the Way We Value Stories by James Whitbrook: “Critics and fans alike are now less interested in actually interpreting a piece of media thematically or to engage with why they liked or disliked it, but instead to pick it apart and break it down to the base components of what are, essentially, its pure, unflinching facts.”

The cinematographer of Knives Out wants to end the film-vs.-digital debate by Charlie Heller: “So when filmmakers criticize digital’s “clinical” look, they’re not necessarily wrong. It’s just that the cause isn’t the digital camera itself — it’s the camera’s factory-default math. Change those factory defaults to different math, Yedlin shows, and the image is literally transformed.”

How to Journal Your Way To Peace by Tia Cantrell (Part One | Part Two | Part Three): “I did rethink it. And I tried new strategies and new journaling techniques. The end result was finding a love for journaling and I never knew I had. I will say though, I was right about the rehashing thing. That sucks.”

It’s Time to Move Beyond Your Vision Board by Rory Grimes: “The danger lies in believing that you can make a list of goals or concepts and then sit back and watch them materialize. Looks like it’s time to start dreaming in outlines and checklists.”

Will the millennial aesthetic ever end? by Molly Fischer

If you simultaneously can’t afford any frills and can’t afford any failure, you end up with millennial design: crowd-pleasing, risk-averse, calling just enough attention to itself to make it clear that you tried. For a cohort reared to achieve and then released into an economy where achievement held no guarantees, the millennial aesthetic provides something that looks a little like bourgeois stability, at least.

The Teenage Girl Gang That Seduced and Killed Nazis by Jake Rossen: “Few soldiers took notice of the two girls as they rode bicycles through occupied territory, though they were secretly acting as couriers, transporting paperwork and weapons for the resistance.”

The awakening of Norman Rockwell by Tom Carson

By the late ’60s, he often heard from older fans who wondered why he couldn’t go on giving them “those sweet old pictures like you used to do.” But Rockwell was unmoved. “You can’t make the good old days come back just by painting pictures of them,” he snorted. “That kind of stuff is dead now and I think it’s about time,” he told another interviewer.

What’s the most interesting thing you saw online this month?