Whither and Whence #1

I’m going to attempt to maintain a weekly schedule of posts. It’ll be a little like a newsletter where I simply share a handful of essays, images, podcasts, movies, etc. I enjoyed that week. Right now, the working title for these posts is “A Survey” but that’ll probably change.* In the meantime, here are five things I enjoyed this week.


1. Finished watching a five hour documentary on Saint Paisius yesterday. I watched it over the course of a month. It’s a documentary in Greek, narrated/translated into Russian, with subtitles in (broken) English. Worth every minute.

2. A fantastic opening line for a fantastic essay:It would have been much better for Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s posthumous reputation if the KGB had killed him just before or shortly after he was expelled from the Soviet Union in February 1974.”

3. Alan Jacobs on the only productivity guidance/advice worth your time.

I pay myself first. That is, if I need to get writing done then writing will be my first task of the day. If I try to get all the other stuff done before turning to writing, I’m usually too tired to write much or well.

When I work I work and when I play I play. When I’m writing I deny myself access to email, to social media, to fun internet sites. I don’t write a hundred words and then reward myself by watching a YouTube clip or arguing with strangers on Twitter. I just write until I have to do something else or am too worn out to write any more.

4. A new podcast, Libromania. The first episode with John Wilson is wonderful. Next up, David Kern’s interview with Jeffrey Overstreet.

5. I’ve been signing up for newsletters from writers whose work I enjoy reading. Apparently newsletters are the latest and greatest trend in the open internet movement. I don’t know if these will catch on, but it’s worth a shot. Here are some of the folk I’m following: Alan Jacobs, Austin Kleon, Jake Meador, Matthew Lee Anderson, Prufrock



*UPDATE 2/4/2019: I’ve now changed the title of these posts to “Whither and Whence.” We’ll see how long this lasts.