2 min read

Miyazaki & Self-Talk

Also: Mateo Askaripour & Rumaan Alam & Decision-making in writing

Originally published February 15, 2021

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The dots

  1. Hayao Miyazaki’s good morning
  2. Leave the World Behind by Rumaan Alam
  3. Black Buck by Mateo Askaripour
  4. Positive self-talk
  5. Craft in the Real World by Matthew Salesses

How do they connect?

1 & 4

Every morning, Hayao Miyazaki "arrives at his studio at 10:00 a.m., lets himself inside, and shouts 'Good morning!' into the empty rooms. When asked whom he’s greeting, Miyazaki replies: 'The residents. . . . Don’t know who they are, but they’re here.'" (Quote from the Jan 11 issue of Mason Currey’s fantastic newsletter, Subtle Maneuvers).

This made me laugh because this "Good morning" ritual is really just positive self-talk. Which I feel like Miyazaki might scorn slightly (after all he’s legendarily irritable/cranky.) AND it’s positive self-talk that’s not in the first person. Which, research has shown, is more helpful and encouraging.

2, 3 & 5

Leave the World Behind by Rumaan Alam and Black Buck by Mateo Askaripour were the first two books I finished reading after reading Craft in the Real World by Matthew Salesses. The two novels are both excellent. And in some ways can’t be more different: Black Buck is written in the first person, in the style of a self-help book. Leave the World Behind is written in a roaming third person so you get a peek inside each character’s mind, and it’s a disaster/suspense story.

The commonality is in Alam’s and Askaripour’s conscious and conscientious decision-making.

Craft in the Real World ends with the line: “Be purposeful. Be aware of the traditions you are working with. Everything is a decision. Make those decisions consciously and conscientiously.” Alam and Askaripour both did that, it shows on the page. And each craft decision they made supported the purpose of their respective books. So, as I read, the purpose and form were in sync and that made it so easy to keep devouring the book and ignore other things.

Buy Leave the World Behind + Buy Black Buck + Craft in the Real World is currently backordered on Bookshop, BUT The Resort is offering a free copy to anyone who signs up for their services in February

—Devin