2.5.11

7 People I'd Like To Be [Friends With] When I Grow Up

Everyone needs role models. Here are mine:

The Tiger's Wife: A NovelTéa Obreht: Because she’s my age and currently occupies the literary space that I myself would one day like to inhabit (in my wildest, most wonderful dreams). I love her writing, which feels cool, tough and masculine; totally at odds with her cherubic face and smooth blond hair.  She makes me feel like it’s possible to make it without having to first wait for your youth to wither and the alleged ‘proper’ lessons to begin. That type of attitude about age and writing really annoys me actually, as who feels things more acutely than the young? Anyway, 'The Laugh' is available to read here.

Justine Musk: The best provider of blogging and creative advice I have so far found. Her writing is at once helpful, insightful and funny, and she uses words like ‘creative bad-ass’ and ‘zestful f*ck you spirit’ like they’re academic terms or mantras for life. I once commented on Twitter that her advice about knowing who you are, what you want and not being afraid of failure (creative or otherwise) is actually really good advice for life, not just for blogging, and she DM’d me back saying thanks and that it meant a lot to her because, in her mind, ‘growth as a writer/blogger/creator and growth as a person are interwoven’. So that makes her awesome. I think my favourite post of hers is 'Create a Fascinating Personal Brand: Lessons from Kate Moss'. Revel.

Emma Forrest: For many of the same reasons as Téa Obreht, and in addition to these, for her bravery and honesty and interesting blog. I’ve already written about this so I won’t bore you with it again, but her work forces me think about writing as a craft and as a liberator, and about the purposes writing can have, both in soothing and providing focus for individual lives and in sharing experiences for a common and higher purpose.

Caitlin Moran: Because she’s hilarious, sharper than a butcher’s knife and has crazy, crazy hair. Unfortunately I can’t link to any of her columns at ‘The Times’ newspaper because they have a pay-wall in place, so here’s her Twitter account, an incredibly surreal Q&A with her from 2009 and a piece about her from 1994, when she was 19. They’re pretty self-explanatory, I think. 

Scarlett Johansson: For pure clever, cultured, healthy-looking hotness. Hotness, I tell you. Also, she was in 'Lost in Translation' which is my favourite film of all time.

Sofia Coppola: For being interesting, clever and finding a place for herself in the world outside of her family’s shadow. I respect that. And she made 'Lost in Translation'. Yep, meant a lot to me, that film. And again, hotness.

Regina Spektor: For writing songs that are stories. Stories that you can sing to. Stories/songs that not only reference a thousand literary, pop-cultural and religious things at once, but also delight in New York quirks and glottal stops and put verses of Pasternak poetry smack-bang in the middle as a verse (in the original Russian). Don’t believe me? Check out this and this.Very much herself in a world of pop bland. And she plays the piano like an angel. And she can move me to tears, just like that.

So, those are mine. Who are yours?

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