How much we don’t know…

Word count: 233 words

Reading time: Less than 1 minute

This is my weekly installment of “writing about writing,” in which I scan the world to find websites, books and articles to help writers. Today, I provide a link to an article by Tim Kreider. 

When I first read an article written by Tim Kreider, I had no idea he was a cartoonist. (See links to two other pieces he’s written at the end of this post.) The man is articulate, smart and eloquent — a hat trick that most cartoonists are not able to pull off, no matter how skilled at drawing.

In a recent New York Times Opinionator column, he tackles the topic of unfair generalizations, and, generally, writers who pretend they know too much. Best of all, he’s modest enough to turn his laser-like glare on himself.

“My least favorite parts of my own writing, the ones that make me cringe to reread,” he writes, “are the parts where I catch myself trying to smush the unwieldy mess of real life into some neatly-shaped conclusion, the sort of thesis statement you were obliged to tack on to essays in high school or the Joycean epiphanies that are de rigueur in apprentice fiction — whenever, in other words, I try to sound like I know what I’m talking about. 

His article is titled I Don’t Know. Couldn’t have said it better myself.